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Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall

24 June 2011 | Ni’lin

A weekly Ni’ilin demonstration was met with the intense tear gas attack, leaving dozens suffering from the consequence of inhaling the gas. Demonstration, organized by the Ni’ilin Popular Committee and joined by Israeli and international peace activists was held in solidarity with the political prisoners from the village held in Israeli prisons. The prisoners from the village, detained 17 months ago and sentenced on false charges, were moved from Ofer to Negev military prison.

Once the demonstration reached a gate in the apartheid wall, protesters started to knock on the door and demand that they are allowed to access their stolen land, which they have not seen for last three years. The soldiers reacted by attacking the peaceful demonstration with tear gas grenades, rubber coated steel bullets and sound grenades. One of the protesters was shot and dozens suffered from suffocation after inhaling tear gas.

Ibrahim Amireh, the coordinator of the Ni’ilin Popular Committee against the apartheid wall, said that the harsh treatment of the prisoners from the village was meant to destroy people’s spirit and hope. – But we will not stop defending our land and our dignity. We will continue to hold peaceful demonstrations, maintaining strong will and determination until we tear down the apartheid wall, put an end to the racist occupation of our land and we are able to live in a secure, just and peaceful society. – added Ibrahim Amireh.

Since the construction of the apartheid wall began on Ni’ilin land, the Israeli occupation forces have had conducted numerous raids into the village, arresting people in the middle of the night.

Between August 6th 2008 and December 1st, 2008 more than 157 people were arrested in Ni’ilin. Age: between 9 and 55 years-old. Israeli occupation forces raided villagers’ houses in the middle of the night, arresting people in an extremely brutal manner. During one of the raids, a mentally-ill person, whose brother was being arrested, was shot in the left eye with a rubber coated steal bullet. The man lost his eye.

Between May 1st, 2009 and August 27th, 2009 – 123 people were arrested.

Between January 1st, 2010 and July 26th, 2010 – 45 people were arrested. During this campaign, Israeli occupation forces detained three leaders of the local popular committee: Ibrahim Amireh, Zaydoon Srour and Hassan Mousa. They were sentenced to one year in prison and a bail of 9000 NIS in exchange for additional 9 months of imprisonment. There are still five villagers held in Israeli military prisons. Ni’ilin prisoners were sentenced to 4 to 28 months in prison and high bails.