Israeli Army Occupy Homes in al-Nabi Saleh After Demonstration

12 September 2011

9th September: PSP joined residents of al-Nabi Saleh for their weekly demonstration. Around sixty protesters – comprising local residents, Israelis, and international activists – marched towards the area of several local springs which have been stolen by the nearby illegal settlement of Halamish.

The march left from the village, centering around a small group carrying a ‘coffin’ for “the soul of the Oslo accords”. The demonstration was a symbolic funeral for the Oslo accords on the seventeenth anniversary of its signing. The route of the march took the protesters to the edge of the village, planning to descend the hill into a valley close to the fence surrounding Halamish, where one of the springs was located. The intent was to symbolically reclaim the spring for the village, if only for a short while.
As the demonstrators descended into the valley in front of the Hismalash settlement, the peaceful march was met with volleys of tear gas from the Israeli military.

The approach of a second group of soldiers from behind the protesters caused the group to move back into the village and, after re-organising, proceed down the main road towards a military watchtower and the main checkpoint in the village. At this point the violence from the Israeli army escalated, and large quantities of tear gas was fired at the demonstrators, in an attempt to drive the peaceful protest back into the centre of the village. Groups of soldiers then chased several of the demonstrators in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest Palestinian protesters.

On reaching the edge of the village the soldiers then proceeded to invade the village, firing tear gas canisters horizontally down the streets, forcing the demonstrators to shelter in alleyways. The soldiers then occupied at least one house on the far side of the main square, firing tear gas from the roof at clusters of demonstrators. The soldiers remained on the roof for over 30 minutes, before leaving the village. No arrests were made.