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article imageFuneral held for Bil'in protester

By Tar De Moutonnoir     Jan 1, 2011 in World
Ramallah - Palestinian protester Jawaher Abou Rahmah was laid to rest Sunday, after being killed during a protest against the Israeli separation wall in the Palestinian village of Bil'in.
Rahmah was participating in a protest when the crowd was shot with a barrage of tear-gas projectiles while marching towards the center of the town.
The woman was rushed to hospital after inhaling a large amount of the gas but did not respond well to treatment.
The 36 year-old died from severe asphyxiation 24 hours later.
According to Haaretz, the latest Palestinian death happened during weekly protests against the Israeli separation wall and illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank village of Bil'in.
Israeli forces had cordoned off the area labeling it "a closed military zone" but Palestinian, Israeli and international protesters had sought to march to their lands and through a separation fence as part of their " Last Day of the Wall" declaration.
According to the Ma'an news agency, Palestinian Prime Minster Salam Fayyad had spoken at a rally held earlier which was attended by 250 villagers.
Rahmah was buried next to her brother Bassem, who met a the same fate a year and a half earlier during a similar protest against the Israeli separation wall.
Bassem was killed by Israeli forces in April of 2009 after being shot in the chest with a high-velocity teargas projectile. According to popularstruggle.org, three separate videos showed he was on the Palestinian side of the wall and acting in a non-threatening fashion when the canister was fired directly at him.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the death, calling it a "new Israeli crime carried out by the occupation army against our helpless nation."
Speaking from Brazil, Abbas also offered his condolences to the Abu Rahmah family for their loss.
Tear gas projectiles have been utilized by Israeli forces in increasing frequency since the Gaza war of 2008.
But they have been doing more than merely dispersing the crowds and seem to be employed as weapons targeting civilians protesting the Israeli-built separation wall.
In June of 2010, Jewish-American student Emily Henochowicz lost an eye after being shot in the face by Israeli forces, as reported by the Huffington Post. during a protest against the Israeli flotilla raid in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces said the 21 year-old had been hurling rocks but witnesses disputed the claim saying she had been standing at a distance when she was suddenly shot.
Protests against the separation wall have been taking place for nearly 6 years in Bil'in.
In 2007, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Israeli separation wall unjustly separated Palestinian residents from their land in Bil'in and ordered the wall rerouted and 170 acres of land returned.
Three years on however, Israel continues to balk at the decision and no action to apply the ruling has been taken.
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