Struggle Against the Wall in Nil’in Begins Anew, Amidst Use of New Weaponry

28 May 2008

If the Israeli military gets what it is asking, Nil’in along with 7 other villages in the Western Ramallah district will be completely surrounded by the Annexation Barrier and Israeli-only settlement roads. In 2003 the villagers of the district, including Budrus, Al-Midya, Deir Qaddis and Kharbata, held almost daily demonstrations against the confiscation of their land. In Budrus, the campaign was successful and the Annexation Barrier was pushed back to the Green Line in all but a few hundred meters of land. This week, construction has begun again on the land of Nil’in and the demonstrations have begun in earnest. Four demonstrations have been held in the past week and the residents, numbering in the several hundreds, have been successful in blocking the bulldozers on more than one occasion.

Yesterday, approximately 500 Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists marched to the site of the bulldozers and attempted again to block the destruction of the Palestinian land and livelihood. They were met with overwhelming violence, including a jeep-mounted tear gas ‘cannon’ capable of shooting several canisters of tear gas at once directly into a crowd. Participants held out for quite some time under the barrage of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and sound grenades though more than 2 dozen were injured, including at least four people who required hospitalization. Demonstrations in Ni’lin will continue as residents are determined to resist the theft of their land and their livelihoods.