I was shot!! Interview with Canadian photographer Rehab Nazzal

sniper circle

Even peaceful demonstrators are at risk in the West Bank. A Canadian photographer thinks the Israeli sniper in this photo is the one who shot her on December 11th. She was in the West Bank legally, documenting the actions of the Israeli military in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem – territory that the Canadian government agrees Israel occupies ‘illegally’. But so far the Government of Canada has not said a word about the incident. See my video interview.

“Why does the Canadian government not say anything when Israel acts illegally? Why does Canada allow Israel to act above the law?’ asks Rehab Nazzal.

These are good questions.

Nazzal, who is of Palestinian origin, has been a Canadian citizen for more than 20 years.  Her photographic works documenting Israeli aggression against Palestinian civilians have been shown nationally in Canada, as well as internationally. In 2013, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada tried unsuccessfully to prevent an exhibition of her works from being shown at Ottawa City Hall. News of her wounding spread rapidly through the Canadian artistic community.

Nazzal is a third year PhD student in Western’s Visual Arts Department. She holds a SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship to investigate the sonic effect of unmanned robotic weapons and surveillance systems on civilians, and has been documenting the clashes between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian protesters. Her research focuses on the effect of the Israeli weapons that target human senses: sound bombs, teargas and Skunk chemicals.

On December 11th, she was in Bethlehem (which is in occupied Palestinian territory) taking pictures of Israeli soldiers who were trying to repress a protest by unarmed civilians by shooting a foul smelling liquid on them and on the nearby Palestinian houses.

Nazzal described what happened next in her Facebook post that very same day.

In a video interview with Nazzal twelve days after the shooting, (apologies for the poor audio quality) she told me that there is still no evidence the Canadian government has made any attempt to find out what happened or why. Nor is there any evidence that the Canadian government has made any protest to the Israeli government.

Why the apparent disinterest? Is it because Nazzal is an Arab Canadian that our government is less interested in defending her rights? Is it because she is a Palestinian Canadian? Its hard not to wonder what the government’s reaction would have been if, for example, a Ukrainian Canadian or a Jewish Canadian had been shot by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.

‘Canada is back’ claims Mr. Trudeau. Does that mean that Canada will start treating Israel on the basis of international law? It remains to be seen.

If you are concerned about Canada’s lack of response on this issue, many petitions are circulating demanding that the Canadian government take action.









  1. Between this and UN votes, the new government has wasted no time in proving it is content to be at the beck and call of an apartheid system and all its violence.

  2. AS if we were living in a jungle,
    If any one will be punished because of his origin,

    Then The Canadian of English origin, will be shot because Britain Donated with Palestine to the Jews,

    Or the french Canadian must be punished because France colonized Lebanon and north Africa,

    Or a Russian Canadian must be punished because Russia colonized North Vietnam.

    Or because U.S.A. colonized South Vietnam.

    Of course, none of such thing must happen, because we are living in an international society, governed by an International Law.

    Besides, I believe who did that, must be ashamed of himself, a thief who steal some one house must be punished, not the owner of that house!!!!.

    Our new Liberal Government must or shall take an action for that incident.


    ISRAEL is a country that was recognized by the U.N. !?


  3. When you enter another country you must abide by their rules. You are at their mercy, your only rights are the ones their country chooses to give you. If you don’t like that then don’t go to countries with policies you dislike. Protesting needs to be contained since they tend to become violent when large groups of heated people are in one area. Public safety is paramount. The “I was shot” is rather misleading. It was probably just tear gas. You’ll survive. Its not a big deal. Stop spouting your anti-semantic views. Many countries have policies regarding protests similar to this. Civilians are not often harmed, and typically if they are it is their own fault for contributing to a peaceful-turned violent protest. Countries are independent and have a right to form their own policies. As a said before: if you don’t like it then don’t go there. No one has a right to move to or be in a different country. Its a privilege.

    1. Mr Gurkha, i think you may be a bit confused. Ms Nazzal is in her country of origin. It is the Israelis who have come in uninvited.

      About the bullet itself, i agree that Ms Nazzal is fortunately likely to survive. However the bullet that hit her was not tear gas but a bullet of a type agrees is used by its snipers. Best

  4. For more years than I care to remember I have defended the right of the State of Israel to exist .While I continue to maintain that position I am outraged by the obscene, unjust criminal treatment of the Palestinians by the settlers and the state of Israel. It is incomprehensible to me there could be any justification for Canada to support Israel’s action much less vote at the UN withy the USA to deny Palestinians control of their own natural resources. Soon or late I expect the world will pay a high price for allowing ourselves to so intimidated by those who see harsh treatment as the road to peace.

  5. To: Garth Mundle

    If you have time to read about the existence of the State of Israel, what happened to the original people of Palestine, which was the original homeland for your prophet JESUS, peace be upon him, you will not defend the right of the Zionist and Israelis.

    The Palestinians are not against the Jews, they used to be neighbours to the Christians and Arab Jews and friends with all the Jews in the world. That ‘s why when the Jews fled from the Christian European Countries, they found the Arabic countries are the safest place to live in, like Palestine, Iraq, Morocco, and many other Arabic countries.

    Even during SADAM HUSAIN`s regime in Iraq, he permitted 150 (hundred and fifty ) Jewish , families and upon their request, to return to Iraq, because they were living better in Iraq than in Israel !.

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