***image2***More than 200 people participated in the protest that the Niâlin popular committee organizes every week on Friday. The people of Niâlin performed the Friday prayer on the land next to the Niâlin health clinic, where Imam Salah Mohammad Tayeh praised late Palestinian leader and symbol Yasser Arafat and the martyrs of Niâlin and said that their blood will not be forgotten and Niâlin will continue what they have started.
After the prayer the people of Niâlin, accompanied by international and Israeli activists, marched to the Wall carrying Palestinian flags and posters of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, calling for Palestinian unity and an end to the Israeli policies of violence and aggression against the Palestinian people.
Ibraheem Amera, coordinator of the Ni’lin popular committee, said that the Israeli violence and killing will not prevent the people of Niâlin from continuing there struggle and resistance. âWe will not stop what our leaders startedâ, he said, âand today we say to the leader Yasser Arafat and to the martyrs of Niâlin that we will continue what you started.â
One of the youth from the village added: âNiâlin has really stepped up the resistance, weâve gone beyond protesting and just shouting to tear down the Wall, weâve actually mentioned to bring down the Wall ourselves. Not just in Niâlin, but also in Qalandiya and this will soon spread throughout the whole West Bank. We, as Palestinians, are determined more than ever, to have our rights as human beings acknowledged, no matter how long it will take and what we need to do for it. â
Amera also stated that the popular committee had been informed this week that the Israeli military wants to âcrush the struggle in Niâlinâ and that therefore, organizers urged demonstrators to be extra cautious. He believes that this decision was made by the Israeli military, because in Niâlin the Wall has been taken down twice already by the people, and after the fall of the wall in Qalandiya, the Israeli military is afraid that the âNiâlin Falling Wall Virusâ will start to spread throughout the whole West Bank.
These rumours were confirmed shortly after the demonstration reached the Wall. A huge army of Israeli soldiers was awaiting them and immediately started fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. However, a group of youth managed to cut up parts of the fence and partially damage the gate. Then the army surprised them by coming into the fields from three different sides, closing in on a group of around 100 demonstrators. The army was shooting live ammunition from a distance of less than 3 meters. The crowded dispersed and two people sustained minor injuries from grazing shots. One medical volunteer was beaten up by an Israeli soldier. An eyewitness said: âA soldier ran up to the volunteer of PRCS, grabbed him by the neck and pushed him to the ground, then the soldier started beating him. The volunteer sustained no serious injuries, except for some bruises.â
When the soldiers were not able to catch any of the demonstrators, they retreated and waited for demonstrators to go back to the village. The demonstration came to end around 4.30 pm.
Report and photos Ahmad Mesleh – Niâlin Youth Center