For Immediate Release:
4:30pm, 15 May 2009: A 12-year old girl has been shot with 0.22 calibre live ammunition in Ni’lin
Summer Amira, was shot by Israeli forces as she was standing on the roof of her home. Amira was shot in her lower arm, near her elbow around 4:30pm.
“Summer and I were standing on the roof watching soldiers enter our village. Summer was standing behind me, leaning against a pole and the bullet flew past my head and hit her arm. The soldier was aiming at us. Two weeks ago, my other sister, Raja, was injured in the leg with a sound grenade when the army tried to occupy a home to shoot at demonstrators. – Fatma Amira (14), Summer’s sister.
In total, 27 persons have been shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition in Ni’lin.
The 22-calibre live bullet, fired from the Rutger rifle, was reintroduced in January 2009, despite military previous orders to stop its use in 2001.
According to B’tselem,
In 2001, Maj.-Gen. Menachem Finkelstein, then judge advocate general, ordered that use of the Ruger rifle be stopped. The decision followed the killing of several children in the Gaza Strip by Ruger-rifle fire, and an order by OC Central Command to cease using the rifle, which was given after finding that soldiers often used it without justification against demonstrators. On 27 December 2001, Ha’aretz quoted a senior military official as saying that “the mistake was that the Ruger came to be seen as a means to disperse demonstrators, contrary to its original designation as a weapon like any other.”
On 10 January 2009, following the renewed use of the Ruger in demonstrations, Ha’aretz reported the comments of an “IDF official”, who said that the Ruger causes less harm, and is less lethal, than “rubber bullets.”
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, 19 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.