‘Our stones are stronger than their weapons’: thousands in Gaza demonstrate for the ninth straight Friday

Sabah al-Salibi (Photo: Mohammed Asad)
Sabah al-Salibi collected dozens of small stones with her daughters, Susan, 22, and Rawand, 24. She said she wanted to pass them to the demonstrators whose eyes were blurry from teargas “to save them time by finding suitable stones” to throw at Israeli snipers hidden behind earthen berms at the Gaza – Israel fence.

Even though she was hit in the chin by shrapnel from an explosive bullet when the rallies reached their peak on May 14, Sabah, 50, insisted on participating with the thousands of demonstrators who protested during the ninth Friday of the March of the Great Return, which began on March 30.

“Although these stones are small and few, but are stronger than their bullets and gas canisters,” al-Salibi said. These stones were a source of frenzy for the Israelis when they were occupied Gaza in the 1987 uprising. The army used to impose a general cordon in Gaza in search of young men throwing stones at army.

Collecting small stones (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Meanwhile, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, nine women and four children were among the 109 Palestinians who were wounded by Israeli gunfire while participating in the continuing protest along the border.

The latest round of protests came after hours of Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously rejected two petitions presented by human rights organizations demanding Israel’s troops avoid using live ammunition against Gaza’s protests. On Thursday, the panel of three justices sided with the Israeli military, which argued that the protesters constituted a real danger to Israeli troops. Israel maintains its forces use of live fire is in line with both domestic and international law, arguing the demonstrations are part of the country’s conflict with Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

Four children were among the 109 Palestinians wounded by Israeli gunfire (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

“The Israeli Court completely ignored the broad factual basis presented to it by the petitioners, which includes multiple testimonies of wounded and reports of international organizations involved in documenting the killing and wounding of unarmed protesters in Gaza,” the human rights groups said.

On Twitter, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed the ruling and criticized the rights organizations for challenging the military.

Since the demonstration began, Israeli army killed at least 115 demonstrators, and wounded more than 13,000.

After running behind Sabah who was rushing to around 150 meters from the fence to share her remaining stones, she yelled twice: “We will not give up!” Participating here weekly is a powerful message that we refuse what they did against our fathers and grandfathers 70 years ago. She told Mondoweiss.

Suhaila Abu Riash (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Not far away, Suhaila Abu Riash, 65 was also protesting in her own style.

She was spraying protesters’ faces with a homemade yeast and water mixture, that she believes might help alleviate the effects of tear gas.

I met the 65-year-old Abu Riash, while she was waiting another round of gas canisters dropping down from an Israeli drone. She said: “Nine weeks are not enough to express long years of anger.”

I gave a martyr in 2014’s war and ready to scarify by more sons if this protest needs. She told Mondoweiss. “No problem, but we will return and Israel will be vanished at the end, as we say: ‘Injustice cannot last.’”  Abu Riash, a mother of seven children, and her parents were displaced from Hiribya – located 14 kilometers northeast of Gaza.

Round of gas canisters dropping down from an Israeli drone. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Fighting the teargas (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

At the other side of the border, Gazans have been using burning kites to torch Israeli fields and forests as part of the March events.

A large scale fire broke out in the lands near Kibbutz Nir Am on Friday evening, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The Kibbutz is covered by heavy smoke, the cause of the fire is suspected to be a burning Palestinian kite flown in from Gaza.

The largest blaze yet sparked by the firebomb-bearing kites happened Wednesday near Kibbutz Be’eri, an Israeli community located some 4.3 miles east of Gaza’s Bureij refugee camp. The fire took over six hours to extinguish and consumed dozens of dunams of grasslands and agricultural fields in the area.

In recent weeks, Gazans have been flying flaming kites into Israel outfitted with containers of burning fuel, setting fire to large swaths of fields.

Since the demonstration began, Israeli army has wounded more than 13,000. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Since the demonstration began, Israeli army killed at least 115 demonstrators (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

At least 3,500 Palestinians have been victims of live fire, including, the elderly, journalists, paramedics, women and children. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Thousands of demonstrators protest (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Courtesy: http://mondoweiss.net



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