Dozens of Palestinians Suffocate during Clashes in East Jerusalem Area

JERUSALEM, September 12, 2015 (WAFA) – Dozens of Palestinians were injured during clashes that broke out with Israeli police and settlers late Friday night in Batn al-Hawa locality, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, according to medical sources.

Paramedic Bassim Zidani, informed WAFA that dozens of Palestinian locals, mostly elderly, suffocated due to inhaling tear gas fired at them by Israeli police. The clashes reportedly broke out after an Israeli settler assaulted a Palestinian child in the area.

The locals were all treated at the scene, except for three elderly men, whose medical case necessitated their transfer to hospital for treatment.  They were identified as Adel Ghaith, 68, and Abdallah Abu Nab, 60, and a third from Jaber family.

An increasing number of unarmed and peaceful Palestinians were either killed or seriously injured as a result of Israel’s constant use of tear gas against Palestinians.

Early December 2014, Palestinian minister without portfolio Zeyad Abu Ein died due to tear gas inhalation and after being directly hit in the chest by an Israeli soldier during a peaceful protest marking the United Nations International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. He was transferred to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

On December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi, 28 from Ramallah’s village of Nabi Saleh, died from critical wounds he sustained when an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister directly at his head from a short distance.

B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights information center, stated that “[Israeli] soldiers and Border Police often fire tear-gas grenades directly at demonstrators with the aim of hitting them, or fire carelessly, without ensuring that demonstrators are not in the direct line of fire, in direct contravention of regulations.”

The legal center, in a summary report published in 2013, demanded that Israeli security forces “completely prohibit the firing of 40mm tear-gas canisters either directly at individuals or horizontally, in a way that could cause result in injuries.”