Maan News: Israeli occupation forces disperse Nabi Saleh protest

by Maan News: 22 June 2013

A protester pictured in Nabi Saleh.(MaanImages/Sheren Nassir)


NABI SALEH, West Bank (Ma’an) — Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets during weekly protests in the Ramallah village of Nabi Saleh on Friday.

Israeli soldiers surrounded protesters at the top of a mount where demonstrators gather weekly against the appropriation of village land for nearby Israeli settlements.

A student from Birzeit University was injured after being shot in the arm with a rubber-coated steel bullet and a field of olive trees was set on fire by tear gas canisters.

Around 60 protestors participated in the demonstration, including Israeli nationals and international students from Birzeit.

Boshra Tamimi, a Nabi Saleh resident whose home is close to the mount edge, sheltered the majority of internationals fleeing Israeli forces.

“We are very worried about our children, because they come in the middle of the night, and they have pictures of all the children. When they want to arrest anyone, they have a picture,” Tamimi told Ma’an.

Although Tamimi is scared for her son, she does not urge him to stay out of the demonstrations.

“It’s his life, he is free, he can decide what he needs to do,” Tamimi said.

Richarach Rachman, a member of Yesh Gvul, an Israeli conscientious objector group, told Ma’an that he often comes to Nabi Saleh to demonstrate against the illegal neighboring settlements.

He refused to serve in Israel’s army in the early 1990’s and regularly attends demonstrations to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Since 2009, residents of Nabi Saleh and international activists have been protesting every Friday against Israel’s land grab.

Unarmed demonstrators climb down the mount towards one of the illegally occupied springs and challenge Israeli soldiers at the bottom who guard the area.

Rushdi Tamimi, a Nabi Saleh resident, was shot and killed during a demonstration last November.

A year earlier, Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed after being hit in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces.

According to a Nabi Saleh resident, 64 people have been arrested and jailed in the last two years.

Since 1977, half of the Nabi Saleh’s farmland has been lost to encroaching Israeli settlements.