Photos by Bilal Tamimi – 14 November 2014
Video by David Reeb
Weekly Protests, Friday 30th August 2013 – full report for all districts click here.
NABI SALEH, RAMALLAH GOVERNORATE
In solidarity with Palestinian prisoners
After the Friday Prayer, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists marched from the Martyrs’ square, in the center of the village, towards the confiscated land and natural spring near the Israeli illegal settlement of Halamish. Activists chanted slogans calling to the release of Palestinian prisoners and condemning the expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.
As the march reached Al shaheed Musatafa Tamimi street, Israeli Forces attempted to suppress the protest by firing tear gas and coated rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators. Several people suffocated from teargas.
Weekly Protests, Friday 13th September 2013 – full report for all districts click here
NABI SALEH, RAMALLAH GOVERNORATE
Call to release the Palestinian prisoners and end settler raids in Al Aqsa mosque
After the Friday Prayers, dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists marched towards the confiscated land near the Israeli military watch tower at the entrance of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity and holding photos of prisoners and of Yasser Arafat. As on most Fridays, the Israeli Forces prevented the march by firing a massive amount of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters leading to many suffocations cases. Clashes broke out; Israeli army invaded the village and targeted houses with their munitions.
The Popular Struggle leaders reminded that national unity is essential to end the occupation and to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as a capital.
State tells High Court that settlers begin removing recreational structures near disputed Nabi Salih well.
Yesh Din said that recently a new pool was excavated near the well, whose walls were lined with concrete, ignoring the impact on any potential archeological finds.
In the first petition, Yesh Din said the land was private Palestinian land and the new recreational facilities were an attempted land-grab, preventing Palestinians from accessing their land.
Following Yesh Din’s filing of the first petition, the settlers and the state responded by having the site declared an archeological site in March 2011.
According to Yesh Din, the March 2011 response by the state also recognized an obligation to guard the status quo on the land, to comply with Israel’s obligation under international law to preserve historical sites.
That announcement led Yesh Din to withdraw its first petition, under the rationale that the declaration of the area as a historical site meant an end to the illegal building.
But Yesh Din eventually filed the current petition saying that the settlers were building again, harming the archeological site and violating their earlier commitment with their recreational construction.
Besides the case before the High Court, the controversy has led to weekly demonstrations by the Nabi Salih villagers, frequent altercations between the villagers and the IDF, and even some deadly incidents.
Eventually, the IDF started to prevent Palestinian villagers from approaching the well, as well as a newly created security zone near the well.
In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Rushdi Tamimi was killed while the IDF was trying to do crowd control of an anti-war demonstration.
The Tamimi family is one of the most important in the village, and includes protest leader Bassem Tamimi, who has been arrested repeatedly by Israel, and Mustafa Tamimi, who died after being hit in the face by a tear gas canister while chasing an IDF jeep during a protest in December 2011.
At an earlier hearing on September 5, 2012, the court issued an interim order prohibiting the Halamish settlers from doing any additional building in the area of the well.
Recently, the settlers filed a formal request to build recreational structures around the well, but the request was denied.
According to Yesh Din, the state itself said in hearings related to the current petition that the settlers had failed to prove that they owned the land where they wished to build.
It also said that the land was outside the designated area for building relating to the Halamish settlement.
Yesh Din attorney Shlomi Zachariah praised the state for starting to enforce the law “regarding the illegally built structures” that were pushing more “Palestinians off their land.”
Zachariah criticized the state for what he called the delay in enforcement, but added it was “better late than never.”
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this article.
A weekly Nabi Saleh protest achieved a historic victory as protesters reached confiscated lands despite the presence of Israeli forces
Dozens of residents of Nabi Saleh, joined by supporters from Israel and abroad, marked a historic victory on Friday when they succeeded in reaching the village’s confiscated spring. Protest in the small hilltop village started in December 2009 as a response to the annexation of the fresh water spring and stealing of more of the village’s land by the adjacent settlement of Halamish. Since then, weekly protests have continuously attempted to reach the spring but always met with harsh military violence. In the past few months, two women’s marches were able to reach the spring on weekdays, but this week marked the first time in which the Friday demonstration arrived to the site.
Two settles were bathing in the spring when a group of protesters arrived. The two were guarded by an army battalion, put in place to ensure, so it seems, their peaceful recreation on stolen land. Additional Israeli forces arrived in the area and closed it in order to stop the demonstrators. Protesters placed a Palestinian flag at the site despite the anger of settlers and soldiers, and clashes broke out between the Palestinians and forces stationed in an army tower. As protesters were making their way back to the village, Israeli forces attaked them with tear gas and stun grenades and the “skunk”. No injuries or arrests were reported.
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 David Reeb
Khader Adnan, a 33 year-old Palestinian, has been on hunger strike since mid December, shortly after he was put in administrative detention based on secret evidence. Residents of Nabi Saleh march in solidarity.
Residents of Nabi Saleh, joined by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, devoted their weekly Friday demonstration to support Khader Adnan.
Protesters held signs and pictures of Adnan, as they marched from the center of the village towards the confiscated lands. Demonstrators were met by volleys of tear-gas canisters. Heavy fog made it extremely difficult to trace the lines of fire and avoid injuries. Nonetheless, the army continued aiming directly at protesters. The Israeli Border Police also used the “skunk”, a water cannon spraying foul smelling liquid.
