7 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
19-year-old Mohammed Kafarna was hit in the neck by bullet shrapnel during a weekly non-violent demonstration in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip.
According to the doctor treating him, there were three pieces of metal lodged in his neck, thigh and abdomen. Mohammed is in a stable condition, which will be monitored over the next 24 hours while doctors decide whether or not to operate.
Mohammed was attending a weekly demonstration that has been going for three years. Tamer Zaleen, a member of the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative which organises the event, was also at the demonstration. “We were about 150 metres from the border, standing on a mound. A warning shot was fired and then another shot, which was much closer. Shrapnel from the second shot hit Mohammed in the neck.”
Eba’a Razeq, a blogger from Gaza, also attended the protest. She explained, “Mohammed shouted, ‘I’ve been injured!’ but we didn’t really get what was happening. Then he started running towards the car. When he arrived, he fainted.”
The demonstration protests against the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” which prevents any person from accessing Palestinian land within 300 metres of the border with Israel. Those who enter this zone, even if they hold deeds to the land, are likely to face gunfire.
Zaleen explained, “This is the first time anyone has been injured in this peaceful demonstration since it began in 2008, but it will not stop us. This is just farming land! It is our land and we are not afraid.”