Monday, April 23, 2007

Peace campaigner shot by Israelis: Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan

[Published: Sunday 22, April 2007 - 09:28]

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan has been shot by Israeli troops during a protest on the West Bank, according to peace activists.

The Nobel laureate from Belfast was shot in the leg with a rubber bullet when a protest exploded into violence last Friday near Ramallah on the West Bank, said fellow protesters.

The veteran peace campaigner had been in the Palestinian village of Bil'in last week to speak at an international conference.

For the past two years the village has been the scene of weekly protests against security fences erected by Israel.

Speaking after the incident on Friday, Mrs Corrigan who was later treated in hospital, said she wanted to say that "this separation wall, contrary to what the Israelis say, will not prevent attacks and violence.

"What will prevent attacks and violence is a peace agreement between the two peoples, and I am sure the Israeli people, like the Palestinian people, want peace."

Campaigners said that 24 demonstrators, including Corrigan, were hurt when Israeli troops blocked the protest march last Friday afternoon.

One campaigner, from the International Women's Peace Service, who took part in the protest told how troops fired between 30 and 50 canisters of tear gas into the crowd before opening fire with rubber bullets.

Speaking from Haris, she told Sunday Life: "Mairead was able to walk after being hit by the rubber bullet, but she was clearly suffering badly from the effects of tear gas.

"(The disturbance happened) when soldiers prevented people getting to the wall. The soldiers then started throwing gas canisters into the crowd."

Corrigan shared the Noble Peace Prize in 1976 for her work with the Peace People.

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