Tuesday, February 28, 2012

IOF Opens Fire at Peaceful Weekly Demonstration in North Gaza District

Al Mezan


At approximately 11:50 am on Tuesday 28 February 2012, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened heavy fire with live ammunition and launched tens of tear gas canisters at a peaceful demonstration organized by the Local Initiative in Beit Hanoun.  The demonstrations are organized weekly to protest the imposition of the so-called “security buffer zone.”  Demonstrators were about 200 meters from the separation fence when the IOF opened fire on them.  No casualties or injuries were reported, but most of the demonstrators suffered from the effects of tear gas.  This is not the first time that the IOF has attacked the peaceful weekly demonstration.

In his affidavit to Al Mezan, Saber Az-Zaneen, 33, one of the demonstration’s organizers, stated: “At around 11:15  am on Tuesday, 50 Palestinians, five international solidarity activists, eight journalists, and members of the Local Initiative walked in a march from the Agricultural Secondary School to a point near the border about 150 meters away from the separation fence.  At around 11:50, we were surprised by Israeli snipers in a concrete watchtower who opened fire at us, so we headed to the south.  I saw three soldiers ascend to the top of the watchtower and start firing gas canisters at us.  The wind was strong and was blowing the gas away from us.  The situation was chaotic.  The firing lasted for about 40 minutes, until we left the area around 12:30 pm on the same day.  This is the second time that they’ve fired tear gas canisters at the demonstration.”