In Ni'ilin, the intensive struggle continued this week in four days of confrontation with the Israeli state forces. Many Palestinians and AAtW people were injured. Israeli, regional, and even international media covered the confrontation. On two days, the demonstrations caused the stopping for a while the works on the route of the separation fence. ---- On Friday, The activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative involved in addition to Ni'ilin with the demonstration at Um Salmuna (south of Bethlehem) and in Bil'in - the 178th demonstration. On this Friday few of us succeeded to enter the route of the separation fence and touch the electronic fence for a while till the tear gas overwhelmed us.
13-7-08 = link to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANIDxLfrHrQ
17.7.08 video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ufXzl6lWYo
Friday 18.7.2008 video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgxpfgF1yxA
Demonstrators trying to put off a fire amidst teargasDemonstrators trying to put off a fire amidst teargas
About 150 demonstrators split into two groups today – one, larger group, heading towards the large contingent of border police and soldiers, trying to get to the bulldozers through them, but was met with great force, which included the use of live rounds by the army. Another, smaller group of about twenty, circumvented the soldiers and managed to disrupt construction for about half an hour.
Demonstrator shot in the arm in Ni'ilin
Mohammed Amira holding his arm with a rubber-coated bullet stuck in itMohammed Amira holding his arm with a rubber-coated bullet stuck in it
At round 3PM, about 150 people set out from the village center towards the bulldozers razing their lands and orchards. As protesters neared the heavy machinery, they were attacked with teargas projectiles, and then very quickly with rubber bullets, even though demonstrators posed no threat. Mohammed Amira, whose hands were clearly raised in the air, was shot from an illegal range of no more than ten meters (30 feet). The bullet hit Amira's raised arm and penetrated his biceps just above the elbow
Five injured and a paramedic arrested in Ni'ilin
(including pictures and link to video)
Since demonstrations began in Ni'ilin about two months ago, over a hundred olive trees were burned in fires ignited by teargas projectiles shot by the army. Thousands of trees more, the only source of income left for many of villagers, are expected to be uprooted or left on the secluded part of the wall.
A demonstrator arguing with an officer, seconds before being attacked. Pictures by Dan SeltzerA demonstrator arguing with an officer, seconds before being attacked. Pictures by Dan Seltzer
Trying to illustrate the theft of the villager's land and livelihood, about 200 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals carrying olive branches tried holding a peaceful vigil along the settler roadside. Though the road was not block, and it was made very clear to the soldiers there was also no intention to try and do so, the protesters were immediately assaulted with teargas and rubber bullets and pushed back into the village, where barricades where erected on the main road to prevent the army from invading.
A makeshift barricadeA makeshift barricade
One of the paramedics accompanying the demonstration, Salah Khawaja, was hit so badly by teargas that he collapsed and could not return to the village. While on the ground he was violently dragged and beaten by soldiers, which only worsened his condition. Khawaja was subsequently arrested by soldiers carrying a stretcher and pretending to provide him medical aid.
Both the assault on Khawaja and his arrest are grave breaches of international humanitarian law, strictly and explicitly forbidding the harming of medical personnel. He currently remains under arrest, and can be help for eight days without even being brought before a judge.
Just last Friday a group 22 Israeli medical volunteers from “Physicians for Human Rights” wanting to participate in a free medical day in Ni'lin to provide free health-care to villagers, where stopped and detained for about two hours at the Ni'lin checkpoint. One of the doctors reported hearing the soldiers say that this was done to punish Ni'lin for the continuing demonstrations.
During the four days of siege and curfew ambulances were frequently prevented from entering the village, denying needed medical care from the villagers, even forcing one woman in labor to give birth at home, without any medical supervision.
Four other people other than Khawaja were injured after being hit with rubber coated bullets
13 including a photographer injured in Ni'ilin
1 Injured in Nil'in Demonstration
At 3pm on Tuesday, July 15th, villagers from Nil'in--along with members of neighboring popular committees, Israeli activists, and internationals--marched through their olive groves
to the construction site of the apartheid fence, where Israeli soldiers assaulted them with tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Mohamed Amera, member of the popular committee in Nil'in, was shot at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet. The bullet, which was imbedded in his arm, was removed at a hospital in Ramallah.
In other news, the Israeli military has abducted two members of the popular committee in Nil'in, in an attempt to intimidate the local population and quell the recent surges in popular resistance.
Hassan Yusef Mosa and Salah Mohamed Tayeh Hawaje were kidnapped from their homes, and are still in custody,
presumably without charge.
Despite these obstacles, the people of Nil'in are committed to continuing their struggle against the confiscation of their land and the construction of the fence. A large demonstration will take place this Thursday, July 17th, at 11am.
Thank you for you continued support,
Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
Head of Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin
Email- ffj.bilin (at) yahoo.com
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Fax-(00972) (2) 2489129