Israel is claiming that the minor was shot by Israeli security forces but eyewitness and activists on the ground are claiming that he was shot by private settler security guards around the large settlement, Beit Yonatan, in the heart of Silwan. According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, the bullet extracted from Ayyash’s abdomen has been found to belong to a handgun. This type of bullet is scarcely used by the Israeli police in crowd control situations. The bullet therefore indicates the likelihood that the youth was shot by one of the settlers’ security guards.
Israel’s heavy handed response to demonstrations was not limited to East Jerusalem yesterday. In Nabi Saleh, one Israeli suffered a broken arm after border police officers fired a tear gas canister directly at him from a distance of 5 meters. The activist was forced to hike two kilometres in order to reach a car that would take him to hospital because the ranking commander in Nabi Saleh would not allow anyone to pick him from the outskirts of the village. An American activist was also hit directly in the head with a tear gas canister from a distance of 15 meters resulting in sustained but stable head injury. Injuries were reported in Qlandiya, al Ma’asara, Bil’in and Nablus in Nakba related clashes with the Israeli military.
In the current climate of revolution against tyranny in the Middle East, Israel has chosen violence to handle popular unarmed demonstration. Israeli military planners understand that there is likely one outcome of killing minors involved in demonstrations in East Jerusalem; continued and strengthening clashes. By killing a minor in East Jerusalem, Israel is sending a message to Palestinians (and to the international community) that it is interested and willing to fight.In a sea of emerging democracies, Israel is behaving like a tyrant using harsh military force against a movement of people’s unarmed resistance to occupation and control. Demonstrations are planned throughout the West Bank tomorrow and Palestinians in Silwan will hold a demonstration after the funeral of Milad Ayyash. The likely outcome is violence.
In the following video from Nabi Saleh yesterday, you can see the Israeli army attacking unarmed woman and the shooting of the Israeli peace activist. What you are watching are crimes which will most likely go unpunished.
Israel is asking that the body of the minor killed yesterday be turned over for an autopsy which the family is unwilling to do. This tactic will buy valuable time in taking responsibility for the killing ahead of Sunday’s planned Nakba commemorations throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.