Sunday, April 19, 2009

As the clash of states and political parties goes on in Israel/Palestine, others from both sides have come together to jointly oppose the separation wall that Israel is building across the West Bank. This struggle has brought Israelis and Palestinians together across the national divide like no other initiative has. Last Friday there was a casualty in this struggle. Here is the story from the Ilan Against the Wall blog via the Anarkismo website.

Another casualty of the joint struggle against the separation fence:
Yesterday in the joint Friday demonstration against the separation fence and occupation, a tear gas missile shot directly to the chest of Basem Ibrahim Abu-Rahme - while standing between two Israeli activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall, caused fatal injury. The video at He died on the way to hospital. The tear gas missile which is a military weapon for the range of four hundred meters, is the same one nearly murdered a month ago Tristan Anderson in a demonstration against the separation fence in Ni'ilin. - For years, the Israeli state force use the demonstrations as experimental field for police weapons for dispersing crowds. Lately they also use them for the testing of the military tear gas missile also used in the last Gaza war.
A comrade reported:
"This Friday some 15 Israelis and 15 internationals joined a few dozen Palestinians in their weekly demo in Bil'in. The demonstration's theme was Palestinian prisoners' day, and the demo was headed by people carrying posters demanding the release of Palestinians held by the Israeli occupation forces. As usual, upon reaching the fence the demo was met with shock and gas grenades. The strong wind blew in the direction of the demonstrators and spread the gas among them, so only a small group of demonstrators managed to stay close to the fence. This, however, only encouraged the soldiers to keep shooting relatively large amounts of gas and other ammunition. The first victim was a French demonstrator superficially wounded in her face by a rebound shrapnel. Shortly after, a soldier shot an extended range gas projectile from a few meters away directly at Bassem Abu Rahme who was standing at the fence, knocked him over, left a gaping hole in the middle of his torso, and put him into respiratory distress and shock. Since no ambulance was at the scene, Bassem (a.k.a. Phil, aged 30) was evacuated in a private car toward Ramallah. Some demonstrators maintained their presence at the fence for a while, but as the last of them left the scene, the news of Bassem's death reached at the village."
The Friday demonstration in Ni'ilin ended abruptly when the participants heard about the murder of Basem in Bil'in and the AAtW activists - all knew Basem from previous demonstrations, and the AAtW people rushed to the nearby Bil'in.
Many of us approached to hold hands with his younger brother Ashraf - another persistent activist, who became "famous" as the media all over the world showed few months ago how a regional commander ordered a soldier to shoot his leg while he was handcuffed and blind folded.
Today (Saturday) we gave Basem the last honer. About 60 activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall joined thousands Palestinians from Bil'in village and the region in the funeral of Basem Ibrahim Abu-Rahme. One of the Bil'in group of people dedicated to the struggle against the separation fence. In four years of Friday demonstrations, I do not recall even one Friday I have not seen him active in the preparation for the demonstration, marching in the first lines, and defying the tear gas near the gate to the route of the separation fence.
At the evening we had a demonstration in Tel Aviv. About 500 people (including 10 of the legendary antiauthoritarian anticapitalist Matzpen - most active from the late 1960s to the early 1980s) mainly from among the thousands who participated in the Friday demonstrations in Bil'in with Basem during the last 4 years. We marched and chanted all the way from the center of town towards the War ministry compound where. There we had a meeting with few speakers.
Friday 10.4.2009 video of Ni'ilin demonstration
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