Friday marked the 26th anniversary of the Oyoun Qara massacre, which left 19 Palestinians dead after an Israeli soldier gunned down a group of Palestinians working in Israel.
At 6:15 am on May 20, 1990, 20 Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip waited for their employers to pick them up from the Oyoun Qara (Rishon Lezion) bus stop, when a discharged Israeli soldier arrived and demanded that the workers show him their IDs.
The soldier, Ami Popper, checked the workers' IDs, and after ensuring they were all Palestinian, ordered them to line up in three lines and kneel down, then opened fire on the workers with an M16, killing seven and badly injuring 10 others. Popper then drove his vehicle away from the scene.
When Israeli police arrived they proceeded to severely beat the Palestinians who had survived the ordeal.
Protests erupted across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip following the killings, as the Israeli army imposed a siege on several districts in the Gaza Strip.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces on the same day of the massacre left an additional six Palestinians killed, including a 14-year-old boy. After seven days of clashes, a total of 19 Palestinians across the occupied territory were killed, while hundreds more were injured.
The Oyoun Qara tragedy is one among several massacres carried out by Israeli forces and settlers that resulted in a violent Israeli offensive on Palestinian communities. more