Occupation forces have shown no change in their increasingly violent response to the weekly demonstrations in Ni'lin and Bil’in against the Apartheid Wall. 15 people were injured, among them Mustafa ‘Amira, who was critically wounded after being shot in the head with a tear gas canister. Soldiers also arrested another young man, who was beaten severely in custody.
In Ni'lin, where 300 Palestinians and international supporters gathered to march in protest against the Apartheid Wall, snipers were deployed in an under-construction building and armed soldiers in the fields and streets. Occupation forces fired excessive rounds of tear gas and young men and boys responded by throwing stones. More tear gas and live ammunition followed, ultimately preventing the march from taking place.
Seven people were injured, including Mustafa 'Amira, who was shot at close range by a tear gas canister in the back of his head, and another man who was shot in the leg with a lead bullet. Both were rushed to a Ramallah hospital, where after surgery Mustafa 'Amira condition was stabilized.
During the demonstration, soldiers also beat and arrested Muhanid Ahmed Khawajeh. An eyewitness reported that soldiers continued to beat Khawajeh after he had been detained. He is still in prison, joining the remaining two prisoners from al-Ma’sara.
Ni’lin is located west of Ramallah near the Green Line. Until 1948, villagers owned 58,000 dunums of land, which stretched as far as Ramle and Lod. After the Nakba, 40,000 dunums of this land was annexed. Following the 1967 occupation, the colonies of Kiryat Sefer, Mattityahu and Maccabim were built on village lands. In addition, new roads were created for the ever-expanding settlements of Nili and Na’ale. Together, these settlements and their associated infrastructure claimed another 8,000 dunums of Ni’lin’s land.
These confiscations left Ni’lin with just 10,000 of its original 58,000 dunums of land. The current construction of the Wall on the western side of the village, and a military base on the southern side will strip Ni’lin of a further 2,500 dunums. This current confiscation must be seen with the context of the ghettoization project, as Ni’lin will be isolated from the rest of the West Bank, with its main entrance being a tunnel running under the segregated settler-only road. Not only will this involve the confiscation of a further 200 dunums, but it will also effectively give the Occupation military full control over movement in and out of the area.
Four have been killed since demonstrations against the Wall began, Ahmed Mousa (10), Yousif Amira (17), Arafat Khawaja (20), and Muhammad Khawaja (22), while scores more have been seriously injured or arrested.
StoptheWall.org is the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign outlet of information about the Wall as well as resistance to it on the ground.