Military jeeps invaded Immatin early this morning and announced curfew until 6 PM. One of the soldiers told an international volunteer that the area would be opened when work on the wall for today was completed.
However, some of the villagers defied the curfew to perform Friday prayer at the village mosque. Soldiers surrounded the mosque and threw tear gas and sound bombs on its door step. Villagers reported that military jeeps were driving around the village throwing teargas and sound bombs. Residents reported that the army loaded stones into the jeep and threw them toward the houses. These events follow a demonstration against the Wall that took place in the village yesterday in which 300 Palestinians joined by Israeli and international activists non-violently protested the theft of their land for the construction of the Annexation Wall.
Israeli military and border police were scattered throughout the village’s olive groves before the non-violent demonstration left the village and walked toward the location where Israeli bulldozers were uprooting olive trees. Israeli soldiers said the area was a closed military zone (they did not produce a warrant) and immediately began firing sound bombs and tear gas at the non-violent and peaceful demonstration. The tear gas canisters shot from special guns were not shot into the air but were aimed directly at the protestors.
Some Palestinian youth responded by throwing stones at the soldiers. Palestinian medical personnel reported over 31 demonstrators were injured by teargas canisters, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas. Mahfouz Abu Turk, a Reuters photographer was hit in the head with a rubber bullet and was treated on location by Palestinian medical personnel. Neta Golan, an Israeli activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was taken to the Qalqilia Hospital after Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister at her from 6 meters away. She was treated for burn wounds and a ruptured muscle in her right thigh and was released.
Three Israeli activists, Jonothan Pollak, Eli Fabrakant and Karil Kiatkovski from `Anarchists against the Wall’ were arrested and taken to the illegal Israeli settlement of Qedumim where they were charged with illegal assembly and entering a closed military zone. They faced a judge today and were released on conditions.
After the demonstration retreated to the village, Israeli soldiers and border police entered the village and surrounded the clinic where injured people were being treated, detaining twenty of them. Women from the village grabbed the detained men away from the army as other residents and activists surrounded them. As more people congregated near the clinic, the military and border police began firing tear gas and rubber bullets inside the village. The military commander also assaulted a non- violent Palestinian protester.