From AATW: Live Ammunition Used Again in Ni’ilin

11 August 2008

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From Anarchists Against the Wall

A private security guard, hired by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, opened fire on unarmed Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators in Ni’ilin. No one was hit by the bullets, but a number of demonstrators were hit by bits of stones that ricocheted as a result of the bullets’ impact.

The shooting began only several minutes into the demonstration, as demonstrators got close to the heavy machinery, and despite the fact that some of the protesters held their hands over their heads. There was absolutely no threat posed to the guards or work crew. The shooting was not preceded by stone throwing or any other form of violence by the demonstrators. A border police force arrived at the scene very quickly and started using teargas and rubber-coated bullets. Eight were injured, including a seven year old who was hit in the back by a rubber-coated bullet and a French demonstrator who was shot in the head with a teargas projectile.

Approximately two weeks ago a ten year old and a seventeen year old were shot to death by border policeman as part of the violent military suppression of the popular Ni’ilin uprising against the wall. For the past three months, the army has been using harsh and illegitimate violence against the village, which besides the two deaths included, amongst other things, the imposition of siege and curfew , the wounding of four demonstrators by live ammo, the pointblank shooting of a cuffed and blindfolded detainee, dozens of arrests and hundreds of injuries.

Since the beginning of the struggle in Ni’ilin, the army portrays demonstrators as violent and provoking through the mainstream media. Though the army’s violence in the suppression of popular insurrections was very clearly exposed by its actions in the last three months, the military still peddles the same story.
The legal measures taken against a few of the perpetrators of military violence were forced on the army by public outrage. This is pure lip service, and the very mild measures prove that the army does not see such acts as problematic, except on a public relations perspective.