Photo taken: June 2012
Monthly Archives: June 2012
By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 21 & 22 Jun 2012
Large military forces raided the village of Nabi Saleh last night and maintained presence in the village until dawn, only to conduct another raid during the demonstration today.
Some several dozen protesters, residents of Nabi Saleh, accompanied by Palestinian, Israeli and international supporters participated in the weekly protest in the village this week. Shortly after the Friday prayer, as the demonstration was only beginning to march towards the village’s confiscated lands, the army entered the village with great force.
video by David Reeb
Shooting large amounts of tear-gas projectiles, rubber-coated bullets, soldiers occupied a space at the center of the village and remained there for several hours, effectively imposing a curfew on the village. Protesters were thus blocked with almost inability to move inside, not to mention out of Nabi Saleh. The army also used the “skunk”, a water canon of foul-smelling liquid, spraying it directly and intentionally into residential houses. Small clashed erupted, which ended after the army finally retreated. No arrests or injuries were reported.
Background Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 550 people, twenty kilometres north west of Ramallah in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli colony of Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf ) was established on lands belonging to the villages of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham in 1976. In response to the illegal colony being established on their land, the residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham began holding demonstrations in opposition to the stealing of their land and the establishment of the colony (whose establishment violates international law). The residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham lodged a court case against the colony in Israel’s high court, but were unable to stop the construction the illegal settlement.
Since its establishment in 1977, Halamish colony has continued to expand and steal more Palestinian land. In 2008, the residents of An Nabi Saleh challenged the building of a fence by the colony on private Palestinian land and which prevented Palestinians from accessing their land.
The Israeli courts ruled that the fence was to be dismantled Despite the Israeli court ruling, the colony continued to illegally annex more Palestinian land. In the summer of 2008, the Israeli colonists from Halamish seized control of a number springs, all of which were located on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of An Nabi Saleh. In December 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish annexing of the fresh water springs and stealing of more of the village’s land.
Since An Nabi Saleh began its demonstrations, the Israeli military has brutally sought to repress the non-violent protests, arresting more than 13% of the village, including children. In total, as of 31 March 2011, 64 village residents have been arrested. All but three were tried for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of those imprisoned, 29 have been minors under the age of 18 years and 4 have been women.
byMairav Zonszein: +972 Magazine: 18 June 2012
The Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh was raided last night (Sunday) by the IDF. Nabi Saleh, which has been conducting weekly nonviolent demonstrations since the end of 2009 against Israel’s occupation and the encroaching settlement of Halamish, has been the target of repeated night raids over the last two years.
In the video below, uploaded by Bilal Tamimi, you can hear the IDF shooting stun grenades into the village and see the flashes of light they give off. Towards the end of the video, you can clearly see the IDF jeeps parked in the village, some soldiers firing shots, and then they all drive away.
Video by Bilal Tamimi, Tamimi Press.
While it is difficult to see in the dark, it seems as if the soldiers are shooting in every direction around them, nearly a full 360-degree circle. If the soldiers were being attacked in some way, it is unlikely it would be from literally all sides and besides, if they were really being threatened, they would be probably also use tear gas, not just stun grenades. It is hard to understanding this as anything other than the IDF terrorizing the village, punishing it for holding weekly demonstrations that call attention to Israel’s occupation.
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The village of Ni’lin, which recently marked five years of demonstrations, suffered an especially harsh night raid on Thursday night in which two Palestinian residents were arrested. According to the Ni’lin village website, from Saturday:
At 01:30 on Friday morning more than 120 soldiers surrounded the village of Ni’lin from all sides but the west. Thirty minutes later the soldiers invaded the village on foot accompanied by 14 military jeeps. They proceeded to raid five houses inside the village, the houses of Jameel Srour, Jammal Srour, Yousef Srour, Shukri Kawaja and Mosab Srour.
Video by Jihad Habazi
During the house raids, the families were put in one of the rooms in the house while the soldiers harshly went through their belongings, destroying furniture and leaving chaos in their wake. The five men listed above were all arrested but three of them were released later during the night. The two remaining men, Yousef and Mosab Srour were taken to an as of now unknown Israeli military facility where they are still being held as this is being written.
During the invasion of the house of Mosab Srour one of the soldiers stole NIS 1000 NiS from a moneybox of the youngest brother of Mosab. Mosabs brother had been saving this money for months, little by little from his work as a vegetable farmer and salesman. A laptop was also stolen from the house.
While this has not been verified, Palestinian residents claim that in addition to stun grenades, the IDF shot tear gas straight into civilian houses and that live ammunition was used as well.
By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 15 June 2012
Dr. Layla Ghannam, the Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh and the first female Governor in Palestine joined the protest in the small hilltop village. 15 protesters were injured as the army violently dispersed the peaceful march.
