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Praying against the apartheid wall in Ni’lin

On Friday 20th of June the villagers of Ni’lin gathered to pray on the construction ground of the apartheid wall. Ni’lin is the last village of this area where the wall is not yet completed. The closure of the wall will separate the village from the land that they are dependent on, meaning the village will suffer big economical consequences.

Starting one month ago, the villagers go to pray against the wall every Friday. Since it’s start the manifestations have become more and more popular among the villagers. Today around 300 men gathered on the farming land that the wall will cut them off from. The manifestation was observed by soldiers and vehicles of the Israeli army, but they never engaged. Still many villagers are too anxious about Israeli military violence to participate. Live ammunition shells and empty tear gas grenades scattered on the ground illustrate that this fear is not without reason.

The village of Ni’lin is surrounded by settlements who have reduced the Ni’lin area significantly. Compared with the situation in other parts of the West Bank the relationship between settlers and villagers has been good so far. The wall will be constructed several hundred meters from the settlements and far into the Palestinian land separating farmers from olive trees, wells, roads and property. The construction of the segregation wall will further divide the Palestinians and settlers by it’s nature and will probably worsen their relationship and the local situation.

“The aim of the wall is obviously not to increase Israeli security but to confiscate more Palestinian land.”, a representative of the local committee against the wall said.

Two years ago the Israeli occupation force (IOF) started the construction of the wall between Nilin and the settlement. Trying to stop this, the villagers went to the Israeli high court. This delayed the construction for one year. But during this time the IOF continued to build the wall at other villages surrounding Nilin. Finally the High court rejected the complaint, and now the construction is on again.