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Foreign national injured at weekly West Bank demonstration

A photographer and two women, one reportedly a French national, were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at this Friday’s anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

UPDATE: A video of the incident is now embedded, below

Three civilians were injured in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today and required hospitalization, according to reports from several eyewitness. A French national, whose name is reportedly Amissy (unconfirmed), was hit in the neck with a projectile – either a tear gas canister or a rubber-coated steel bullet. The Israeli army reports that a border police officer was injured in the head by a rock.

French national injured at Nabi Saleh Friday demonstration (photo: ActiveStills / Oren Ziv)

Although photos show the woman bleeding profusely and obviously in pain, IDF spokesman Major Peter Lerner tweeted that she had been ‘lightly injured’ by a rock thrown by a ‘non-violent’ Palestinian.

Major Lerner’s tweet provoked jeers from eyewitnesses, with several tweeting that they had seen the incident. In a video of the shooting (below), unarmed demonstrators are standing and chanting slogans when IDF soldiers shoot tear gas canisters directly at their heads. The French woman, who is on the right side of the frame, is hit and falls to the ground at around 12 seconds. Note that the soldiers continue to shoot, not stopping to help the injured woman.

 

After this video was uploaded to the internet and widely shared online, Major Peter Lerner changed his story and tweeted that the IDF would investigate the incident of a tear gas canister that he now claims ‘ricocheted off the ground’ and injured the woman.

Ofer Ron, an Israeli, tweeted a sarcastic response:

 

Eyewitnesses report that soldiers beat Nariman Tamimi, a Nabi Saleh woman who is a trained medic, as she tried to help the injured French woman. Ms. Tamimi is the wife of imprisoned activist Bassam Tamimi, whose jail sentence was handed down based on coerced confessions taken from minors. Bassam Tamimi’s case has attracted the attention of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.

Ms. Tamimi’s cousin Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed at a Friday demonstration in early December 2011, when an Israeli border police officer shot a tear gas canister at his head from very short range.

Soldiers also reportedly shot directly at a photojournalist who was covering the demonstration, prompting several people present to comment that the Israeli army was targeting journalists. This would not be the first time journalists were targeted by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Photojournalist Mati Milstein wrote this report for +972 Magazine after he and several colleagues were targeted by Israeli soldiers shooting tear gas canisters at close range.

Proper use of tear gas canisters, according to both IDF training manuals and the tear gas manufacturers, is to shoot it from a safe distance in arcs over the heads of demonstrators, in order to avoid injury.

Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 500 people, located in the Ramallah District. It has been the scene of weekly demonstrations since December 2009, shortly after Jewish residents of the neighbouring settlement of Halamish forcibly confiscated a water spring that is on Nabi Saleh-owned land.

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    COMMENTS

    1. DTA

      So bad, but unfortunately not suprising. BTW, I wonder if anyone knows of any pending court action for the springs. Even if the springs are not on the village title, what is the basis for them to being prevented from visiting, if it is not on anybody elses? How can Halamish claim those springs?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Excellent report. Is there any news on the French woman’s condition? She seems to be bleeding quite heavily so one would hope that Israeli checkpoints allowed her passage to hospital… but then again, who knows…

      Having reported from Nabi Saleh myself I can confirm that IDF actively target journalists with rubber bullets and TG, that’s if they even let them into the village after the 6am blockade has come into effect…

      Reply to Comment
    3. She was taken to the hospital and had her wound stitched. She was released and seems to be relatively okay.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      This Peter Lerner guy has a look on his face that seems like he’s about to pack some heat and go medieval on unarmed protesters at any second. Perhaps he should consider changing his photo to something a bit more congenial, like a yarmulked smiley face.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Woody

      Major Lerner – Blaming your “enemy” and then getting publicly clowned, as with almost every idiotic IDF defense made, is certainly funny. However, it’s time to look yourself in the face and realize you managed, yet again, to fulfill and reconfirm numerous stereotypes.

      If you were an employee at a company, sir, you’d have been fired for such a fail, but our land is run by the army, so the competitive laws of self-correction and error-avoidance need not be heeded. Let us continue into the abyss with Lerner’s comically tragic poetry assuring us we have no sins for which to account.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Teri

      This hurts my heart. When is enough enough?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Sherri Munnerlyn

      Does anyone know what is going on with Bassem Tamimi’s case? And does anyone know if a person can write letters to Palestinian prisoners or how to go about doing it?

      Reply to Comment
    8. John Yorke

      So,what are you going to do about this? Report it here and then wait for the next such incident to come along and comment on that one also? Will that help matters or merely harden attitudes held by every side embattled in this conflict?
      Will it turn the entire situation around so that nothing like this ever happens again? Will it succeed in establishing some sort of safety net, a fixed baseline beyond which there can be no further deterioration in a situation deemed by some as too far gone for any possible remedy?

      Well, reportage has never managed to do this before. But can it still perform such a service?

      1. First, you’ve got to find a means of scaring all potential aggressors absolutely rigid, together with those that empower them. The method must be such that, not for one single instant, does the thought of harming another innocent person cross their minds ever again.

      2. The only way you can be sure of doing that is to take the whole subject to its absolute limit, raise the stakes so impossibly high that not even the most foolhardy individual or group would dare initiate even the mildest form of violence toward their fellow man (or woman).

      3.Raising the stakes:
      This business has been going on now for a span of some 64 years or more. If you don’t want to it to reach 65, then the same tired old formulas that have advanced this entire contest not one iota towards a peaceful outcome simply have to be bypassed and something new put in their place.

      Ask yourself this question.
      If this sad and sorry affair is ever to have an ending, wouldn’t it be far better if human beings consigned it to the history books rather than allow it to always have the last word.

      There must come a time in all such matters when you have to see the problem as the enemy, not the enemy as the problem.
      Once this is realised, the solution then becomes almost childishly simple.

      http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ruth

      I don’t understand. I thought Lisa relocated to Toronto? How can she be reporting on an incident in the West Bank from Toronto? I live in Toronto too. May be I can also recycle news for your guys too. Doesn’t 972 have people on the ground?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Steve

      Ruth: Whatever anti-Israel content they can find, that’s their source. If Israelis are attacked by stones, or rockets, it wont’ be reported. If there are 23898239328 anti-Israel protests that go fine and Israelis avoid responding to the screams and rock-throwing, it own’t be reported. Israelis can be harassed every day, and it won’t be mentioned. But if just one Israeli fires one gas cannister that MAY have hit one screaming protester, poof, there’s your content!

      Reply to Comment
    11. Adi

      Steve – Don’t get confused between criticism and anti-Israeli feelings. Not everyone that criticize Israel has anti Israel feelings. I agree that the article that was published makes Israel look bad, but this is not Lisa’s fault. She published something that happened and that Israel is responsible for. Publishing such stories can help prevent the next cases. Some of the soldiers will think twice before abusing their force. I prefer that stories like that won’t be happening, but if it does happen, it should be published.

      Adi

      Reply to Comment