Ni’lin defies curfew and closure and blocks settler-only road
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Ni’lin defies curfew and closure and blocks settler-only road

At 5 am on Friday morning, occupation forces invaded the village of Ni’lin, ordering a complete curfew and closing all access roads to the village in an effort to pre-empt further demonstrations. While Israeli repression grows, it has failed to prevent a further two demonstrations which succeeded in paralyzing settler traffic in the area for hours during Friday.

***image2***The curfew and closure of access roads to Ni’lin have most severely effected the elderly. One old woman, who felt sick in the morning, was prevented from going to the local clinic when the military sent her back home. Another elderly woman who needed medical care was barred from reaching the hospital in Ramallah. Finally, the remains of an 87 year old woman who died over night in a Ramallah hospital were kept in that hospital for two days as occupation forces wouldn’t allow the corpse to be brought to the family in Ni’lin.

The purpose of the closure is to demoralize and isolate Ni’lin and to prevent media coverage. An AP reporter was threatened with arrest and detention were he to go and cover the protests in Ni’lin. International supporters were threatened with expulsion from the country if they were seen anywhere in the village.

Occupation forces attacked residents in order to impose the curfew and forcibly shut down supermarkets and shops. However, the people broke the curfew and gathered in the center of the village to pray collectively as a form of protest. Following the prayer, two massive demonstrations – one from upper and one from lower Ni’lin – converged at a checkpoint which was installed by occupation forces to block access to the village and prevent the demonstrations from happening.

One of the demonstrations blocked the settler-only road N. 446 that runs through Ni’lin’s lands. For some three hours traffic was completely cut off while occupation forces targeted people with tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets.

At the checkpoint, protestors challenged occupation forces in clashes that lasted for 4 or 5 hours. As a form of retaliation, occupation forces shot the windows and water tanks of nearby houses in addition to occupying the roofs of some houses.

This morning, the closure continued while the military carried out three raids into the village, throwing teargas at homes, the supermarket and the bakery.

During Friday’s clashes 24 people and 2 soldiers were injured while this morning another 2 residents of Ni’lin sustained injuries in the attacks.