Ni’lin marks 3rd anniversary of non-violent protests

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The West Bank village of Ni’lin on Friday marked its third anniversary of weekly non-violent demonstrations against Israel’s wall.

Since 2008, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians demonstrating in Ni’lin to protest Israel’s confiscation of one third of the village’s land. Hundreds have been injured and detained from the village as soldiers violently shut down the rallies, at times using live ammunition.

In June 2008, the village was held under siege by the Israeli military and over the summer Israeli forces shot and killed a 10-year-old boy, Ahmed Moussa. At Ahmed’s funeral, Israeli soldiers shot 18-year-old Yousif Amira in the head with rubber-coated steel bullets. He fell into a coma and died in hospital.

Two villagers were killed when Ni’lin protested Israel’s war on Gaza in December 2008. Soldiers shot Arafat Khawaja, 22, in the back, and Mohammad Khawaja, 18, in the head.

US activist Tristan Anderson was left with brain injuries after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a tear gas canister at a protest in March 2009.

Two months later, soldiers shot Yousef Awel Sadiq Srour, 36, in the chest with live ammunition. He was pronounced dead on arrival to hospital.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians gathered to pray next to the separation wall, and dozens of internationals joined protesters carrying Palestinian flags to march to a gate in the wall.

Israeli forces waiting at the gate fired tear-gas canisters and sound grenades at the rally.

Ni’lin popular committee member Salah Khawaja told Ma’an that despite Israel’s military campaign against the village, the protests would continue.

“We lost five people, 700 have been injured and 150 arrested, many of them children.

“But we vow to continue and to bring more people to our strategy of non-violent resistance. We saw in Egypt what can be achieved when the people work together,” Khawaja said.

(www.maannews.net / 22.05.2011)

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