Photo: Volleys of tear-gas shot during Nabi Saleh demo. In the background, the settlement of Halamish
With popular protest throughout Palestine gaining momentum, especially concerning the pressing matter of political prisoners, villages like Nabi Saleh serve as a symbol of resilience and persistence. Public representatives and journalists from all major Palestinian media outlets came to the village today to join and witness the weekly demonstration, most notably Dr. Layla Ghannam, the Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh and the first female Governor in Palestine.The demonstration started from the center of the village shortly after the Friday prayer. Protesters marched towards the main road of the village, only to be met with extensive shooting of tear-gas canisters and rubber coated steel bullets. Fifteen protesters were injured during this unwarranted assault and most of them were treated in the field. Clashes maintained for a few hours, following which the army retreated. No arrests were reported.
Background: Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 550 people, twenty kilometres north west of Ramallah in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli colony of Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf ) was established on lands belonging to the villages of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham in 1976. In response to the illegal colony being established on their land, the residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham began holding demonstrations in opposition to the stealing of their land and the establishment of the colony (whose establishment violates international law). The residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham lodged a court case against the colony in Israel’s high court, but were unable to stop the construction the illegal settlement.
Since its establishment in 1977, Halamish colony has continued to expand and steal more Palestinian land. In 2008, the residents of An Nabi Saleh challenged the building of a fence by the colony on private Palestinian land and which prevented Palestinians from accessing their land. The Israeli courts ruled that the fence was to be dismantled Despite the Israeli court ruling, the colony continued to illegally annex more Palestinian land. In the summer of 2008, the Israeli colonists from Halamish seized control of a number springs, all of which were located on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of An Nabi Saleh. In December 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish annexing of the fresh water springs and stealing of more of the village’s land. Since An Nabi Saleh began its demonstrations, the Israeli military has brutally sought to repress the non-violent protests, arresting more than 13% of the village, including children. In total, as of 31 March 2011, 64 village residents have been arrested. All but three were tried for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of those imprisoned, 29 have been minors under the age of 18 years and 4 have been women.
The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh; Video appears to indicate that officer’s life was not in danger.
By Gili Cohen and Nir Hasson | Haaretz, Jun.12, 2012
The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh; Video appears to indicate that officer’s life was not in danger.
Video by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
An IDF officer was documented ten days ago hurling rocks and firing live ammunition at Palestinian demonstrators near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. In the video, shot by village resident Bilel Tamimi, the officer is seen throwing rocks at two young Palestinian men who are also hurling rocks at him. Later the officer is seen firing in their direction.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement, stating that “an initial investigation found that live ammunition was used in the incident. The firing officer has been suspended until the investigation is completed.”
The video, uploaded to Youtube, clearly shows clouds of dust rising from the area where the bullets struck, near the Palestinian men. The officer, who was at the scene with four other IDF soldiers, is seen advancing and retreating, suggesting his life was not in danger. According to standing orders, the use of crowd control equipment must be authorized by a company commander, and use of live ammunition can only be used after carrying out protocols for apprehending suspicious suspects.
The villages’ Popular Committee said in a statement that the violence by IDF soldiers reflects Israel’s policies and is not limited to a few isolated incidents. Last December, Nabi Saleh resident Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed in a similar incident during a weekly demonstration. In February, the IDF admitted that injuries sustained by a French woman may have been caused by an army tear gas canister and not by rocks thrown by other protesters, as initially claimed.
Both incidents took place during the weekly demonstration by residents of Nabi Saleh against the expropriation of their land in favor of the nearby settlement of Halamish, and the settlers’ takeover of a spring that served the Palestinian residents.
They have been held every Friday for the past two years, with the participation of Israeli and foreign activists. Most weeks they end with Palestinians throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers firing tear gas canisters and rubber-tipped bullets
By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 12 June 2012
The video, filmed on June 1, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, shows an Israeli officer standing in a dominant position, above two protesters, throwing stones and firing live ammunition at them.
Video by Bilal Tamimi
00:08 The first shot of live ammunition is heard, but is not seen.
00:14 An Israeli Army officer is seen throwing stones at two Palestinian youth who are standing on the road beneath him. The two protesters are also throwing stones. Three other soldiers are standing next to the officer.
00:17 After throwing a stone at the two Palestinians, the officer shoots live ammunition at them in a volley of two or three bullets. The officer clearly does not fear for his life, and is standing at a tactically advantageous position. The fact that the officer is using live ammunition and not rubber-coated bullets is evident by the lack of an attachment used for firing rubber-coated bullets on the barrel of his gun. The sound of the shooting is that of live ammo, rather than blanks.
The officer then continues to throw stones, a stun grenade and to shoot live ammunition for more than a minute. He walks to and fro and it is evident that the shooting was not made out of fear of immediate danger to his life.
01:03 The officer runs towards the two protesters and throws the stone at them standing above the two from a very sort distance. He retreats to pick up another stone as the two Palestinians throw stones back at him.
