Left: A Palestinian policeman runs to open fire on the hill where Israeli snipers are taking potshots at their comrades and the remaining Palestinian demonstrators. Photo by Saleem Daoud
At this point in the events, Many local residents were outside watching the events. Others remained in their houses, some watching what was going on outside on their television sets.
As Israel announced that all Palestinian Police who opened fire were 'wanted', we made the decision not to reproduce the faces of any policemen who were in the act of firing in the original "On the Ground in Ramallah" website. Generally, we apply the same rule to Palestinian demonstrators as well.
Right: The policeman opens fire. Other policemen ran to offer covering fire. Some were hiding behind the concrete pillars in the apartment building's car park.
The Israeli response to this return of fire was to unleash an assault by a helicopter gunship on the apartment building. In the next entry, the effects of the helicopter attack are clearly seen. Photo by Saleem Daoud
The valley and numerous concrete apartment buildings reflected and distorted the sounds of the shots, making it hard to tell where the Israelis were firing from. As we were to find out later, they were based on hills on both sides of the valley road.
Left: In the car park at the back of the apartment building, Palestinian police open fire at the hillside above. Photo by Saleem Daoud
Israeli snipers, dug in on the hillside, had been responsible for many of the casualties that took place on the first and on this day. Prior to the return of Palestinian police fire on day one, the Israeli snipers could not have been said to be endangered in any way, shape or form.
Their lofty location, overlooking the road below, meant that they were able to calmly inflict serious casualties on the demonstrators. As one witness said, "One shot, one demonstrator fell to the ground." Now the Israeli soldiers were focusing on sniping at the Palestinian police in this appartment building.
During the attack this Palestinian policeman, injured on the roof when fire converged on him from three sides (an indication of the fire control that Israel had in this situation), was evacuated by civilian residents of the building. Photo by Saleem Daoud.
After they had handed him down to a waiting ambulance crew, Israeli snipers opened fire on these civilians. I spoke to several witnesses about this and their stories were confirmed by the bullet holes that can still be seen in the red awning. Fortunately, none of the residents were injured.
This sort of behaviour could not be considered to be 'accidental'. The telescopic sights on the snipers' rifles are such that uniformed and non-uniformed people are easily distinguishable. In addition, Israeli units had powerful telecopes, helicopters hovering overhead, and - presumably - informers nearer the action.