Saturday, November 28, 2009
Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank, The Electronic Intifada, 28 November 2009
(Left: Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah after being shot with a tear gas canister by Israeli forces near Bilin.)
"Earlier this year, Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah, 27, was shot in the head with a high-velocity tear gas canister while participating in a nonviolent demonstration against Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank near the village of Bilin. Israeli soldiers used the same weapon a few months later and killed his cousin, Bassem Abu Rahme. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre spoke to Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah about his life in Bilin.....
Jody McIntyre: Tell me about the time you were injured at the wall.
Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah: On Friday 23 January 2009, I went to participate in our weekly nonviolent demonstration against the wall. The Israeli soldiers immediately started throwing a huge amount of tear gas, so we were making our way back toward the village. The soldiers followed us in two jeeps, and started to shoot more gas at us. I was standing alone in the field, and my friend Bassem was crouched behind a rock nearby. They shot one tear gas canister at me, so I put my arms in the air to show that I was unarmed and clearly posing no threat. Then the soldiers shot me again -- this time, the high-velocity canister hit me directly in the head.....
JM: What do you think about the international volunteers who come to stay in Bilin?
KA: They are very good people, coming from other countries to help us here in the village. They often stay with me in my house during the night raids, and go to confront the soldiers, often suffering beatings and injuries as a result. We eat and talk together, and often become good friends. Sometimes they are deported from the country, just for helping people!...... "