27 May 2011
throw sound bombs in market as shopkeepers close up for
evening; several people injured
7:00 on 21 May 2011, CPTers heard an explosion and shortly
afterwards received a call from a frantic shop owner who said a man had been hit
near her shop. When Esther Mae Hinshaw
and Kathleen Kern arrived on
the scene, they saw a man, semi-conscious, who had been hit in the head
by a sound bomb (a grenade-like device used by the Israeli military
for crowd control. The sound it makes
when detonated is so loud that
people by instinct move away from the noise.)
As Kern followed calls
urging her to come toward the entrance of the Old City, a sound bomb fell
approximately six feet away from her, and closer to a young woman who
became temporarily deaf and subsequently showed signs of shock.
When an Israeli
soldier patrol came through shortly afterwards, small children in the
area were wailing. One soldier commanded them and their angry mother,
“Uskut!” (Shut up!), which
increased their level of fear.
explosions followed in different parts of the market. Laurens Van Esch and
Hinshaw accompanied a shopkeeper to her home.
People in the market urged
Kern to go toward Bab il-Baladiyye, the entrance of the Old City, to be
present as ambulances arrived. A father
carrying his daughter ran past
Kern toward the ambulance. The girl, who
was sobbing “Baba,
Baba” (“Daddy, Daddy,”) had been playing outside when a sound bomb
fell near her and afterwards could not stand up.
settler youth were in town for the Israeli Lag Baomer holiday, all
witnesses who saw the sound bombs thrown from the roofs in disparate areas
of the market said that soldiers had thrown them. No demonstrations or
gatherings of any kind were happening in the market at the time. The last shopkeepers were closing their
stores, and a few Old City residents
were returning to their homes.