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Weekly Protest in Ni'ilin Protests the Wall
A report from the Friday protest in Ni'ilin, Palestine against the Wall.
Every Friday the Palestinian village of Ni'ilin protests against the Apartheid Wall that Israel is building in the West Bank. Several other villages also hold protests on Fridays. The wall is claimed to protect Israelis from Palestinians but in reality it steals Palestinian land. Once the Palestinian village is separated from a portion or all of their land by a twenty foot concrete wall guarded by soldiers they can no longer reasonably get there and Israeli (illegal) settlements can expand.
On the way to Ni'ilin we had to pass through two checkpoints. We were white looking and had Israeli license plates and made it through with minimal problems. Palestinians were being searched as we went through. Then we had to drive on a series of Apartheid roads, one for Israelis and a not as nice on for Palestinians. There are "ethnic tunnels" to keep the Palestinian roads from crossing the Israeli roads. Remember, this is all in Palestine. We finally got to the village.
For more on Ni'ilin and other villages affected by the Wall check out the Anarchists Against The Wall website: http://www.awalls.org/node
Friday Muslim prayers were going on. When they finished we started a march to the Walls construction site. Two groups of Israeli soldiers and several jeeps were visible in the villages olive groves, ready to attack the march. The wall will steal much of the villages land. Two nearby Israeli settlements are set to expand. We began to march and made it several hundred feet. Then the teargas came flying in. The march was on the villagers own land and nowhere near the wall construction site. People ran and tried to avoid the gas. More grenades came flying in and filled the area with teargas. The march retreated and broke up. The Palestinian youths put on kafiyas or t-shirt masks and got out sling to throw rocks at the soldiers. The Israeli group Anarchists Against The Wall, foreign activists and journalist also were teargassed as they supported the protest or filmed it. For hours the soldiers fired teargas into the village. Twice they charged into the village with armored jeeps. Palestinians threw rocks and the soldiers fired hundreds of teargas grenades, concussion grenades and rubber coated steel bullets.
As the sun set the battle wound down. The villagers were determined to save their land and the Israelis are just as determined to take it away. Members of Anarchists Against The Wall and foreigners were treated to tea by a thankful Palestinian family.
Palestinian children watch an Israeli armored jeep in their olive grove. it is only waiting to attack. In the distance is an Israeli settlement.
This view from Ni'ilin shows the road that will go alongside the wall as it is built, cutting off much of the villagers land.
Villagers, Israelis, foreign activists and journalists march toward the wall.
Soldiers fire teargas as the march starts.
Marchers flee from teargas.
The march is dispersed by teargas. In the background is an expanding Israeli settlement.
A kid stands with his sling, ready to throw rocks at the soldiers.
Villagers with rocks and slings defend their village.
A kid slings a rock at soldiers in the olive groves.
Villagers with slings hurl rocks as soldiers approach.
Throwing more stones.
A man with a sling hurls a rock.
A youth slings a stone over a house with a Palestinian flag on the roof.
Villagers and visiting activists take cover behind a wall as teargas is fired at them.
The sun sets as one of the last teargas clouds blows away.