***image2***More than 200 protesters attended the weekly Friday demonstration against the apartheid wall in Niâlin today. Sheikh Salah Mohammad Tayeh lead the prayer which traditionally marks the start of the Friday demonstration. He spoke about the importance of popular struggle and resistance for the liberation of Palestine. Furthermore, in the light of the 82nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 2009, he noted the silence of the international community regarding the Palestinian cause and its continued denial of the rights of the Palestinian people to live in their own land. Besides local participants, a number of Israeli and international activists joined the demonstration this week. Politician Dr. Mustafa Barghouti also surprised the village with his presence at this weekâs demonstration.
The demonstrators gathered this week in front of Niâlinâs health clinic and from there marched to the wall carrying Palestinian flags. When the demonstration reached the wall, protestors burned car tires, damaging the lower part of the concrete. Israeli forces in the area immediately responded by shooting large amounts of tear gas canisters into the demonstration, causing several people to experience breathing problems.
One protestor managed to climb to the top of the Wall and raise the Palestinian flag, thereby sending a message to Israel that the Palestinian flag will always go up on Niâlinâs land. Even if the land is cut off from the village now, the people of Niâlin will never give up the right to their own land. Simultaneously, a group of youth threw bottles with red paint at the Israeli soldiers, the red paint representing the blood of the martyrs in Niâlin that were killed by these soldiers.
A small group of participants brought a jack that they placed under one of the concrete segments of the Wall. After two hours, the concrete started coming off the ground, partially falling down. This was a strong message from Niâlin, as one protestor stated: âNext Monday the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was celebrated all over the world, now itâs time for the Apartheid Wall to fall and this will start in Niâlin. We in Niâlin are most determined to get our land back, and we will break down this ugly Wall.â
When the Israeli forces noticed that a part of the Wall was coming down, they didnât hesistate to enter through the gate and begin attacking the protestors. Israeli soldiers chased down protestors into the village, shooting large quantities of teargas, sewage water, rubber coated steel bullets and even live ammunition.
The medical team didnât report any serious injuries, only a number of participants who experienced breathing problems.