Israeli military violent repress non-violent demonstration; carry out raids on houses in Nabi Saleh making numerous arbitary arrests

29 July, 2011: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Following a week of escalating violence against the people of Nabi Saleh, Armored military vehicles and dozens of soldiers stormed the village of Nabi Saleh and took over houses hours before the scheduled. Three were injured and seven were detained.

Military checkpoints were set up early in the morning on all roads leading in and out of Nabi Saleh this Friday, as the Israeli army does every Friday in its attempt to prevent people from outside the tiny village to support the villagers in their struggle for land and dignity under the Occupation.

A few hours before the demonstration was scheduled to begin, a number of armored military vehicles drove into the village and unloaded dozens of soldiers into its single street. In the clashes that ensued with local youth, the soldiers shot volleys of tear-gas and took over two houses. In the first of what seemed to be a systematic attempt to stifle media coverage, a Palestinian cameraman was beaten and then detained despite having showed his accreditation with the al-Ayyam daily newspaper, only to be released a few hours later without his camera’s memory card.

Meanwhile, and American activist on his way to the protest, was detained by the soldiers manning the checkpoint at the main entrance to the village. His wallet, phone, passport and driver’s license were taken away from him as he could see smoke and hear shooting coming from the direction of the village.

Eventually, his possessions were returned to him and he was told to turn around and head back to Ramallah. A military jeep was sent trailing his car to make sure  he indeed does so. Shortly after regaining his phone, the activist found out that soldiers at the checkpoint used his logged-in twitter account to post anti-protest messages in broken English.

A screencap of the activist's hijacked Twitter feed
A screencap of the activist’s hijacked Twitter feed

After the Friday midday prayer, people were able to gather next to the village’s mosque, but were attacked less than a hundred meters after the peaceful march began in a hail of tear-gas shot from multiple directions. Every attempt to regroup and resume marching was again answered by a shower of tear-gas projectiles, many of them shot directly at demonstrators. Three protesters were injured that way, including one in her head.

At some point, soldiers begun sweeping through houses, going door to door, randomly detaining people in the street or from inside their houses. Three Palestinians and three international activists were detained this way, only to be released later with no charge and without even being questioned. Soldiers also detained an Israeli cameraman who tried to film the soldiers wanton rampage through the village. His camera was violently snatched from him, causing it to break. Like the other detainees, he, too, was released shortly after.

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Israeli Occupation Forces conduct night invasion against Nabi Saleh each day this week.

Video by Tamimi Press – Israeli Occupation Forces invade Nabi Saleh, Wednesday 13 July 2011

Israeli Occupation Forces have stepped up their assault this week on An Nabi Saleh, invading the village each afternoon/night from Sunday 10 July.  Footage of the Wednesday night invasion on July 13 shows several Israeli Occupation Force jeeps entering the village and stopping at the junction, then firing off rounds of teargas and sound grenades.

Israeli Border Police rampage through Nabi Saleh, severely beating and injuring more than 25 unarmed demonstrators

Video: Tamimi Press

Video by Israel Puterman

Nabi Saleh is a regular target for Israeli military aggression.   This week, the Israeli military exceeded even their normal excessive violence violently beating and attacking unarmed demonstrators at the weekly non-violent demonstration.  At least 25 unarmed non-violent protestors were injured. One Palestinian women in her 50s who was beaten up so badly, she was evacuated from the Salfeet Hospital to the bigger and more advanced Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. A 25 year-old American demonstrator suffered a serious head injury and an Israeli activist was diagnosed with two open fractures in his hand. Both were injured by tear-gas projectiles shot directly at them from short range, in violation of the Israeli Army’s open fire regulations. Four protesters were arrested in Nabi Saleh, including two Palestinian women.

The Violence in Nabi Saleh started today after Israeli Border Police invade the village, taking over the village’s main junction and tried to disperse the non-violent demonstration while it was still well inside the village, The officers began charging the peaceful protesters with batons, shooting large amounts of tear-gas – partly shot directly at the demonstrators – and carrying out arrests.

The weight of nationalism in Nabi Saleh

Saturday, May 7 2011|Joseph Dana

Palestinians suffer from Tear Gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph DanaPalestinians suffer from tear gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph Dana

Getting to Nabi Saleh is not easy. The army closes all entrances very early on a Friday, the day which has seen demonstrations taking place for the past two years. This forces Israeli and international activists that wish to join the unarmed and largely nonviolent demonstrations to park kilometres away and hike through valleys and up small hills to reach the village.

Israelis soldiers were inside the village long before the demonstration began on Friday, creating an uncomfortable air of uncertainly amongst villagers. Adding to the uncertainty were the aggressive comments of one particular group of soldiers who had taken over a rooftop in the middle of the village.

“Soon,” one of the arrogant soldiers barked at an elderly villager in horribly accented English, “I will make your house go boom.” It was not clear if the solider meant that he would blow his house up or attack it with tear gas and stun grenades. Regardless, the elderly man was clearly shaken by the soldier’s violent comment.

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Collective Punishment Continues as Army Raids Nabi Saleh

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee          13 January 2011

For the second time this week, soldiers have conducted night raids on the village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers entered homes throughout the night looking for youth, photographing them and taking ID numbers.

From the hours of 12:00 until 03:00 last night, soldiers raided eighteen houses in the village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers, in full combat equipment, raided the houses in order to photograph people, mostly young men, and check ID cards. No arrests were made. However, the intentions of the army are clear.

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