Israeli military forces issued a disturbing message to residents of Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem on Thursday of last week, telling them that unless they stopped throwing stones “we will gas you until you die.”
Israeli military forces raided the camp and fired tear gas and flash grenades indiscriminately at people’s windows, balconies, and down the narrow streets, allegedly in response to Palestinian youths throwing stones at the Israeli separation wall that borders the community.
During the raid, an Israeli soldier in a military vehicle addressed the protesters and residents of the camp through a loudspeaker in Arabic. The disturbing incident was caught on film.
“Inhabitants of Aida, we are the Israeli occupation forces, if you throw stones we will hit you with gas until you die. The children, the youth, and the old people, all of you – we won’t spare any of you”.
During the assault of the protesters, a 25-year-old was arrested. The speakerphone announcement continued, “We have arrested one of you, he’s with us now. We took him from his home, and we will kill him while you’re watching as long as you throw stones.”
The chilling message concluded: “We will blind your eyes with gas until you die, your homes, your families, brothers, sons, everyone”.
Subsequently after the announcement, Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets indiscriminately in the streets.
The use of force was so extreme that children from Aida’s two community centers and residents of nearby houses had to be evacuated to another part of the camp, and at least one youth was taken to hospital with respiratory problems.
The clashes are part of a spate of violence that has unfolded across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory over the past month, in which at least 64 Palestinians and 9 Israelis have been killed.
– Read more: Israeli Soldiers Tell Palestinians: ‘We Will Gas You Until You Die’ – Ma’an.