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New Yorker Shot Defending Human Rights

April 1, 2002

New Yorker Zaid Khalil Shot Defending Palestinian Human Rights in Beit Jala: At Least 5 Internationals Wounded Today by Live Gunfire

At approximately 4:45 p.m. on April 1, international civilians and two members of the Palestinian press were wounded by live fire in Beit Jala. The internationals were attempting to visit people in homes that have been taken over by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), to make sure the residents of the homes were safe. They approached the houses with their hands up, and came under fire. With hands still raised, they backed away, and the IDF shot again.

Among the wounded are British citizens Aisa Kiysue, Kunle Ibidun and Chris Dunham; Australian citizen Kate Irving; and American citizen Zaid Khalil. The wounded were taken to Al Hussein Hospital in Bethlehem. Hospital staff reports that people were hit in the back of the head, the face, and one was hit in the upper thigh and knees. The Palestinians were hit in the chest. The wounded are all in stable condition.

Zaid Khalil is part of the International Solidarity Movement—the coalition of international groups acting as human shields in Palestine. He is from Glassboro, NJ, and graduated from Rutgers University as a Physics Major in 1999. He was hit by shrapnel in the leg, and can now be reached for an interview.

Reached in the West Bank, the group reported that internationals are now coming under heavy gunfire. "Foreigners are not the china dolls we used to be. We're as nervous now as the people we're trying to protect," said Heather, who is participating in the actions in Palestine that will last until April 12th.


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