This morning, the Israeli occupation forces have attacked residents of Niâlin who were gathered in a march to protest the military orders against their village and the provocative Israeli construction close to the Palestinian holy places. The military used tear gas and stun grenades, rubber bullets and live ammunition against the villagers, wounding 8 protesters and arresting Mohammad Atta, 17 years old.
Youth had already gathered during the morning hours and were joined by students once the school was over. The youth organized themselves to march through Ni’lin to protest against the military orders that declare the lands between the Wall and the village a closed military zone during Fridays. Their anger was further fuelled by the inauguration of a synagogue just dozens of meters from the Palestinian holy places and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem â a city all of them are barred from reaching by the occupation. The opening of the synagogue is more than simply a symbolic provocation, it underlines Israelâs claim of sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. It is a further step in the Israeli policy of Judaizing Jerusalem, part of its illegal settlement construction activity and the expulsion of the Palestinian inhabitants from the Old City of Jerusalem.
As the march of young people from the village attempted to exit the village â as if to prove the point of the protest â military was preventing them from getting out of the boundaries of the village. The army was stationed all along the path of the wall, the entrance of the village, and the settlersâ road that divides the village into two parts.
Though the new orders were supposed to be concerning only Fridays, they are apparently applied against the people as well on Tuesdays. This ensured that people in Ni’lin are now enclosed inside the borders of their built up area any day the occupation forces please.
Until long into the afternoon, the occupation forces attempted to disperse the demonstrators and to intimidate them. They tried to break into a number of houses at the edge of the village to position snipers on the roofs but the people refused to allow them into their homes and simply closed the doors in their faces.