The villagers in Ni’lin managed today to force Occupation troops attempting to start work on the Wall in the area to retreat. Villagers headed to their lands before the Occupation bulldozers arrived, and took positions facing the direction of the machinery, preventing them from progressing in their lands, temporarily stopping the destruction in Ni’lin.
The people of Mediya continued their demonstrations where Occupation forces are now clearing the land in two different areas for the Wall’s path. Soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators, who answered back by throwing stones. The Occupation forces temporarily retreated and then returned with reinforcements, while the villagers moved to the western side of the village, where they managed to burn one bulldozer.
Occupation forces responded to the burnt bulldozer with live rounds,wounding one Palestinian in the leg, injuring another 5 people. Many soldiers were also injured by thrown stones. In another demonstration in the neighboring village of Deir Qaddis, confrontations between villagers and Occupation forces also left several people injured.
Israel is attempting to annex 2000 dunums of Mediya’s lands to the nearby town of Ramla, claiming it as Israeli territory. Owners of the lands in Mediya are not allowed to build, or even use the lands for agriculture, and villagers report the Occupation forces have been spraying any plants found on the lands with a herbicide causing them to die, as well as uprooting and cutting down trees. The Israeli attempts to steal these lands are nothing new, with more than 16 houses receiving demolition orders in this same area since the eighties.
This acceleration of work in the west Ramallah area comes at the same time Sharon is talking about adjustments in the Wall’s path around Ramallah which he considerss “the Ben Gurion area”. The contradictions between Israel’s words, versus their actions makes it clear that any “adjustments” made are intended only for publicity, while on the ground the Palestinian people continue to suffer terribly.