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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Biweekly Repression Update

Stop the Wall repression update: Feb. 10 – Feb 23

Part I: Testimony

The following is testimony gathered on March 01 from Hamza Burnat (17) who was shot with live ammunition several times during the weekly anti-Wall demonstration in the village of Bil’in on February 18. Recently released from the hospital, Hamza briefly explained what happened when he was shot.

"There were lots of people at the demonstration, and like usual we walked to Wall protesting the confiscation of land. There were around 700 people heading toward the Wall. The march was peaceful; we were only raising flags and chanting.

"Soldiers started shooting before we even arrived; they didn’t wait. Later people retreated, and the soldiers tried to enter the village, firing tear gas and rubber bullets. They also fired live bullets.

"I was shot in the afternoon, around 2:10. When they shot me, I was standing with a group of foreigners, and we were chanting as a group against the Wall. When I was shot I was hit in the leg and the back. I didn’t lose consciousness, but I could barely walk, so people carried me away to an ambulance, which brought me to the hospital. Soldiers were close, probably about 25 meters away, but I didn’t see who shot me.

"I remained in the hospital for three days. The doctor told me the wound could have been dangerous because one bullet entered near my spinal cord. They didn’t do an operation because it was too dangerous; the bullets exploded inside my body and fragmented.

"They always shoot live bullets, but not always at people. They use it to terrify demonstrators."

In other villages, such as al Nabi Saleh, Occupation forces have arrested the wounded after they have been released from the hospital. We asked Hamza if this occurs in Bil’in, and if he worries about being arrested.

"They have arrested injured people before. But hopefully this won’t happen to me. I wasn’t doing anything, just standing with a group of people when they shot me."

Part II: Analysis

Over the reporting period, there are two trends that we wish to focus on. The first is the injury of Hamza Bornat in Bil’in. Soldiers shot Hamza with what are called “tutu” rounds. These rounds are possibly .22 caliber and differ from the larger 5.56x45mm rounds used in the M16. The .22 rounds, which are fired from a Ruger 10/22 Suppressed Sniper Rifle, were first introduced when the first Intifada broke out. The weapon was explicitly designed to be less lethal than the 5.56 mm M16/Gilil assault rifle round but more deadly than rubber coated rounds, and was used to shoot out the legs of key protest leaders.

Despite claims to the contrary, Occupation forces still use these rounds against anti-Wall protests. From 2008 – 2009, when Occupation forces’ response to the demonstrations was particularly violent, soldiers killed at least one person (Yousef “Aqel” Srour) and seriously wounded a number more. Reports of these rounds fragmenting after impact, and causing serious injury, was documented in Ni’lin and Jayyus during 2008 – 2009. In Ni’lin, several young men were shot with fragmenting bullets, with shrapnel entering the bone and causing serious injury.

The number of arrests is also a serious cause for concern: There have been at least 41 arrests primarily targeting youth in protesting villages in the month of February. Over this two-week reporting period alone, 29 people were arrested, primarily youth from al Nabi Saleh and Beit Ummar.

Over this period, many of those that have been arrested have been targeted during or directly after protests, as opposed to being captured during night raids. In the most serious incident, soldiers raided Beit Ummar, rounding up and arresting 13 youth after the weekly Saturday demonstration on 19 February.
 

Part III: Statistics

Serious injuries: 1

Arrests: 29

Arrests of HRDs, Youth and Minors

1. Mohammed Faisel al Khatib (14) and Amir 'Aiysi Yasin (14)

Place: Bil’in (Ramallah district)

Date of arrests: 12 February 2011

Circumstances: Mohammed and Amir were both arrested on the pretext that they were too close to the Wall.

2. Jalal Ibrahim Tamimi (52), Rayan 'Othman Tamimi (33), Helmi Muneer Tamimi (29), and four unnamed foreign activists

Place: al Nabi Saleh (Ramallah district)

Date of arrests: 11 February 2011

Circumstances: All were arrested on Friday during the Friday demonstration.

3. Naser al Malh (24), Hamza' Abu Qura' (26) and several unnamed foreign activists

Place: al Nabi Saleh

Date of arrests: 18 February 2011

Circumstances: All were arrested on Friday during the Friday demonstration.

4. Malek Khaled Slaibi (15)

Place: Beit Ummar (Hebron district)

Date of arrests: 10 February 2011

Circumstances: According to PCHR, Malek was arrested during a night raid in the village of Beit Ummar.

5. Mohammed Saleh Za'aqiq (15) and Rami Ibrahim Sabarna (23)

Place: Beit Ummar

Date of arrests: 15 February 2011

Circumstances: According to PCHR, Mohammed and Rami were arrested during a night raid in the village of Beit Ummar.

6. Mahmoud Ahmed al Allami (10)

Place: Beit Ummar

Date of arrests: 18 February 2011

Circumstances: According to PCHR, Mahmoud was accused of throwing stones and arrested in Beit Ummar during the afternoon.

7. Essam Jamal Abu Hashem (22), Tariq Jamal Abu Hashem (18), Mousa Haitham Slaibi (16), Ma'ath Mahmoud 'Alqam (16), Mohammed 'Ali 'Awadh (16), Anwar Yousef 'Awadh (16), Mohammed Yousef 'Awadh (14), Aayesh Nasser Ekhlil (15), Ahmed Mahmoud Slaib (15), Habes Hisham Abu Hashem (22), Mo'taz Yousef 'Awadh (16), Ali Mohammed Za'aqiq (17), Nabeel Mohammed 'Awadh (22), Mohammed Jamal Abu Hashem (14), and Mohammed Jamal Abu Hashem (14)

Place: Beit Ummar (Hebron district)

Date of arrests: 19 February 2011

Circumstances: According to PCHR, 13 people, among them 9 minors, were arrested at the end of the weekly Saturday demonstration.

Violence against HRDs, Youth and Minors

1. Hamza Sulieman Burnat (17)

Place: Bil’in

Date of injury: 18 February 2011

Circumstances: Shot with two live rounds during the weekly demonstration in Bil’in.

2. Mohammed Fat'hi Abu Rahma (19) and Mohammed Shawkat al-Khatib (16)

Place: Bil’in

Date of injury: 11 February 2011

Circumstances: Both young men were lightly injured after being hit with tear gas canisters during the weekly demonstration against the Wall.

3. Ahmed Rabhi Abu Rahmah (16), Kefah Monsur (30), Fadi Mustafa (30) and Abduallah Yasin (19)

Place: Bil’in

Date of injury: 18 February 2011

Circumstances: All were lightly injured during the Friday demonstration in Bil’in by tear gas or pepper spray

4. Nasri Rashid Sabarna (48) and Hamza Ahmed Abu Hasehm (12)

Place: Beit Ummar

Date of injury: 19 February 2011

Circumstances: During the Saturday demonstration in Beit Ummar, Nasri was hit in foot with shrapnel from a sound bomb while Hamza was shot in the knee and hand with two rubber coated bullets.

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