The Israeli army responded aggressively to the largest non violent demonstration so far against the construction of the annexation fence in Nilin on Thursday. After the women organised action the previous day, many local women joined hundreds of other local people and Israeli and international supporters.
When demonstrators reached the construction site the soldiers responded with force and detained two Israeli activists. Israeli law only permits the army to detain people for up to three hours but the two activists were illegally held for seven hours while the demonstration continued.
Seven people were injured when soldiers fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. Groups of people traveled from Ramallah and Tulkarm to Ni’lin. A group of French activists and journalists also joined the demonstration. One French journalist was hit in the jaw by a rubber coated steel bullet. Another international activist was hurt when a tear gas canister struck his head.
Local people spoke of their commitment to continue to oppose the apartheid fence. One man said ‘even if they build it they will need even more soldiers to guard it because we will come every day and destroy it’.