International Solidarity Movement
8 May 2010Despite the recent unprovoked, fatal shooting of two of its young men by Israeli forces, the village of Iraq Burin, just south of Nablus, turned out in force again this Saturday, 8th May, to protest against the annexation of village lands. Supported by human rights activists from the International Solidarity Movement, the Michigan Peace Teams and the International Women’s Peace Service, the villagers attempted to march towards their stolen lands.
They were soon confronted by a squad of Israeli soldiers who commenced firing tear gas cannisters at the protesters. It was apparent that they wished to cause maximum possible injuries as, rather than lobbing the cannisters, the soldiers fired them at a low trajectory directly into the crowd. One young man soon went down, struck in the leg by a projectile fired at close range. Jihad Qaddoush (20) was immediately rushed to hospital in Nablus for treatment. It is expected that he will make a full recovery from his wound.
With summer approaching, the tinder-dry grass caught fire in many places, adding to the confusion, discomfort and danger caused by the clouds of tear gas. Showing their usual wisdom and tactical expertise, village leaders soon called everyone back to a safer distance and no more injuries were reported. The bravery, persistence and good sense of those taking part was, as usual, a feature of this popular and non-violent protest by the people of Iraq Burin.
Regular Saturday demonstrations in Iraq Burin began in response to the fatal shootings of Mohammad and Ussayed Qaddous, 16 and 19, on March 20th, 2010. The boys were shot while protesting the violent invasion of their village, a frequent Saturday occurrence.
Iraq Burin initially began non-violently protesting the expansion of Israeli settlement Bracha in August 2009, in response to a sharp increase in provocative, and often violent attacks initiated by residents of the settlement. These attacks are frequently aided and abetted by the Israeli military, who in turn invade the village, firing rounds of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at Palestinian civilians.