On Tuesday the farmers of Niâ€™lin, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah organized another mass demonstration to protect their lands and lives from destruction by the illegal Israeli Wall. As the construction workers did not agree to stop their work on demand of the people, the protestors have disabled their equipment.
After hundreds of protestors had gathered in the village center, the demonstration took a different path than it normally would. Instead of going as usual to the most advanced section of the construction on the Wall, that are currently destroying the village lands, the protestors marched towards the end of the area where the bulldozers were working. In this part of the land the destruction started already two months ago and it is some 1.6 km away from the most fore front of the worksite.
The demonstrators faced 4 bulldozers, 2 jeeps and a truck while the Israeli army was all stationed at the other end of the worksite.
The farmers with their international and Israeli supporters demanded the destruction of their lands to be stopped. They stood in the way of the construction and lied down in front of the bulldozers to impede further work.
However, the bulldozer drivers blindly continued their work. At this point, the people were left with no other choice but disabling the equipment. They started throwing stones, smashing the windows of the bulldozers and attacking the jeeps and the truck.
When Israeli troops arrived to the area three hours later the protesters changed their tactics and moved to the front of the construction. Before they could even get close to the bulldozers, Israeli troops started shooting tear gas, sound bombs and steal-rubber coated bullets at full force. 10 were injured, among them were a12 years old, and another was a 9 year old boy.
After these attacks on the demonstrators from the village, just as it was believed to be calming down, the people went back to the Nilâ€™in where the army then again attacked the people at the entrance of the village. They shot teargas inside two buildings that are located near to the Wall. Tear gas even permeated inside the medical clinic, further threatening the health of those that had been brought there for treatment from the demonstration.
At the end Israeli soldiers attempted to kidnap a group of international activists and freelance journalists present at the demonstration to confiscate their cameras in order to be able to identify youth involved in the protests. However, the people in Niâ€™lin took the international supporters in their homes and moved them from place to place deeper inside the village. The army had to give up on this attempt of repression as they were not willing to go into the village.
Sourced from the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign