Ni’lin: Despite mounting brutality by the Occupation forces, 1,000 villagers protest the Apartheid Wall
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Ni’lin: Despite mounting brutality by the Occupation forces, 1,000 villagers protest the Apartheid Wall

Today, 1,000 villagers from Ni’lin, the surrounding villages and international supporters marched in a powerful demonstration to the area were bulldozers are destroying the people’s lands. This comes a day after the Occupation forces had injured 7 people in clashes in Ni’lin.

***image2***The crowd of protestors gathered in the center of the village and marched to the lands allotted for the construction of the Wall. Eli Brashi, an Israeli firm, is working in cooperation with the Occupation army on the Wall. The villagers gathered for the Friday prayer on the threatened land. Occupation forces kept their distance, as work was had halted for the day. This mass demonstration was another powerful show by the villagers that the brutality of the Occupation will not stop their determination to fight for their land and rights.

Yesterday, hundreds of participants from Ni’lin and the neighboring villages joined the invitation of the Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall. Shop owners closed their shops for 3 hours in solidarity with the farmers.

The march started from the centre of town and headed through the main streets towards the area where bulldozers that have been working for more than 70 days, digging up the village’s agricultural land and uprooting its trees. As soon as the march arrived close to the bulldozers, Occupation forces fired tear gas and sound grenades an in attempt to ensure the work of the bulldozers would not be disrupted yet again. Additionally, the soldiers threatened to re-impose a curfew on the village.

The brutality of the soldiers sparked violent clashes. Seven youth were wounded by rubber bullets and dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation. After hours of clashes the occupation forces invaded the village and pursued youth through the streets. One young man was shot twice by rubber bullets. The villagers took megaphones to call upon the people of Ni’lin to come out in the streets to block the military from targeting the youth in the village.

Salah Khawaja, the spokesman of the popular committee in Ni’lin stated that the Occupation forces have started to demarcate the path of the tunnel. According to the Occupation’s plans, this tunnel will be the only access point to Ni’lin. At its northern end, it will be located close to the entrance of the village. At its southern end, it will isolate further 200 dunums of village land, which will fall between the tunnel and the Apartheid Wall.

The spokesman called for immediate action of official and popular bodies in support of Ni’lin and its struggle. The village will be completely besieged by the Wall and the tunnel. All the remaining land for the expansion of the village will be isolated, destroying the economic, social and educational fabric of the area.