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Young Palestinian man and Swedish activist shot with live ammunition during Ni’lin demonstration

5pm, 30th January 2009, Ramallah: On Friday, January 30th, two people were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition in the West Bank village of Ni’lin.image003

Ulrika Andersson, 31, was shot in the leg with live ammunition during the weekly demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall in the village of Ni’lin, occupied West Bank.

Ms Andersson, from the Swedish town of Gothemburg, was taking part in the non-violent demonstration when an Israeli soldier shot her from approximately 50 metres with a new 0.22 bullet. The bullet entered and exited through her lower right leg.

Witnesses have reported that the demonstration was in fact finished when the two people were shot, with Israeli forces opening fire as demonstrators were returning home.image002

A nineteen year old male demonstrator was also shot by a 0.22 bullet in the foot. Fragments of the bullet are still lodged within his foot. He is currently being operated on.

Both demonstrators shot has been taken to Sheikh Zaid hospital in Ramallah for emergency treatment.p1301310

Ulrika Andersson said when in Sheikh Zaid hospital;

“I am lucky, I was hit in the calf. Many residents in Ni’lin have not been so lucky resulting in many injuries from the Israeli aggression against the demonstrations in Ni’lin, including four deaths. The soldiers were aware of an international presence within the demonstration and clearly saw me.”

Since the start of the massacre on Gaza (27 December 2009), the Israeli army has been testing new types of weapons in several villages around West Bank. One of these new weapons is the 0.22 caliber bullet.

The small bullet, known by its caliber size as “0.22″, does not make a sound when fired. The low caliber allows the bullet to easily enter the body and causes internal bleeding.img_0362ny

Since the introduction of this new weapon, eight people have now been shot with the “0.22″ in the villages of Bi’lin, Ni’lin, and Budrus. Several people from Bi’lin and Ni’lin have this bullet lodged in their knees, one bullet went through a demonstrator’s leg and another demonstrator was shot in the stomach (causing internal bleeding).

International activists have joined the demonstrations against the construction of the annexation wall in Ni’lin since the village started it’s regular protests in May of 2008. According to the Israeli daily Maariv, in March 2008 the Israeli authorities issued a new directive enabling Israeli forces to open fire directly on Palestinians who try to demonstrate near the wall, unless internationals or Israelis are amongst demonstrators.

The construction of the annexation wall and Israeli only roads around Ni’lin will separate the village from 40% of it’s land and see a total loss of 85% of the village’s land since 1948.