By Paddy Clark
31 August 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West bank
Three Palestinians were injured and 5 arrested today during Nabi Saleh’s weekly demonstration. Israeli military set up road blocks surrounding the village early this morning in order to prevent people and journalists from participating.
At 4.30 p.m., Malek Tamini was shot with a live bullet which went through his hand and the side of his body. He has undergone surgery for his injuries. One Palestinian suffered an open wound after being shot with a tear gas canister during protests. Soldiers were firing tears gas canisters directly in to the crowd with the intent of causing serious injury and then prevented the ambulance from entering the village for one hour . One local resident received stitches in Ramallah hospital after suffering a head wound from a rubber-coated steel bullet.
Five Palestinians protestors including Mohammad Khatib and Bilal Tamimi of the popular committees, a student journalist, and two young women activists were arrested in the morning while walking towards the village spring which was annexed by the nearby illegal Israeli settlement, Halamish. All have has since been released.
Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 550 people, twenty kilometres north west of Ramallah in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Israeli colony of Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf) was established on lands belonging to the villages of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham in 1976. In response to the illegal colony being established on their land, the residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham began holding demonstrations in opposition to the theft of their land and the establishment of the colony (whose establishment violates international law). The residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham lodged a court case against the colony in Israel’s high court, but were unable to stop the construction the illegal settlement.
Since its establishment in 1977, Halamish colony has continued to expand and steal more Palestinian land. In 2008, the residents of An Nabi Saleh challenged the building of a fence by the colony on private Palestinian land, which prevented Palestinians from accessing their land. The Israeli courts ruled that the fence was to be dismantled Despite the Israeli court ruling, the colony continued to illegally annex more Palestinian land. In the summer of 2008, Israeli settlers from Halamish seized control of a number springs, all of which were located on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of An Nabi Saleh.
In December 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish annexing of the fresh water springs and stealing of more of the village’s land. Since An Nabi Saleh began its demonstrations, the Israeli military has brutally sought to repress the non-violent protests, arresting more than 13% of the village, including children. In total, as of 31 March 2011, 64 village residents have been arrested. All but 3 were tried for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of those imprisoned, 29 have been minors under the age of 18 years and 4 have been women.
For more information see Nabi Saleh Solidarity.
Paddy Clark is a volunteer with Jordan Valley solidarity.