The people of Nil’in today clashed with occupation forces for the second day in a row, as the village continues its campaign to stop the construction of the Apartheid Wall on their land. Yesterday, occupation forces were forced to abandon work on the wall after being confronted by people from the village. The areas of paving they did manage to lay were torn up this morning.
Seven hundred people gathered at around 11 am this morning and held Friday prayers on the lands on the edge of the village which have been destroyed to make way for construction of the Wall. As the villagers prayed, two military jeeps approached and began to disrupt the gathering and provoke the worshippers. Clashes erupted immediately and the jeeps retreated. Later in the day, youths from the village blocked the settler road running through the village lands with rocks and burning tyres. The road is off-limits to Palestinians, part of the racial-segregated road-network that carves up the West Bank, and the road on Nilin’s land joins the settlements that are to expand as part of the Wall.
Clashes are still continuing. So far today, five people have been injured by rubber coated bullets, one of them in the neck. The occupation forces are continuing to target journalists. A crew member from Dubai TV had to be taken to the medical clinic having fainted after inhaling teargas, and a French-Algerian journalist has been shot in the face with a rubber coated bullet.
Yesterday, over 1,000 people demonstrated. Occupation forces had gathered the bulldozers in one area, and stood guard over them with hundreds of soldiers. As the villagers approached, the Occupation forces called for further forces to block the route of the march. The protestors then decided to break into various groups to engage the soldiers in various places.
One of the groups managed to reach the bulldozers, and a private security guard employed by Israeli construction company Eli Brosh, which has been contracted to build the Apartheid Wall, opened fire with live bullets while the official occupation forces showered demonstrators with tear gas. Clashes continued for hours, and ended another failed attempt by occupation forces once to arrest the coordinator of the popular committee in Ni’lin, Ahed Khawaje.