Israeli Settlers Uproot and Burn Olive Trees in Nabi Saleh

by Kelly Joiner – IMEMC and Agencies: 1 August, 2012

Israeli settlers uprooted and burned olive trees on Palestinian land in the village of Nabi Saleh on Wednesday.

According to the Palestine News Network, a spokesman for the Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement in Nabi Saleh said that the Israeli military escorted a group of settlers to the area and watched passively as the settlers destroyed Palestinian property.
The land’s owners were not present at the time the destruction began but villagers rushed to the area as soon as smoke was spotted. The settlers ran away before the farmers could reach them.
Settler activities are illegal under international law and violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. Additionally, arson and destruction of private property are violations of Israeli law.

The Israeli military took no action against the settlers despite being present throughout the incident.

Activists: Man hospitalized after Israeli army raids Nabi Saleh

by Maan News: 29 July 2012

This is the fifth day in a row that the army have raided Nabi Saleh at the time of Iftar, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the village of Nabi Saleh on Saturday evening and fired tear gas and live ammunition, a local committee said.
Soldiers entered the village just before Iftar, the Ramadan meal to break the fast, and raided several houses without warrants, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.
One man was hospitalized with internal bleeding after being beaten by soldiers and another man, Abd Alrazeq Tamimi, fainted after inhaling tear gas. Abd Alrazeq Tamimi’s son Mustafa was killed in Nabi Saleh last year when an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister directly at him from close range.
Saturday’s raid was the fifth day in a row that the army entered Nabi Saleh at the time of Iftar, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers entered Nabi Saleh on Saturday evening during “routine activity” and fired tear gas. She was not aware of any injuries.

Ramadan in Nabi Saleh: Military raid village 5 days in a row, fire live ammunition and search houses

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: July 29, 2012

Video by Tamimi Press – 26 July 2012

Press Release:

In the last five days in row, Israeli army has been raiding Nabi Saleh every evening just before Iftar. Yesterday, large force of military raided the village, clashed with the residents while shooting live ammunition, searching houses and assaulting residents.

Large military force raided yesterday evening the village of Nabi Saleh and clashed with citizens while shooting live ammunition. This is the fifth day in row, the army raids the village just before the Ramadan meal to break the fast (Iftar).

The soldiers raided several houses without warrants, terrorized families and children, who were preparing to break their fast. Soldiers also beat residents, including 9 years old child.

Another young man who was visiting one of the village’s houses, was beaten brutally by the soldiers and subsequently hospitalized, while suffering from internal bleeding. In addition soldiers shot large amounts of tear gas canisters and sound bombs.

Abd Alrazeq Tamimi (father of martyr Mustafa Tamimi who was shot dead last year in Nabi Saleh), who suffers from kidney failure, fainted after inhaling tear gas shot by soldiers to his house,and was taken to Salfit hospital.


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 allowfor 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 demonstrateand 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, 2010and 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 bythe 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.

Israeli Occupation Army Raids Nabi Saleh in the Aftermath of Friday Demo

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 27 July 2012

Israeli soldiers attack weekly protest at Nabi Saleh wounding at least two people, including a 9-year old child. Hours after the demonstration ended, the army raided the village and arrested four unassociated people.

The weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh started shortly after midday prayers, making its way from the center of the village towards the confiscated lands. Without any provocation on behalf of the demonstrators, the army declared the area a closed military zone and deemed the demonstration illegal.  Following this declaration, Israeli soldiers and border policemen began firing several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and a number of tear gas canisters. Some tear gas canisters were shot directly at groups of protesters, against the army’s own open-fire regulations which stipulate tear-gas canisters be shot only in arc trajectory. Nine year-old Mohammad Tamimi was hit in his arm with a tear gas canister and was evacuated to the hospital for treatment. Another 17 year-old boy was also injured from a canister shot directly at him and was treated in the field.

In an attempt to avoid further clashes, at around 2:30 PM the demonstrators decided to disperse: villagers went home, most Israeli and international supporters left the village and the army, in response, also withdrew. However, around 5:30, two hours before the Iftar dinner, the army returned to the village with considerable force. Soldiers surrounded the village from all directions and some barged into houses and assaulted their residents, mainly women. In an attempt to conduct arrests, the army chased the villages’ youth for miles, reaching the neighboring villages of Beit Rima and Kufr Ei’n. Five unassociated residents Kufr Ei’n were arrested during this unwarrented incursion.

Unarmed Palestinian demonstrations in Bil’in, Ni’lin and Qaddoum met with severe military repression by Israel

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 27 July 2012

In the villages of Bil’in, Ni’ilin and Kufr Qaddoum, hundreds continue to protest land annexation and settlement expansion.

Tear-gas canister shot in Kufr Qaddoum: Picture Credit: Jaffar Ashtiyeh

Demonstration in Qaddoum. Picture Credit: Jaffar Ashtiyeh

In the early afternoon hours of the second Friday of the Ramadan, some several dozen protesters gathered in Bil’in for the weekly demonstration against the Wall and settlements. The protesters – Bil’iners, Israeli activists and international supporters – made their way towards the separation wall where the army was already based. Upon reaching Abu Lamon grove near the Western stretch of the Wall, protesters were met by volleys of tear-gas canisters, as well as shock grenades and the “skunk” – a water cannon spraying foul-smelling liquid. Since the wind was blowing in the direction of the soldiers, protesters were able to make their way to the Wall and cross the first fence surrounding it. After some clashes the demonstration dispersed. No arrests or injuries were reported.

A similar demonstration took place in the neighboring village of Ni’ilin, where a few dozen protesters marched towards the concrete Wall built on the village’s olive groves. The army shot tear-gas and used the skunk to disperse the crowd. Qaddoum: Picture Credit: Jaffar Ashtiyeh

Demonstration in Qaddoum. Picture Credit: Jaffar Ashtiyeh

In the northern West Bank, at the village of Kufur Qadduom, some 200 villagers accompanied by international supporters were attacked with tear gas as soon as they reached the road block isolating the village form the surrounding villages and towns. The army used outstanding amounts of tear-gas, as well as the skunk and proceeded into the populated areas of the village. No Severe injuries were reported.