Israel shoots unarmed Israeli peace activist with live ammunition

Bizarrely, the original AP caption suggests that one of the activists shot was a ‘tourist’: “Israeli soldiers aim at Israeli, Palestinian and foreign peace activists during a demonstration against the security fence Israel is building along the West Bank and its limits with Israel Friday Dec. 26, 2003 near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya. Shortly after, Israeli troops fired rubber bullets and live rounds as peace activists tried to break through the barrier. Rescue workers said a foreign tourist was wounded along with an Israeli protestor.” (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli and International activists coordinated today with Palestinians in the town of Mas-Ha in a direct action against the Israeli Apartheid Wall. Participants in the action included Israeli Anarchists, independent peace activists, the International Womens Peace Service, the International Solidarity Movement, local Palestinian activists, and community representatives.

At one PM in the afternoon the group of approximately two-hundred non- violent protestors marched through the streets of Mas-Ha and approached the gate in the security fence which borders the village. Upon arrival, Israeli and International activists began physically dismantling the locking mechanism in order to open the gate in a symbolic act of defiance against Israeli apartheid policies. The Apartheid Wall (Security Seperation Fence) in Mas-Ha lies several kilometers within the internationally accepted Palestinan borders, in effect illegally annexing large quantities of agricultural land.

Within a minute of the beginning of the action, IDF forces took up positions and began firing live ammunition in the general direction of the nonviolent protestors. Ignoring the Israeli aggression, the activists held their ground and continued dismantling the gate. During this time one Israeli activist, Gil Na’amati, was seriously wounded by Israeli gunfire. One American activist was also lightly wounded by shrapnel.

Despite continued Israeli firing, protestors dismantled the gate’s locking mechanism and opened the gate. Protestors peacefully withdrew, after which further support was organized for a continuing presence in the community and the medical needs of those injured.

This response by Israeli forces marks a dramatic escalation of violence against non-violent peaceful protesters. The army displayed a marked lack of restraint and consideration for human life: at no point were the peaceful protestors endangering the safety of the soldiers.

For more information about the incident contact Hank +972-67-547-905 or Ethan +972-66-478-674. The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.