Anti-Barrier Demonstrations With New Urgency During Olive Harvest
The weekly protest against the wall in Ni’lin was the first one held during the olive harvest season. This is also the first harvest season since the completion of the wall on Ni’lin land, and the village is waiting to see whether the occupation forces will fulfill their stated commitment to allow the villagers access to their land across the Barrier.
Families who still have remaining olive trees that haven’t been confiscated through the construction of the Annexation Barrier have begun the work of picking the olives. Ni’lin families with olive trees beyond the wall haven’t been allowed to cross over to harvest them yet, as the army has requested a list of names from the municipality.
The protesters marched towards the route of the concrete wall placed alongside the fence, carrying pictures of the 6 Ni’lin youths who are currently detained by the Israeli army. some of the protesters pelted soldiers with stones, while others called on them to refuse to participate in the theft of Palestinian land. Soldiers fired tear gas at protesters, in some cases directly, and used for the first time in some months aluminum canisters, that are much more dangerous if fired directly at people. Additionally, they sprayed the stinking green substance at the most daring of protestes who got within the range of the jets of fluid. afer a couple of hours soldiers crossed the wall, and the protesters backed off. no serious injuries were recorded, aside from some gas inhalation.
In Al-Ma’asara, the demonstration was attended by a larger crowd, again commemorating the local activist Qaher Al-Din, who was an active member of the local committee that organized their weekly demonstrations and was killed in a car crash last month. The participants marched towards their agricultural land before once again being stopped by Israeli soldiers who prevented access to privately-owned Palestinian land. Speeches were made for the benefit of the international and Israeli participants as well as local media, before the demonstration peacefully dispersed.