Palestinian killed during Bil`in anti-separation fence rally
Palestinian shot in chest with tear-gas grenade, witnesses say; IDF says protesters tried to tear down wall.
A 30-year-old Palestinian resident of Bil'in was killed during Friday's weekly anti-separation fence demonstration in the West Bank town, participants in the demonstration reported.
Ibrahim abu-Rakhma was shot in the chest with a tear-gas grenade, launched some 30 meters away by security forces, witnesses said.
The Israel Defense Force issued a response following the incident, stating that approximately 100 protesters had attempted to tear down part of the separation fence while hurling rocks at security forces. IDF troops responded to the mayhem by employing demonstration dispersal devices.
The IDF said an investigation had been launched and that Israel would conduct a joint medical inquiry with the Palestinians.
All use of demonstration-dispersal gear is strictly regulated by safety conventions, according to which tear-gas grenades cannot be fired directly into a crowd.
Israel began building the West Bank separation fence during a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings, and says it is necessary to keep attackers out of Israel. Palestinians see the barrier as a land grab and regularly hold protests against its construction.
Two months ago, an American citizen sustained serious injuries when a tear-gas grenade hit his head during the weekly Bil'in demonstration. According to an IDF inquiry, the grenade first hit the ground, and only then ricocheted, hitting the young man's head.