Photo: ActiveStills
Tear gas in Bil'in
Photo: ActiveStills

Top EU official hurt in Bil'in protest

West Bank: Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini hurt by IDF tear gas

Diplomatic incident in West Bank: Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini and Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire were hurt Friday after inhaling tear gas during an anti-security fence protest in the West Bank village of Bil'in.


Later, Italian Judge Julio Toscano reportedly suffered head wounds after being hit by a tear gas grenade. The judge was taken to a Ramallah hospital for treatment.


According to protestors, dozens of the hundreds of demonstrators on hand were hurt by tear gas, while several were hit by gas canisters.


West Bank clash (Photo: ActiveStills)


Former Palestinian National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub and Palestinian Legislative Council Member Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouti were also hurt by tear gas.


The IDF said that about 70 Palestinians and left-wing activists took part in the protest and hurled stones at security forces, who used crowd dispersal means in response. Regarding Morgantini's condition, the army said that "those who take part in such protests and violate a closed military zone order should not be surprised to see the IDF respond with tear gas."


One of the protest organizers, Yonatan Pollak said that the army fired a "dazzling amount" of gas canisters, "about 30-40 per barrage."


The IDF said that it regretted the fact that "week after week large numbers of security forces need to deal with Israeli rioters, who turned public disturbances into a regular occurrence."


The army noted that the weekly protest forces it to divert troops from other tasks such as counter-terror operations and defense missions.


Anat Shalev contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 06.06.08, 16:58
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