On Thursday morning Occupation forces stormed the town in an attempt to suppress protests and intimidate the people of Ni’lin. The military gathered close to the girls’ secondary school and fired tear gas and sound bombs, terrifying the the children. They fired on various homes and directly into the home of Said Salim Khawaje, whose 4 month old baby suffered from the suffocating gas. They later attacked a Bedouin family who lives close to the path of the Apartheid Wall outside the village.
However, the attacks did not block the protests from taking place. The Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall called for a commercial strike lasting three hours, and around 3 pm the villagers began marching to their lands which are slated for destruction. The Occupation forces shot at the protesters with live rounds, rubber coated bullets and tear gas. Nonetheless, the people reached the construction site. The military intensified their brutality and injured Khalil Riziq Nafie in the chest and Ayub Surur (9 years) in the head with rubber coated bullets. Both were taken to a hospital in Ramallah. Several others sustained injuries treated in the local clinic.
The following day at the weekly Friday demonstration, Ni’lin was tense with the pain and rage the villagers felt for the wounded children.
The Occupation soldiers and border police imposed a heave blockade on Ni’lin, surrounding the town and refusing the press entrance. Nevertheless, Friday prayers were held on the land that is threatened with confiscation. The Friday prayers exhorted the people to be patient in the struggle for their land and to continue to challenge the occupying forces. They praised the steadfastness of the people and the youth and the renewed strength they have shown within the national struggle. This has allowed them to take up again their role in the resistance against the Occupation. The prayers called on all parties to take responsibility for the people of the town, especially to support the activists and those people affected by the Apartheid Wall.
After the prayers ended, the townspeople headed towards the razor wires that were planted by the Occupation forces to prevent the people of Ni’lin from reaching the bulldozers. The Palestinian youth cut the wires and placed them in front of the bulldozers. The Occupation forces shot sound and tear gas canisters to break up the demonstration, which resulted in 3 cases of suffocation among the Palestinian demonstrators.
Even though Ni’lin was blockaded, the Russian News Agency, Pal Media news team, and a photographer for the French Agency were able to enter the town by dirt roads and were able to report on the demonstration, thus challenging and ultimately breaking the isolation of the village.