Following this assault, protesters created small rock barricades at the entrance to the village, aiming to prevent a deeper Israeli incursion. Others climbed the hilltops, overlooking the spring grabbed by Halamish settlers. Israeli soldiers followed, shooting sound bombs, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets directly at people and into houses. Some youths threw stones to ward off the soldiers. As they were retreating, soldiers shot a few live bullets above the heads of civilians.
The demonstration maintained for a number of hours. Around 4PM an Israeli military jeep carrying multiple-barrels cannon shot massive amounts of tear-gas that covered a large part of the village. The “skunk” was also used once more, more massively than before. Many suffered from gas inhalation and a few were injured from direct hit by tear gas canisters, among them a Turkish cameraman who was evacuated to a hospital with a suspected fracture.
Khader Adnan, 33, has been refusing to eat since mid-December, shortly after his arrest in the occupied West Bank, and has only drunk liquids since then. “He is not in good shape. People on a hunger strike for more than 50 days are in real danger. The doctors are extremely concerned,” said Yael Shavit, spokeswoman for Sieff Hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, where Adnan has been taken. “He refuses to accept any treatment. He has not agreed to be hooked up to an IV,” she said, referring to intravenous infusion. Despite his grave medical condition, Israeli military authorities have once again postponed action on Khader Adnan’s appeal against his four-month “administrative detention” – without charge or trial. One of the lawyers representing Adnan, Tamar Peleg-Sryck, said after the appeal: “It should be made clear that he is alleged of political opinions and political activities, without a hint of any sort of violence. However the army follows Shabaq (General Security Service) claim that he “endangers the security” and should remain in detention.”
A-Nabi Saleh is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, north of Ramallah. For for more than eighteen months now, every Friday, its residents have demonstrated against settlers seizing nearby land that belongs to Palestinians. The Friday processions held in the village have become one of the main sites of weekly protest in the West Bank in recent years.
In their handling of the protests in a-Nabi Saleh, Israel’s security forces have infringed the rights of the Palestinian demonstrators in three fundamental ways, as follows:
Security forces disperse a demonstration in a-Nabi Saleh, 21 May 2010. Photo: Oren Ziv, activestills.org
B’Tselem’s documentation indicates that Israel does not recognize the right of a-Nabi Saleh’s residents to demonstrate. Israeli security forces prohibit the demonstrators from reaching the site that is the subject of the demonstration – al-Qawas Spring and the land around it – and prevent the procession from exiting the village towards the spring. Also, the army declares the demonstration illegal at the outset, sometimes even before the procession begins. The army also issues an order declaring the entire village a closed military area every Friday, and blocks the roads leading to it. As a result, persons from outside the village are unable to exercise their right to join in the demonstration.
Video by B’Tselem
To view more videos click here
The security forces’ use of means to disperse the demonstrations is excessive and occurs even when the demonstrators are nonviolent and pose no threat. The forces fire enormous quantities of tear gas inside the built-up area of the village, which is home to hundreds of persons. In one demonstration, at least 150 tear-gas canisters were fired. In another demonstration, security forces hurled tear gas canisters at a procession of children in costumes who were flying kites. At times, the tear gas canisters are fired directly at the demonstrators, endangering their lives. Also, security forces throw stun grenades almost without limitation at children and adults alike, to disperse them, even when they pose no threat whatsoever.
Video by B’Tselem
The army and the Border Police invest a great amount of resources in dispersing these regular demonstrations, in which several dozen people participate. These resources include the deployment of forces at the main intersection of the village, and the vast quantities of means to disperse demonstrations. Handling of the demonstrations in this manner is disproportionate. It intimidates hundreds of villagers and forces them to remain in their houses for many hours, making it impossible for them to lead a normal life. The massive amounts of tear gas fired penetrate the houses close to the main intersection in the village, and the occupants are unable to escape.
Also, the restrictions on movement in the area every Friday create difficulties for residents of all the nearby villages.
In advance of the expected declaration of a Palestinian state on 20 September 2011, Israel’s defense establishment is preparing to cope with wide-scale demonstrations in the West Bank. As part of the preparations, the security forces must recognize Palestinians’ right to demonstrate, and must allow them to protest against infringement of their rights. The decision to disperse a demonstration must be made only after the relevant authorities have properly balanced the right to demonstrate against other relevant interests, as is done in the case of demonstrations held inside Israel. In any event, means for dispersing demonstrations must not be used in a way that injures persons or punishes all residents of the village.
Might some stay? It is conceivable that some Jewish settlers could remain in a Palestinian state
This EVERY Friday and often after school on other days, Israeli soldiers fire tear-gas and sonic bombs at the Palestinian children as they approach a spring. It sits in a valley that separates Nabi Saleh, an Arab village of 500 people half an hour’s drive north of Jerusalem, from Halamish, a religious Jewish settlement. On most nights jeeps roll through the village; over the past 18 months the Israeli army has detained 32 of its children, some as young as eleven. Many have been taken from their beds, kept in pre-trial detention for months, and brought to court in shackles, there to be convicted of stone-throwing.
For some of Halamish’s settlers, irritated by the tear-gas that wafts into their living rooms from across the hill, this is not harsh enough. “The soldiers don’t maim enough Palestinians,” complains Iran Segal. A year-and-a-half ago he put up a sign naming the spring after his father, sparking anger among Palestinians who saw the move as a land-grab. Jewish settlers and Palestinians who used to share a nargila (a water-pipe) at the water’s edge now bicker over ownership of the spring’s goldfish. “When we see Arabs heading towards us we start shouting to get the army to shoo them away,” says a 12-year-old settler.