Despite the Israeli occupation forces still consider the area around Ni’lin a closed military zone, today some 150 villagers and solidarity activists once again marched out of the village and to the area where the Apartheid Wall is being built.
***image2***The march began with the Friday prayers held in the land adjacent to the wall. Mohammed Salah Tayeh Khawaja lead the prayer and dedicated his sermon to the memory of the massacre in Deir Yassin. On April 9 1948 Israeli militias entered the village on the road to Jerusalem. Out of the 750 inhabitants over 100 were assassinated by the Israeli troops to serve as an example for all other Palestinian communities. He remembered the people in the villages that were resisting Israeli attacks and atrocities and the fact that over the decades, despite many tribulations and calamities, they never surrendered and never forgot the massacres perpetrated by the occupation forces against the Palestine people.
After that, the march moved towards the Wall – this time to a part the weekly protest normally does not reach. This move helped to circumvent the occupation forces station along parts of the Wall ready to attack the people of Niâlin and was part of an attempt to avoid clashes. Since there was no presence of occupation forces in the new location, the villagers climbed onto the Apartheid Wall, burned Israeli flags and chanted slogans.
Once the occupation forces realized that the villagers had found spot without military presence, they headed towards the protest. Angry that the march was able to reach a space where no military was posted, they immediately began firing large quantities of tear gas and sound grenades on the demonstrators leading to suffocation between protesters and solidarity activists. The occupation forces then opened the gates of the Apartheid Wall in an unsuccessful attempt to surround the protest. Some fired tear gas and live bullets while others tried to arrest some of the protesters, but their vigilance prevented that.
18 prisoners from the town of Ni’lin are currently languishing in Israeli jails and their trials are being postponed time after time.