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Ni’lin holds demonstration to honor the Nakba

15 May 2009

Palestinians, accompanied by international and Israeli solidarity activists, gathered to demonstrate against construction of the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin. During the demonstration, a home of an elderly couple was occupied by soldiers, who used their roof to shoot at protesters. Several people were injured with tear-gas inhalation, tear gas canisters and a 12 year old girl was shot in her home with live ammunition in the arm.

To prepare for a demonstration meant to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the Nakba, several members of the Ni’lin Popular Committee against the Wall went to hang posters on their land. The Israeli army, already present in the olive fields, forced the members back into the village with the use of sound and tear-gas grenades.

“In the morning before the prayer, we were out in the fields to put up posters about the Al Nakba. Then the army came and started to shoot teargas and sound bombs at us” Mohammed Amira, member of the popular committee against the wall.

Later that day, Ni’lin residents marched towards their olive groves to hold the weekly prayer on their land. Israeli soldiers prevented them from reaching their land with the use of tear-gas and sound grenades. The prayer was then held in the centre of the village, near the municipality building.

Around 100 Palestinian protesters, along with Israeli and international solidarity activists, marched from the centre of town towards the construction site of the Apartheid Wall. Before reaching their olive fields near the clinic, Israeli border police fired upon the demonstrators with tear-gas and sound grenades until they dispersed. Demonstrators were pushed back into the village and several young men threw stones in response to the Israeli army’s violence.

For the second time in May, Israeli soldiers occupied homes in order to shoot at demonstrators. The home of an elderly couple, Miriam and Azmi Khawaja, was occupied with only Miriam inside. Only after 30 minutes were 2 activists able to enter her home to accompany to her son’s house while soldiers remained in her home.

Around 4:30, Israeli soldiers shot Summer Amira, 12, as she stood on the roof of her home.

The demonstration ended at 5:30pm.