Video by Bilal Tamimi
Video by David Reeb
Video by Israel Puterman
Video by Bilal Tamimi
Video by David Reeb
Video by Israel Puterman
When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand anything in the world except for laughter, and playing games. I used to adore my small village that was of one family, united in its happiness and sorrows. I used to adore every inch of that land. I used to adore the season for the olive harvest and waking up early to prepare food for the entire day, since we were to spend our day picking. I adored getting up at 6 in the morning to go with our neighbor and his children to pick grapes and figs from his vineyard, for there is nothing in life which compares to the taste of grapes and figs in the early morning, coated with water from morning dew. I adored going to the spring in the valley to pick wild mint during the winter to make mint pastries. There are no other pastries that even compare in taste to that of a mint pastry.
As I grew up, so grew my love for this land and the large passion for its soil, its trees, and its stones. I grew and so grew my worries as the settlers reached the heights of the mountain that stands before my house. It is the place that contains all my worries. I used to go there to scream, cry, laugh, and then sit under a carob tree and I would look at the valley with its water and wonderful green color. I would gaze at the hills on the opposite side covered in olive, grape and fig trees. Just looking and staring at that mountainous landscape, I would forget my worries and sorrows. It would gladden my chest as though it had been washed with soap and water, restoring me back to life and making me active again.
Today everything has changed. Our land had already been stolen and colonial Zionist settlements have been built upon it. I am no longer able to reach the vineyards and fig trees. They have now been taken by the settlements and we are prevented from going there…but even more than that, they have uprooted and taken down the grape vines and fig trees to keep them from us. They stole our olive orchards and have uprooted the olive trees, which have existed since Roman times (thousands of years). I believe they are trying to kill/destroy our roots from our lands and break our glory. The worst part is that they have planted new olive trees they claim began growing on their land, which they inherited from their forefathers. When I sit on the mountain and look out in front of me, I no longer see anything but hills which have been deformed, robbed of their beauty by the hideous white houses with red roofs. I look into the valley to see the color has turned from vibrant green to pale yellow as if the earth has also felt the disaster that affected us and killed it, so that these thieves can take full advantage of it. When I look at the water, which was once clear and brought back life, I see it has now turned to green as if it too was hit and turned into toxic water that kills anyone who drinks it…as if it now knows we can no longer reach it.
No one can reach it except the aggressive settlers.
Today, at the height of our struggle to recover our land, we drown in our sorrows after we have lost, in less than a year, two of the most precious and dearest of our youth while they were defending their land and their dignity, sacrificing their lives in the process. Now we have received breaking news that settlers are digging up more of the land and have placed/set up 50 trailers for 50 new homes in the settlement.
Fifty more homes means 50 more families who occupy our land.
Fifty more homes means more pain and suffering.
Despite the grief over the loss of land, despite the pain we feel from our separation from loved ones, despite the humiliation, we will stay loyal to our land, we shall hold to the land just as the olive tree spreads its roots deep into the ground. We will raise our issues/concerns/worries high and loud and we will scream with our loudest voices, so that the world can hear us.
We are here and here we will stay. For this is our land and no one will remove us from it.
Israeli forces are presently conducting a major arrest operation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, reportedly going from house to house and detaining men, women and youth from the village.
Some 100 people demonstrated on Friday at the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh. As demonstrators approached the village’s spring, which has been seized by the neighboring settlement of Halamish, the Israeli forces arrested at least five women, including Nariman Tamimi, a prominent activist from the village. Her arrest is pictured below. Her daughters are seen trying to intervene as Israeli soldiers detained their mother, but they were forcibly held back.
As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, arrests at Nabi Saleh were continuing. We will update more as details emerge.
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.
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.
Video by Bilal Tamimi
video by Israel Puterman
Video by David Reeb
On Friday, 9 December 2011, the weekly demonstration was held in the village of a-Nabi Saleh, Ramallah District, against settlers’ seizure of land belonging to Palestinian villages in the area. According to B’Tselem’s information, in the early afternoon, after the main demonstration had dispersed, several young men threw stones at an army jeep. One of them was village resident Mustafa a-Tamimi. Photos taken by photographer Haim Scwarczenberg show that the jeep turned around and began to back away. A soldier sitting in the jeep then opened the back door and fired a tear-gas canister directly at a-Tamimi, who was several meters away. The canister struck Tamimi in the face, causing extensive bleeding. Shortly afterwards, the soldiers evacuated him to Beilinson Hospital, where he died the next day. B’Tselem has documented many cases in which tear-gas canisters were fired directly at people during the weekly protest in a-Nabi Saleh, including other occasions during the same demonstration, and elsewhere in the West Bank.
Photographs of the firing directly at a-Tamimi, by Haim Scwarczenberg, 9 Dec. ’11.
For several years now, B’Tselem has been warning officials that security forces’ fire tear-gas canisters directly at persons during demonstrations. The organization has demanded – both in meetings with senior military officials and by letter – that commanders clarify to soldiers serving in the field that firing tear-gas canisters directly at a person is unlawful. Tear gas is supposed to serve as a non-lethal crowd control measure, and using it as a substitute for live fire is forbidden. Therefore, firing tear-gas canisters directly at persons breaches the rules of engagement.
Such firing has resulted in serious injury and death. In April 2009, Bassem Abu-Rahmah, from the village of Bi’lin, was killed by a tear gas canister that struck him in the chest. B’Tselem knows of 13 cases in which persons were seriously injured in similar circumstances since the beginning of the second intifada. B’Tselem has also documented direct firing of canisters that did not result in injury, and has provided the Military Advocate General Corps and the commander of Judea and Samaria Brigade with video footage of such firing.
The moment of firing at a-Tamimi. The 40mm launcher end can be seen emerging from the opened jeep door. The tear gas canister itself is seen against the backdrop of the left mirror. On the left, in the white shirt, is Mustafa a-Tamimi. Photo: Haim Scwarczenberg.
However, B’Tselem has since documented more cases in which security forces fired tear-gas canisters directly at persons. As far as B’Tselem knows, no soldier has been prosecuted for such firing. In the abovementioned case of Abu-Rahmah, which occurred in April 2009, a Military Police investigation was opened only in July 2010, and only after B’Tselem and Attorney Micha’el Sfard threatened to petition the High Court of Justice if an investigation were not initiated.
B’Tselem wrote to the office of the military advocate for operational matters to verify that an MPIU investigation had been opened in the case of a-Tamimi, in accordance with the new policy that the MAG Corps declared before the High Court of Justice. B’Tselem demanded that the investigation examine not only the conduct of the soldier who fired the canister, but also the responsibility of the command echelon, including the orders given to the soldier.
B’Tselem will provide all the material in its possession and will follow the case to make sure the investigation is effective and professional.