01:16 The officer advances back towards the two protesters, throws another stone and then shoots another bullet at them.
01:18 Immediately after the shot is fired, a cloud of dust can be seen rising from the road, a few inches left of one of the protesters. Since the attachment used for for firing rubber-coated bullets isn’t placed on the barrel of the officer’s gun, there could be no doubt left he is shooting live ammunition.
01:21 another shot is fired. A cloud of dust can be seen rising from the road where the bullet hits, between the two protesters. Seconds after, as the two are running away, another shot is fired and hits the road next to them.
Background Late in 2009, settlers began gradually taking over Ein al-Qaws (the Bow Spring), which rests on lands belonging to Bashir Tamimi, the head of the Nabi Saleh village council. The settlers, abetted by the army, erected a shed over the spring, renamed it Maayan Meir, after a late settler, and began driving away Palestinians who came to use the spring by force – at times throwing stones or even pointing guns at them, threatening to shoot.
While residents of Nabi Saleh have already endured decades of continuous land grab and expulsion to allow for the ever continuing expansion of the Halamish settlement, the takeover of the spring served as the last straw that lead to the beginning of the village’s grassroots protest campaign of weekly demonstrations in demand for the return of their lands.
Protest in the tiny village enjoys the regular support of Palestinians from surrounding areas, as well as that of Israeli and international activists. Demonstrations in Nabi Saleh are also unique in the level of women participation in them, and the role they hold in all their aspects, including organizing. Such participation, which often also includes the participation of children reflects the village’s commitment to a truly popular grassroots mobilization, encompassing all segments of the community.
The response of the Israeli military to the protests has been especially brutal and includes regularly laying complete siege on village every Friday, accompanied by the declaration of the entire village, including the built up area, as a closed military zone. Prior and during the demonstrations themselves, the army often completely occupies the village, in effect enforcing an undeclared curfew. Military nighttime raids and arrest operations are also a common tactic in the army’s strategy of intimidation, often targeting minors.
In order to prevent the villagers and their supporters from exercising their fundamental right to demonstrate and march to their lands, soldiers regularly use disproportional force against the unarmed protesters. The means utilized by the army to hinder demonstrations include, but are not limited to, the use of tear-gas projectiles, banned high-velocity tear-gas projectiles, rubber-coated bullets and, at times, even live ammunition. The use of banned 0.22″ munitions by snipers has also been recorded in Nabi Saleh.
The use of such practices have already brought about the death of Mustafa Tamimi and caused countless injuries, several of them serious, including those of children – the most serious of which is that of 14 year-old Ehab Barghouthi, who was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet from short range on March 5th, 2010 and laid comatose in the hospital for three weeks. Due to the wide-spread nature of the disproportionate use of force, the phenomenon cannot be attributed to the behavior of individual soldiers, and should be viewed as the execution of policy.
Tear-gas, as well as a foul liquid called “The Skunk”, which is shot from a water cannon, is often used inside the built up area of the village, or even directly pointed into houses, in a way that allows no refuge for the uninvolved residents of the village, including children and the elderly. The interior of at least one house caught fire and was severely damaged after soldiers shot a tear-gas projectile through its windows.
Since December 2009, when protest in the village was sparked, hundreds of demonstration-related injuries caused by disproportionate military violence have been recorded in Nabi Saleh.
Between January 2010 and June 2012, the Israeli Army has carried 98 arrests of people detained for 24 hours or more on suspicions related to protest in the village of Nabi Saleh, including those of women and of children as young as 11 years old. Of the 98, 31 were minors. Dozens more were detained for shorter periods. Two of the village’s protest leaders – Bassem and Naji Tamimi – arrested on protest-organizing related charges, were recognized by the European Union as human rights defenders. Bassem Tamimi was also declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, recently denounced his conviction by an Israeli military court and Human Rights Watch warned that he did not receive a fair trial.
By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, 8 June 2012
Three international solidarity activists were arrested during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh this week. The army used anti-riot gear inside populated areas, shooting tear-gas canister and spraying “skunk” water into homes.
Dozens joined the weekly demonstration at Nabi Saleh this week, which marked 45 years to the “Naksa” – 1967 war which ended with the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Making its way from the center of the village towards the main road of the village, protesters were met by the “skunk”, a water cannon spraying foul-smelling liquid, and a volley of tear-gas canisters. As the demonstrators were dispersing and regrouping, soldiers marched into the village and started making arrests.
Picture by Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills
Three international activists were detained on no grounds, only to be released at the end of the demonstration. The skunk truck also proceeded into the residential areas of the village, spurting the fetid liquid into homes for clearly no other reason than vengeance. A group of protesters who began making their way to the villages confiscated spring was attacked with a volley of tear-gas, fired from a launcher which shoots dozens of canisters at once. The demonstration ended with some clashes, however no serious injuries were reported.
video by David Reeb