The weekly non-violent protests in the villages of Nil’in and Bil’in, both near Ramallah, were met by the usual use of force by Israeli troops invading the villages.
In Bil’in, the protesters managed to march to the site of the Israeli Annexation Wall constructed on their stolen village land, separating local farmers from their land, where they were met by Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters. Medics treated the protesters on site, and none were reported to have been seriously injured.
One of the organizers of the weekly protests in Bil’in, Hamde Abu Rahma, yesterday visited the newly installed 20 ft bronze 2 tonne Nelson Mandela statue in Ramallah , donated from Johannesburg South Africa.
Mandela was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause and a champion for Middle East peace. One of Mandela’s famous quotes was this ….“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Ramallah mayor Mussa Hadid said the statue “symbolizes the shared suffering” of the South African and Palestinian peoples.
In Nil’in, a similar protest took place Friday to the one in in Bil’in, with Palestinian villagers, along with Israeli and international supporters, marching toward the location where Israeli authorities took over village land and constructed a massive Wall.
However, they were unable to reach the site, because they were blocked by Israeli forces, who fired less-than-lethal weaponry toward the demonstrators.
Although the weapons used against demonstrators are classified as ‘less-than-lethal’, a number of Palestinians have been killed in recent years through the use of such weapons against non-violent demonstrators.