22 January 2010
Six demonstrators, including three Israeli activists, were injured today in the West Bank village of Nabbi Saleh after the army invaded the village earlier today. The soldiers launched an unprovoked attack at the center of the village, even before a scheduled demonstration began. Three women and three men from the village were arrested.
Slightly after 12:30 a large military force invaded the North Ramallah village of Nabbi Saleh and began shooting tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets at people who were gathering to demonstrate against the theft of their lands by the nearby Jewish-only settlement of Halamish. One demonstrator was evacuated to the hospital unconscious, after being hit in the back with a rubber-coated bullet. Five more, including three Israeli activists, suffered less serious injuries.
During the demonstration three women and three man were arrested by the soldiers. An Israeli activist who was detained together with them was released a short time after, despite the fact that they were all arrested at the same time and place, and under similar circumstances.
Approximately six weeks ago, a group of Halamish settlers took over a natural spring located in privately owned Palestinian land in between the village and the settlement. Since then, and despite the fact that ownership of the land undisputed, the army began preventing Palestinians from accessing the area.
Two weeks ago, when villagers amassed hoping to manage and access their lands as a group, the army brutally prevented them from doing so using tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets. In response the villagers – men, women and children – blocked the settlement’s access road for over two hours.
A few days after, a DCO officer approached the village’s municipality, recognizing the villagers’ ownership of the land and promised that they will no longer be barred from accessing it. Despite this promise, the army continued violently assaulting residents of Nabbi Saleh in the past two Fridays when they tried accessing their lands.
Demonstrations also took place today in the villages of alMaasara south of Bethlehem – where a demonstrator was arrested and the Palestinian minister of agriculture was among the participants, Bil’in and Ni’ilin – where in the past month the army has been conducting an unprecedented arrest campaign against anti-Wall activists.