2 Arrested, 2 Internationals Shot in the Face in Ni’lin Demonstration

25 July 2008

On Thursday, July 24, over a hundred Palestinians from Ni’lin were joined by dozens of international and Israeli activists in their struggle against the Annexation Barrier on their land. Participants gathered in the center of town and marched into the olive groves towards the bulldozers that were tearing up olive trees nearby. When demonstrators were still more than 200 yards away, soldiers began shooting tear gas at the crowd. A small group of Palestinians and internationals approached the line of soldiers hidden amongst the olive trees. These soldiers immediately charged at a leading member of the Popular Committee, attempting to arrest him. He escaped capture but two Israelis from Anarchists Against Walls were arrested and marched back behind the line of soldiers to waiting police jeeps.

Soldiers in small groups were then dispatched throughout the groves, shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas directly into the scattered groups of demonstrators. One international with PSP was hit in the face with a metal tear gas canister shot from a gun after it bounced off a tree, giving him a bloody nose, and a deep bruise and laceration across his nose. Another international from a French student delegation was shot in the jaw with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing a laceration that was treated at the local clinic. As the demonstrators began moving back towards the village, another international from PSP was shot in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet, as was a Palestinian demonstrator. In the end, at least 4 were injured and the two Israelis were held for several hours while handcuffed until they were released later that day.