NY Times v. Al-Jazeera: 49 Palestinians arrested in Gaza during protest
February 26, 2008 § Leave a comment
Cartoon which reads “Gaza” from al-Quds al-Arabi.
Al-Jazeera reports that 49 Palestinian youths were arrested by Israeli forces while peacefully protesting the blockade on Gaza near the border crossing at Beit Hanoun (also known Erez). Eye witnesses said that several of the youths moved toward the crossing after the demonstrations ended. The Israeli forces were put in a state of alert (halat te’heb) because the area near the crossing is considered a military zone. The al-Jazeera correspondent said that the Israelis used bullets and tear gas on the demonstrators.
An organizer of the demonstration said that the protest was a message to the world that the Palestinians cannot live under the blockade any longer. Sami abu Zahri, a Hamas spokesperson, said that the protest showed that the Gaza Strip is becoming a time bomb waiting to explode if the blockade is not lifted immediately.
The lede is decent enough:
Several thousand Palestinians, many of them schoolchildren bused in from their classes, joined peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip along sections of the border with Israel for several hours on Monday. . .
But, wait! The Palestinians still couldn’t pull it off!
But the turnout, estimated at about 5,000, was far smaller than had been expected. . .
And then they got violent!
After the main protest ended, a group of Palestinian youths rioted at the crossing, throwing stones. When they tried to cross, Israeli troops fired shots into the air, an army spokeswoman said, speaking on condition of anonymity under army rules.
And tucked in the middle of the article is the actual story:
The spokeswoman said 49 Palestinians had been arrested.
And another jab!
Despite the low numbers, the main organizer of the protest, Jamal el-Khoudary, declared the event a success.
Image of the protest from al-Jazeera.