15 September 2010 | ISM Media
At 3 a.m. this morning the Israeli army entered the West Bank village of Ni`lin and detained a Palestinian man, Barakat Nafi. This is the first house raid since before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan; there used to be one or two such raids every week.
Soldiers came on foot and in jeeps from the nearby gate in the illegal apartheid wall and violently entered the home of the 35-year-old. He was taken in front of his wife, who afterwards, clearly very shaken, reported hearing him cry out, saying “don’t beat me!” According to his neighbour, Nafi has always had a stoic resolve – so such signs of distress were particularly surprising. He was forcibly taken by Israeli forces to testify against another resident that the army is accusing of participating in anti-Wall demonstrations.
The soldiers also destroyed much of Nafi’s furniture, throwing cupboards, chests and tables over, supposedly with the aim of searching the house.
Nafi has been arrested before, seven months ago, for taking part in the peaceful weekly demonstrations against the illegal apartheid wall, which snakes through Ni`lin’s olive groves, stealing half of the village’s land. Israel claims these protests are illegal since it outlawed political dissent upon commencement of its brutal occupation in 1967 (with Military Order 101). The Israeli army had also alleged, as usual, that Nafi had been throwing stones. He was held for one month before being released upon paying the Israeli authorities 8000 NIS.
As in many villages in the occupied West Bank, the apartheid wall separates farmers from the fields they need to grow their crops. In 2004 Ni`lin was one of the first villages to nonviolently resist the wall, and it has since become known for the level of brutality employed by the Israeli army in suppressing the popular struggle. Four Ni`lin residents have been murdered by the Israeli occupation forces, including a ten-year-old boy, and around 70 more people have been shot non-fatally with live ammunition. Hundreds of residents have spent time in Israeli prisons.