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Sunday, 11 January 2009

700 people, mostly Arabs, arrested so far in protests against IDF Gaza op

IDF uses live ammo to break up West Bank protests

Seven hundred protesters against the Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, mostly Israeli Arabs or residents of East Jerusalem, have been arrested since the operation began, and dozens have been indicted. The protesters, 226 of whom are still in custody, are suspected of involvement in disturbances, illegal demonstrations or stone-throwing, police said. Of the detainees, 237 are minors. Most of the protests that led to arrests took place in Jerusalem or the north.

Palestinians and Israeli left-wing activists claim that in the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF has reintroduced the use of a semiautomatic rifle that uses live ammunition to disperse crowds that was banned after the second Intifada.

The Ruger .22 rifle was banned following the Al-Aqsa Intifada, in which it was used to break up protests and caused the deaths of a number of Palestinians, including youths and children. More