On January 1, 2011, 36-year-old Palestinian Jawaher Abu Rahmah from the West Bank village of Bil’in died at a hospital from the effects of tear gas inhalation suffered at a protest the previous day against Israel’s construction of a wall and settlements on Bil’in’s land. Jawaher is only the most recent protester killed or seriously injured by tear gas fired by the Israeli military. For example, Jawaher’s brother Bassem, was killed almost two years ago, and two US citizens, Tristan Anderson and Emily Henochowicz were injured in 2009-2010.
Much of Israel’s tear gas is provided by the US company Combined Systems Inc. (CSI) located in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. The letters CSI, or CTS, a CSI brand name, are marked on many of tear gas canisters that litter Palestinian villages after they protest. The Israeli military is using CSI’s tear gas as a weapon as it tries to crush the growing movement of unarmed protest against Israel’s illegal confiscation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlements. Even more disturbing, you as a US taxpayer are paying for at least some of the tear gas that Israel is shooting at Palestinian, Israeli and international protesters. For example, in 2007 and 2008, the US State Department provided $1.85 million worth of "tear gasses and riot control agents" to Israel as part of the US's $3 billion in annual military aid to Israel.