During todayâs weekly demonstration against the Wall in Niâlin two participants were arrested, Niâlin resident Salah Amira and an Israeli activist.
More than 150 people participated today in Niâlinâs protest against the Wall. After the Friday prayer where imam Mohammad Salah Tayah stressed the importance of participation in mass public demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall, demonstrators marched towards the gate carrying signs with pictures of American activist Tristan Anderson who was severely injured by the Israelis one year ago in Niâlin and has remained hospitalized ever since.
***image2***Today the villagers had decided to bring their animals and farming tools with them to underline the fact that the Wall and the occupation is effectively not only stealing their farm land but devastating the livelihoods of the people in the village.
Not concerned with the symbolism of the protest or the photos of Tristan Anderson reminding everyone of the heavy price the people have to pay for their insistence not to give up their land, the occupation forces were there in full force. As soon as the participants reached the gate a large group of soldiers was awaiting them on the other side of the Wall. Farmers shouted that they wanted to enter their land and the soldiers responded that if they would not leave they would be arrested and imprisoned for a year. When the protestors remained at the site the soldiers entered through the gate and started chasing them. They arrested Niâlin resident Salah Amira and detained one Israeli activist. At the same time another group of soldiers attacked the protestors from a different side with rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and large quantities of tear gas.
The demonstrators did not back down easily and clashes erupted between them and the Israeli soldiers. The army withdrew from the site after two hours. Aside from participants suffering breathing problems from teargas, the medical team did not report any serious injuries.