By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 30 December 2011
The weekly protest in Nabi Saleh marked three years to the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza. Four people were arrested: two international activists before the protest started and two Palestinian activists after the demonstration already came to an end.
Video by Bilal Tamimi
Dozens participated in this week’s demonstration in Nabi Saleh, marking 3 years to the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Nabi Saleh residents, joined by Palestinian, Israeli and international solidarity activists, marched peacefully from the center of the village, shortly after the Friday prayer.
The peaceful procession was shortly met with Israeli aggression: The army used the “skunk” foul-water cannon against the demonstrators, as soon as they reached the main road. Once the demonstrators chose a different path, where the “skunk” couldn’t reach them, the army resorted to shooting large amounts of tear-gas canisters.
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills
This did not deter the demonstrators who continued marching towards the village’s spring and other lands annexed by Halamish settlers. Some demonstrators made their way towards Dir Nizam, a neighboring Palestinian village which has also suffered from Halamish’s expansion on its lands. As children from Deir Nidham watched the happenings from beyond the main road, over six Israeli military vehicles and dozens of soldiers crowded the road. Huge amounts of tear-gas canisters were shot, including directly at demonstrators, from a close range.
Picture Credit: Ann Paq/Activestills
The demonstration persisted until sundown, in several locations. Some local youth hurled stones to ward off the army incursion. Several protesters were injured from tear-gas canisters that were shot directly towards them, against the army’s own open-fire regulations.
The village was raided by the army before the demonstration started, and arrested two international activists. Towards the end of the demonstration, the army took over the main road of the village leading to Ramallah, establishing an “ad hoc” checkpoint. Each car attempting to leave the village was subsequently stopped, and passengers’ identification cards inspected. Two Palestinians were arrested in this checkpoint for participating in the demonstration and reportedly beaten up by the soldiers.