Israeli Soldiers Attack West Bank Anti-Wall Protests, Injuring Six Civilians

Ramallah – PNN – Six civilians were injured on Friday and many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protests in a number of West Bank communities.

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People march in Bil’in protest – Archive

This week, protests were reported in the villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara in the south.

One man was injured in the leg and two dozen were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as troops attacked the weekly protest in the village of al-Nabi Salleh, central West Bank. On Friday morning, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters gathered near land where Israel plans to build a new settlement. Troops attacked villages as soon as they left, and later invaded the village and fired tear gas into people homes.

Later, after the midday prayers, protestors marched again to the settlement construction site, where troops attacked them with tear gas before leaving the village. One man was hit with a tear gas bomb, injuring his hand. Troops later invaded the village and took over homes, including the house of Bassem al-Tamimi, a local activist who has been detained by the Israeli military for the past six months.

Similarly, in Bil’in village, a journalist was injured and many more were treated for tear gas inhalation after troops attacked the protest. Residents of Bil’in have been protesting at the wall for the past six years. International and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers. As soon as people reached the gate of the wall separating villagers from their lands, troops fired tear gas and sound bombs. Khalid Sabarnah, 45, a local journalist, was injured when a tear gas bomb hit him in his hand.

Further protests were held in the nearby village of Nil’in, where the residents and their Israeli and international supporters held the Friday midday prayers near the Israeli wall. The protestors then marched up to the wall, marking the third year of their resistance against it. Troops fired tear gas and live rounds at protesters, causing minor injuries to four. Furthermore, troops fired tear gas at nearby olive orchards, where a number of olive trees caught fire.

Elsewhere on the same day, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters protested against the wall and settlements in al-Ma’sara village in the southern West Bank. Israeli troops stopped villagers from reaching the construction side of the wall, and pushed people back into the village, where the protest ended without any further clashes.

(english.pnn.ps 03.06.2011)

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