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News :: Human Rights : International
Demonstrators Met with Live Ammunition in Bil’in Village
17 Jan 2010

Today in Bil’in village demonstrators against the apartheid wall and illegal Israeli settlements were met with live ammunition, tear gas (in both plastic and aluminum canisters), rubber bullets, and sound bombs from the Israeli army. Rubber bullets and tear gas canisters injured six demonstrators. Many suffered from sever tear gas inhalation including Fatah leader Dr. Nabil Shath. Others injured include Palestinian cameraman Fadi Aljause and reporter Haron Amira, Bassem Ahmad Yassin (leg injury), Ibrahim Burnat (rubber bullet injury), Nayif Ghazi (tear gas canister head injury), and a man from Jericho who was taken to the hospital in Ramallah (we have not received information about his current condition).
Palestinian, Israeli and International demonstrators marched to the wall with a 10-meter-long Palestinian flag at which time the military immediately began firing tear gas into the crowd. The army entered the village and attempted to arrest two of the Palestinian activists. Israeli and International activists physically intervened in order to stop the arrests. Soldiers shot live ammunition into the air during the conflict in an attempt to scare and disperse the crowd. The crowd consisting of many Israeli solidarity activists did not disperse and began chanting “shame on you” in Hebrew. Mean while many soldiers were entering from another entrance point in the apartheid fence. They attempted to surround the demonstrators from three directions, but were unsuccessful.

Because of the strength tear gas, a joke was made that the army must have been using the new and improved 2010-edition tear gas. The last two weeks of the new year have been marked by an increase in arrests and harassment of Palestinian popular resistance organizers and activists in the West Bank. Last night the army invaded the village of Al Masara and raided the home of Popular Committee organizers Mahmoud Zawhre and Mohammed Brejya. The previous night, the home of Nil’in Popular Committee member Mohammad Ameera was raided. And one day before that three Popular Committee members were arrested from their homes in Nil’in. On the same night as the Nil’in arrests, a Bil’in activist who had been part of Friday demonstrations was arrested. Israeli authorities have intensified their efforts at suppressing the non-violent activities and organizing of Palestinians involved in grassroots campaigns against the Barrier and settlement expansion. Despite these efforts, many people have been attending the Friday demonstrations from neighboring villages, and new popular demonstrations have begun around the West Bank.

2-8.1.10 Interview with Palestinian activist Hassan Mousa at Friday's weekly demonstration
against the wall and settlements in Nil'in. Mousa was arrested on 12.1.10 in an ongoing escalation of Israeli attempts to suppress the Palestinian Popular Resistance.


Nil’in Activist, Mohammad Amerra’s House Raided Wednesday Morning

The Israeli military invaded Nil’in village at approximately 1am on Wednedsay the 13th. Three jeeps and approximately 15 soldiers came from the check point via road 446 to the house of activist Mohammad Ameera. According to Ameera, two commanders and a group of soldiers entered his home, checked out his house and asked him general questions about his family and work for an hour. His children were awoken and frightened when the soldiers invaded their home. After questioning him they went below Ameera’s house to investigate the residence of a worker that Ameera rests to. This is the first time the military has come to Ameera’s home. This morning's raid happened just one day after the arrest of three members of the Nilin Popular Committee Against the Wall.

Recount of Friday’s Demonstration in Nil’in

Last Friday, on the 8th of January 2010, the residents of Ni’lin village in the West Bank of Palestine marched to the Apartheid wall during yet another demonstration against the illegal theft of their land and the continued occupation of Palestine. Tear gas was used against protesters and approximately eight Israeli soldiers entered onto Ni’lin’s land attempting to trap and arrest the demonstrators. Some of the protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation, but no arrests were made. Ni’lin Popular Committee organizers say that the entrances to the village are closed off to the media as well as people who wished to join the demonstration every Friday before the weekly demonstration. This day was no different, and residents stated that there was an even more aggressive army presence than usual at the checkpoints leading into the village. An Al Jazzera film crew, a Palestinain member of parliment, and many other Israeli and International supporters were forced to sneak through nearby fields in order to attend the demonstration.

This day celebrated the Anniversary of the Martyrs who have lost their lives to Israeli violence in the struggle for a free Palestine. In the last year and two months, five people have been killed in Ni’lin during non-violent demonstrations. The Israeli army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs against demonstrators on a weekly basis. In months past, the military would come up past the farm and grazing lands where the wall is and attack protesters in the residential area of Ni’lin.

Hassan Mouse, an activist from Ni’lin, lost his 10-year-old nephew to Israeli military violence during an evening invasion of the village. His nephew Achmed Mouse was shot in the head on July 29, 2008. “This week our message is that it is time for the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop them from killing Palestinian civilians for nothing,” said Mouse. “The army is very brutal here. I think it is because our protests have been more practical than symbolic. It is forbidden for us to join demonstrations now.” Activists in Ni’lin succeeded in delaying the building of the wall when construction began two years ago. There were originally two companies who expected the construction to be completed in six months. But after weeks of construction halting protests, one company dropped out and construction ended up taking an additional six months.

Mohamad Ameera, a teacher and farmer from the village is now separated from his olive trees and grazing land. During Friday’s demonstration he approached the wall to speak with the soldiers. “Today by giving them my name I wanted to show them that I don’t care about their intimidation. I’m a non-violent person and I am not afraid. I want to tell them to leave and let me reach my land.” Mohammad spoke about all the plants that the people use to harvest for food and medicine before they were cut off from their land. His four children have skin problems that used to be treated with fresh olive oil harvested from his family’s tress. Now the family must purchase expensive olive oil and they are unable to afford the quantities needed. When the children ask why they are unable to play and picnic on the land their father used to work, their Mohammad has a hard time answering their questions. “I don’t want them to grow up with feelings of revenge for the Israelis.” You can see the swing he had hung from a tree for the kids being used by Jewish settler children on the other side of the wall now.

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