29 October, 2010 | International Solidarity Movement
22 people injured, 5 still in hospital, at increasingly violent An Nabi Saleh Demonstration
Many shebab, two journalists and a girl were injured on Friday at the weekly demonstration in An Nabi Saleh. Villagers had employed a new strategy in response to the increasing violence of soldiers and border police.
Demonstrators split up and approached the road from the two opposite hills divided by the valley. The side with most of the shebab was blocked with massive amounts of teargas and attacked by border police. From the other side, most of the internationals, women, and children entered the road and continued the demonstration.
Police shouted and attacked some Palestinians with pepper spray directly in their faces. Soldiers attempted to arrest an international, saying “we want to talk with you.” With the support of other internationals and Palestinians he was de-arrested.
Border police declared the road “a closed military zone” without showing any paper or map as proof. Demonstrators asked to look at the paper, but the commander “was not able to find it”. Soldiers gave people 10 minutes to leave, threatening that everyone would be arrested otherwise. The demonstrators remained and argued with the soldiers, but the only response was a round of sound bombs shot directly at them.
Border police isolated the internationals and most of the children and women of the village from the shebab, occupying three houses in the village center and clashing with the shebab for several hours.
They shot two Palestinian journalists, leaving one injured on the arm and the other on the leg. Border police and soldiers continued their attack on the shebab until after sunset, pushing the clash to the olive fields surrounding the village, using rubber bullets and tear gas.
At this same time, the internationals and women were attacked with heavy amounts of tear gas. About sunset, one 10-year-old girl was injured by a rubber bullet. In total, 22 people were injured, and 5 are still in the hospital.
These weekly demonstrations have been taking place since January, 2010. One man in the village said “We want to build a strategy for all Palestine to find a way to resist against the occupation.” The village has a strong story of resistance: During the first Intifada almost half of its inhabitants were in jail. Women always participate in the Demonstration and act independently.
Ni’lin demonstrators cut away part of electric fence
Friday, demonstrators in Ni’lin succeed in cutting away part of the electric fence that annexes land onto the nearby illegal settlement Modi’in Ilit. Around one hundred Palestinian, Israeli and international activists gathered under the olive trees just outside the village and, after the noonday prayer, marched through the village’s land towards the Apartheid Wall.
In protest against the illegal settlements that have already stolen most of their land and that prevent them from farming what little is left, some youth from the village threw stones symbolically against the Apartheid Wall. A few minutes after the demonstration reached the wall, the army responded with tear gas. As the wind was often blowing toward the wall, the soldiers frequently got a taste of the tear gas themselves.
Some protesters then managed to cut a part of the electric fence. At that point, soldiers came out from the gate to check what was happening, and the protesters retreated. Quite surprisingly the soldiers didn’t follow the protesters as they usually do, but went back to hide behind the concrete slabs of the wall and continue to shoot tear gas.
The demonstration finished around 3 p.m. with no injures or arrests.