On Friday, 29 April, the regular An Nabi Saleh demonstration against the Halamish settlement and occupation managed to cross the main village road and towards its spring. Israeli occupation forces attacked the non-violent demonstrators with stun grenades and tear gas canisters on numerous occasions, shooting directly at people and houses inside a populated area. One house was hit by tear gas canister and set on fire.
Later that day a “Skunk” truck came and started shooting its foul water at peaceful demonstrators and houses. Three Israeli supporters of the village were detained for a few hours, two of which were deliberately rubbed by soldiers on the road as it was wet from the foul water. This foul water render houses who are targeted by it unfit for living for about a week, and foul-smelling for many months. It was used extensively at the entrance to the village’s built area, a place where all residents pass through as they exit the village.
Published Monday 25/04/2011 (updated) 26/04/2011 10:50
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Eleven-year-old Muhammad Bilal Abdul Salam At-Tamimi was taken to the intensive care unit in Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, his father told Ma’an, saying the boy’s condition had deteriorated throughout the week.
Muhammad had been hit by a tear-gas canister during a protest against land confiscations in the central West Bank village of An-Nabi Saleh, and was admitted to hospital at the time but was released the same day.
The child’s father said Muhammad’s health had deteriorated during the week, prompting him to return to the hospital, where he said doctors ran tests and determined that there were injuries to the liver and kidneys.
He said he believed that the damage had been done by the exposure to tear-gas, but doctors have not confirmed the cause of the condition.
Last summer I found myself wading around a swimming pool in the middle of the scorching desert on a Kibbutz in the Negev. I had come to this kibbutz to see an old friend from high school. Over the past 12 years we have developed and maintained a close friendship despite clear political differences which, in this country, can easily destroy personal relationships.
As we swam in the cool water, the topic of conversation turned to his reserve service. This friend of mine, let’s call him Avichai, had just finished a round of reserve duty in the Palestinian village of Ni’ilin, where I often attend and cover the demonstrations against the Separation Barrier. I was shocked to hear that he had served there and quickly realized that he had probably fired tear gas, rubber bullets or live ammunition at me. Our conversation took an uncomfortable turn.
I asked him directly, ‘what does it take for you to look at children and shoot at them with tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire?” He nonchalantly informed me that they are not children, rather enemies on a battlefield. When I asked him if he considered me an enemy for standing with the children, he brushed away the question suggesting that I was just confused. Sensing his growing discomfort, I ended the conversation knowing that relationships can end over politics in Israel.
Avichai’s thoughts regarding the use of force against Palestinian children, while shocking, are not that uncommon in my experience in Israeli society. Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO which collects testimonies from soldiers about their service in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, has released a number of first-hand accounts of soldiers who were told by their superiors to treat civilian areas as combat zones. Reading the testimonies, one sees an army that does not always make the proper distinction between enemy and civilian. This policy is on raw display during the weekly unarmed demonstrations against the Separation Wall and Occupation throughout the West Bank.
In the quiet village of Nabi Saleh last Friday, during a weekly demonstration against the Occupation, a child was directly hit by an Israeli tear gas canister. According to eyewitness Jonathan Pollak, the media coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, eleven-year-old Muhammad Bilal Abdul Salam At-Tamimi was standing in a crowd when soldiers began firing tear gas canisters in their direction. Tamimi was hit directly on the side of his stomach and taken to a Ramallah hospital. After a brief stay in hospital, he was released in what appeared to be a good condition.
by Idan Landau : translation by Dena Shunra Tuesday, April 19 2011|+972blog
In just over one year of unarmed demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, a small Palestinian community in the West Bank, 155 of the village’s 500 residents were wounded (about 60 of them children); 35 homes were damaged and dozens of the village’s people were detained. Yet even after the protest’s leader was put behind bars by the army, the struggle for the Nabi Saleh’s land continues Nabi Saleh, April 8 2011 (photo: Tamimi Press)
The objects seen in the picture: a magazine (known as a “tampon”) attached to a Tavor gun, and a human skull, attached to a neck. The gun is vertical; the neck is horizontal. You could say they’ve made contact. Inside the magazine: 12 to 16 rubber-coated metal pellets. Inside the skull: soft, gray brain tissue. Thoughts and memories. A soul. The purpose of the weapon: dispersing demonstrations at a minimum range of 40 meters. The purpose of the brain: to live. To remember such moments. Will the rubber-metal pellets go through that brain? Probably not. However, the thought about it doubtlessly goes through the man’s mind. One could say that this is actually happening at the photographed moment. Does pressing the magazine to the head of a man lying on the ground constitute “dispersion of demonstrations” at a minimal range of 40 meters? Pointless question. That is not the point here. The point is sowing fear and terror, emotional terror. Was the picture taken out of context? Did the demonstrator “provoke” the soldiers, perhaps by throwing stones? That is a disingenuous question, the very answer for which takes it out of context. As if the “provocation” and the throwing of stones have no context; as if they do not occur against the background of the basic, unchanging context of occupation and dispossession. What the hell is an Israeli soldier doing on Palestinian land? Why is he protecting an unlawful settlement that robs its Palestinian neighbors, and how does he even expect the Palestinian to just sit there and do nothing when faced with this scandalous conduct? This could have been the end of the post. For anyone who knows anything about the events at Nabi Saleh, this is quite enough. But not everyone knows, and truly, what can you even understand from this laconic, routine headline that appears on the Hebrew news sites every Friday, “Riots at Nabi Saleh”? So it is appropriate to say more. That every Israeli citizen know what has been done in his name, every week, for 15 months now.
17 April 2011 – Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Tamimi’s political arrest was extended indefinitely by an Israeli military judge today despite problematic evidence. His trial will open on May 8th.
The arrest of Bassem Tamimi, a 44 year-old protest organizer from Nabi Saleh and the coordinator of the village’s popular committee, was extended indefinitely today at the Ofer Military Court. Tamimi will remain in detention until the end of legal proceedings in his case. The indictment against Tamimi, filed two weeks ago, is based on questionable and coerced confessions of youth. He is charged with incitement, organizing unpermitted marches, solicitation to throw stones, disobeying the duty to report to questioning, and a scandalous obstruction of justice charge, for allegedly giving youth advice on how to act under interrogation by the police in the event that they are arrested.
The transcript of Tamimi’s police interrogation further shows the police and Military Prosecution’s political motivation and disregard for suspect’s rights under interrogation. During his questioning, Tamimi was accused by his interrogator of “consulting with lawyers and foreigners to prepare for his interrogation” – no doubt a legal right.
Tamimi’s trial will open on May 8th, when he is expected to plead not guilty to all charges, admit having organized peaceful demonstrations against settlement expansion and argue that it is in fact the Occupation that should be standing trial.