22 May 2009
Residents of Ni’lin gathered in the olive groves near the village to hold the weekly prayer before the start of the demonstration at 12:30. Several speeches were made to commemorate the 1 year anniversary since Ni’lin’s resistance against the Apartheid Wall began. Israeli soldiers positioned themselves around the people praying. Several soldiers occupied a nearby under-construction house.
As soon as the prayer ended, soldiers began to throw and fire tear-gas canisters. Residents, along with international and Israeli solidarity activists, ran away from the tear-gas on to the main road. Several young men responded to the military violence by throwing stones.
The Israeli army continued to shoot tear-gas canisters directly at demonstrators as they were in the village. Two soldiers positioned themselves on the main road and shot a Palestinian man with 0.22 caliber live ammunition in his leg. Another group of soldiers went further into the village and arrested a Palestinian man. The soldiers then shot tear-gas and 0.22 calibre live ammunition into a small road at demonstrators.
Demonstrators marched towards the olive field, but were prevented from entering because of 2 Israeli jeeps positioned near the outskirts. Soldiers began to shoot tear-gas canisters directly at individuals.
At 2:30, one Palestinian youth, aged 20, was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister from around 10 meters as he was standing near a home on the outskirts of the village. He was bleeding profusely from his head and had to be taken to Ramallah hospital. The tear-gas canister shattered part of his skull and he had to undergo surgery.
Demonstrators remained on the outskirts of the village as soldiers continued to fire tear-gas canisters. Another Palestinian man was shot in the arm with a 0.22 live caliber bullet and a third was shot in the fingers.
Around 4:30 the soldiers began to leave the outskirts of the olive groves. Demonstrators proceeded to their field and soldiers shot more tear-gas and 0.22 caliber live ammunition. The protest ended around 5:30pm. Three Palestinian demonstrators were shot with 0.22 caliber live ammunition and one was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister.
The 20 year old Palestinian who was shot with a tear-gas canister remains in Ramallah hospital for treatment for his head wound.
Israeli occupation forces have murdered four Ni’lin residents during demonstrations against the confiscation of their land and critically injured one international solidarity activist.
Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29 July 2008. The following day, Yousef Amira (17) was shot twice with rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving him brain dead. He died a week later on 4 August 2008. Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22), was the third Ni’lin resident to be killed by Israeli forces. He was shot in the back with live ammunition on 28 December 2008. That same day, Mohammed Khawaje (20), was shot in the head with live ammunition, leaving him brain dead. He died three days in a Ramallah hospital. Tristan Anderson (37), an American citizen, was shot with a high velocity tear gas projectile on 13 March 2009 and is currently in critical condition. In total, 30 persons have been shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition.
Since May 2008, residents of Ni’lin village have been demonstrating against construction of the Apartheid Wall. Despite being deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, the occupation continues to build a Wall, further annexing Palestinian land.
Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin consisted of 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after construction of the Wall.