On Friday, hundreds of residents and international activists conducted their weekly nonviolent protest against the annexation wall and settlement in Ni’lin village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.The protesters marched chanting slogans against the wall and against Israel’s illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands and orchards.
As they arrived at the gate of the annexation wall, the coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, Mohammad Ameera, asked the Israeli soldiers to remove their military uniform and to participate in the march held by the family of prisoner-of-war, Corporal Gilad Shalit, to demand that Netanyahu releases Palestinian detainees in return for the release of Shalit, captured by the resistance in Gaza.
Ameera added that Israeli soldiers must refuse to serve in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip, and stated that Palestine is occupied and must be returned to the Palestinians.
He also stated that if Shalit knew that he would be captured, he would have refused to go to Gaza, and that the soldiers should not accept to be deployed in Ni’lin or any other Palestinian area, as the wall “steals the lands from their owners, from simple villagers and farmers”.
In Israel, the family of Shalit and some 20,000 supporters started their march from Shalit’s home in the Galilee to the home of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem.
The march was held to protest Netanyahu’s declaration that Israel wants Shalit back home “but not at any price”.
The protesters are demanding Netanyahu to sign a prisoner-swap deal and ensure the release of Shalit.
Netanyahu said that Israel is willing to pay what he called ‘a heavy price’ to release Shalit, yet added that Israel ‘will not pay any price’.
Israel’s preconditions and red tape regarding dozens of detainees are obstructing the prisoner-swap deal.