Border police escalated the violence in Niâlin, beating one resident nearly to death on Thursday. Occupation forces went on to seal the village on Friday in an attempt to isolate the local struggle against the Wall.
On Thursday, the people of Niâlin gathered in the middle of the village for a demonstration against the Apartheid Wall. Confrontations flared up between local youth and Occupation forces, who fired on demonstrators with tear and sound bombs in addition to rubber bullets. Clashes continued in the streets of Niâlin, with soldiers targeting homes and residents.
Border police also brutalized a local resident, Haythem âElayan Musa, while he was attempting to visit his grandmother. He was surrounded outside her home and severely beaten, with the attackers aiming blows at his head. Leaving the scene, a border policeman fired a single rubber bullet from close range at the semi-conscious Musa, striking him in the head. Musa was rushed to the Ramallah hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
Following this attack, border police continued through Niâlin and clashes continued. By the end of the day 9 persons were injured, including 4 children. Scores more suffered from the tear gas that had been spread throughout the village.
On Friday, Occupation forces sealed off the village of Niâlin from early morning until midnight in an attempt to block popular mobilization in solidarity with Haythem Musa. Border police and soldiers set up checkpoints at both entrances to the village, only allowing Palestinians from Niâlin and the surrounding villages to enter. Those without proper ID were turned away. Despite the closure and the heavy Occupation presence, villagers went ahead with the Friday prayers and demonstration.
Two have been martyred in Niâlin since late July, and it seems that the new contingent of border police in the village will only serve to escalate violence. The beating of Haythem Musa and subsequent closure of the village is another attempt in an as yet unsuccessful program to intimidate the villagers and weaken popular struggle.