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Israeli forces suppress Ni’lin demonstration

8 May 2009

Construction site of the Apartheid Wall in Ni'lin

construction site of the Apartheid Wall in Ni'lin

Before the start of the weekly Friday demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin, international solidarity activists visited homes that Israeli forces occupied last Friday. As soldiers were already present in the olive groves of Ni’lin, the internationals stayed at the homes to deter another attempt by the Israeli army to occupy their homes.

Around 100 demonstrators gathered, accompanied by international and Israeli solidarity activists, to march against the construction of the Apartheid Wall on Ni’lin’s land. Demonstrators reached the construction site and were able to damage a part of the illegal Wall. Then protestors were pushed back into the village when Israeli forces opened fire with numerous tear-gas canisters.

The protest continued as demonstrators were pushed back, and the young men from the village responded to the army violence by throwing stones. Israeli forces occupied a rooftop next to the outskirts of the olive groves to shoot at the protestors.

Israeli forces used tear-gas canisters, sound bombs and live ammunition against the protest. The demonstration continued until 5.30pm.  Seventeen people were badly enough injured by the tear-gas to require medical treatment. One young man lost the tip of his finger after he was shot by a canister.

The Israeli soldiers came back to the field, close to the houses in the village, around 7pm. Residents went out to protest against their presence on their lands for an hour.

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, 26 persons have been shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition.