by Wahed Rejol
18 November 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
Following last week’s violence in the village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, international observers and activists were today denied entry into the village by Israeli soldiers. The soldiers said that the entire village was a closed military zone and provided paperwork that seemed to support their claim. The internationals were followed and harassed by the Israel military as they attempted to leave the village.
Every Friday the village of Nabi Saleh organizes a march to protest the 2009 confiscation of an important water source by the Israelis. Last week Abu Hussam Tamimi suffered injuries after being shot in the face at close range by Israeli soldiers, in violation of international law. Also last week an 11 year old boy from the village suffered rib injuries from a “rubber bullet”*
Five international activists from the International Solidarity Movement were denied entry to the village while attempting to document this weeks protest. After leaving the main entrance to the village the activists were followed by military jeeps and harassed by soldiers.
When it became clear that any entry to the village was impossible, the activists tried to obtain transportation back to Ramallah. The Israeli military prevented taxis and services to stop to pick them up.
The video below shows activists asking soldiers to allow them to travel back to Ramallah. After approximately two hours the activists were able to find transportation out of the area. The van was followed by an Israeli military vehicle for several kilometers.
Last week an ISM activists was detained for several hours after being arrested in Kufr Qaddoum while photographing the weekly protest there. He was falsely accused of throwing stones and was physically abused by the Israelis. He was released later that night.
* Israel commonly uses the term “rubber bullets” when describing round steel bullets with a thin rubber coating
Wahed Rejol is an activist with International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).