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IDF Severely Wounds Nilin Protestor in Head…Again

Nilin protestor severely wounded by IDF tear gas canister

Nilin protestor severely wounded by IDF tear gas canister

Ah, those bad boys in the IDF, once again shooting to kill unarmed, non-violent Palestinian protesters.  I used to say “you think they’d learn their lesson after they killed the first, second, third, or fourth villager” protesting the Separation Wall, which splits their community.  But now I believe the lesson IS that they should maim or even kill a demonstrator each week, if possible until those pesky Palis learn their lesson and stop messing with the IDF.

Last Friday’s demonstration brought several hundred protesters praying and confronting heavily armed IDF soldiers who roamed far from the actual Separation Wall, entering the village seeking trouble.  And they found it:

Residents of Ni’lin gathered in the olive groves near the village to hold the weekly prayer before the start of the demonstration at 12:30. Several speeches were made to commemorate the 1 year anniversary since Ni’lin’s resistance against the Apartheid Wall began. Israeli soldiers positioned themselves around the people praying.

As soon as the prayer ended, soldiers began to throw and fire tear-gas canisters…

Demonstrators marched towards the olive field, but were prevented from entering because of 2 Israeli jeeps positioned near the outskirts. Soldiers began to shoot tear-gas canisters directly at individuals.

At 2:30, one Palestinian youth, aged 20, was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister from around 10 meters as he was standing near a home on the outskirts of the village. He was bleeding profusely from his head and had to be taken to Ramallah hospital. The tear-gas canister shattered part of his skull and he had to undergo surgery.

In the past few weeks, U.S. peace activist Tristan Anderson was similarly wounded in the head and faces serious brain injury as a result.  Most recently, a Palestinian was killed by firing a high velocity tear gas canister at his chest.  I am glad that those who organize these demonstrations videotape them for just such a possibility.  IDF commanders should know that their callous disregard for Palestinian life will not be rewarded with impunity indefinitely.  They will be made to pay a price.  Clearly, Israeli justice will not interfere and hold criminals such as these accountable.  But international criminal courts someday will.  Soon and in our day.

In case anyone wonders why protesting the Wall is so important to these villagers, read this:

Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin consisted of 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after construction of the Wall.

This is a community based on agriculture.  The goal, intentional or unintentional over 40 years, has been to disrupt Palestinian life and prevent residents from earning their living.  That is why the Occupation is a criminal undertaking, especially in light of the events I report here.

The IDF claim that they were merely responding to the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails when they fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters which wounded ten people is ridiculous.  While there was some rock throwing only AFTER the IDF began firing, there were no Molotov cocktails.  If there were I challenge the IDF to produce any evidence.  They surely videotape these demonstrations themselves.  Let’s see the proof.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca May 26, 2009, 2:41 AM

    Hey this is atrocious! What can native Israelis do to speak out against this?

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2009, 1:08 PM

      You can support financially the Israeli groups that demonstrate weekly in Bilin & Nilin. Anarchists Against the Wall is one of the chief groups. I’d also be happy to quote any Israeli here who wished to make a public statement against these atrocities.

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