Press release from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital yesterday after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil’in, and died of poisoning this morning. Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah who was also killed during a peaceful protest in Bil’in on April 17th, 2010.
Doctors at the Ramallah hospital fought for Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s life all night at the Ramallah Hospital, but were unable to save her life. Abu Rahmah suffered from severe asphyxiation caused by tear-gas inhalation yesterday in Bil’in, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital unconscious. She was diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear-gas, and did not respond to treatment.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bil’in activist, Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was shot dead with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during a demonstration in the village on April 17th, 2009. See here for a video of his shooting.
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Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee said this morning: “We are shocked and furious for Israel’s brutality, which once again cost the life of a peaceful demonstrator. Israel’s lethal and inhumane response to our struggle will not pass. In the dawn of a new decade, it is time for the world to ask Israel for accountability and to bring about an end to the occupation.”
Adv. Michael Sfard, who represents the village in an appeal against the Wall added: “The son was killed by a directly aimed projectile, the daughter choked in gas. Two brave protestors against a regime that kills the innocent and doesn’t investigate its criminals. We will not quiet, we will not give up, we will not spare any effort until those responsible will be punished. And they will.”
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative and the President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society stated that the death of Jawaher Abu Rahma is a direct result of occupation and the means of violence and brutality that is inflicted against the demonstrators participating in peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements. It was stated that she suffered from severe respiratory distress which lead to cardiac arrest. The medical teams tirelessly resuscitated her three times, however failed as a result of the severe gas inhalation. Jawaher Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah who was also killed during a peaceful protest in Bil’in on April 17th, 2010.
Dr. Barghouthi also said that the martyrdom of Jawaher Abu Rahma is not the first case, and that it is extremely dangerous since the gas that is used is highly concentrated and dispersed massively in high proportions in relatively small areas. This ultimately has multiplying effects, which resembles gas to be released in closed rooms which inevitably leads to suffocation, injury, disorders and sometimes death.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi saluted the heroic struggle of Bil’in that is struggling against the apartheid regime. He also commended the Popular Resistance Movement in its struggle against the wall and the settlements. Dr. Barghouthi said, “This Israeli violence will never destroy the will of our people, their valiant resistance, and our determination to end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.”
He also said that the aggression and brutality of the occupation calls for immediate international intervention and pressure in order to impose sanctions and boycott on Israel due to their aggressive actions and violence against Palestinian civilians.