Weekly non-violent anti-Wall protests in a number of towns across the West Bank on Friday, including Bil’in, Nil’in, al Ma’sara and Nabi Saleh, were attacked by Israeli forces wielding tear gas and other ‘less-than-lethal’ weapons. Three protesters were injured when they were hit by high velocity tear gas canisters fired at close range by Israeli soldiers.
The protests on Friday commemorated Palestinian Land Day, the day in 1976 when Palestinians organized protests against Israeli confiscation of their land, and six protesters were gunned down by Israeli troops. Palestinians, along with supporters around the world, organize events each year on Land Day to protest the ongoing Israeli confiscation and annexation of Palestinian land.
According to a report from the Palestine News Network, in the village of Bil’in, where anti wall protests have been organized for the past six years, three men were injured when Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters. After the midday prayers in the local mosque finished, villagers were joined by international and Israeli peace activists and marched up the gate of the wall separating villagers from their lands.
Troops stationed there opened fire at protesters injuring three. The men sustained injuries when soldiers fired tear gas canisters directly at them. Many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The nearby village of Ni’lin held a similar protest on Friday. After conducting the Friday prayers on lands near the wall, villagers and their supporters marched up to the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their land. Israeli troops used tear gas and sound bombs to force people back. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the southern West Bank village of al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress the weekly protest against the wall. Local politicians along with Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers after the midday prays and marched to the lands where Israel is building the wall.
Troops fired tear gas to force people back into the village; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
(networkedblogs.com / 02.04.2011)