BIL’IN, NIL’IN, AN-NABI SALEH: Six injured, two kidnapped as troops attack West Bank anti-wall protests 18Mar11 March 19, 2011

IMEMC -  18 March 2011

Six civilians were injured and two were kidnapped when the Israeli army attacked the weekly anti-wall protests organized on Friday in the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and an-Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’sara in the south.

In Bil’in, five were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets fired by the Israeli army.

International and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers and marched up to the gate of the wall separating villagers from their land.

Soldiers, stationed at the Wall gate, attacked the nonviolent protestors with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Troops troops also sprayed protesters with chemicals, known locally as “skunk.” Many were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in reported that several Israeli and international peace activists participate in the protest, and that hunger strikers of the March 15 Movement for Palestinian unity also joined them in their protest.

The Committee added that the protesters carried the pictures of Bassem Abu Rahma and Jawaher Abu Rahma who were killed by the Israelii army during previous nonviolent protests against the Wall, and chanted for ending internal divisions and for

“When the protestors arrived to the east gate of the wall the soldiers attacked them with tear gas canisters, rubber coated bullets, sound bombs and chemical spray. As a result, five locals were wounded; Nashmi Abu Rahmah, 16 years old, a rubber bullet was shot at his right hand; Iyad Burnat, head of the Popular Committee, 38 years old, tear gas canister was shot at his head; Mohamad Al Khatib, 17 years old, a tear gas canister was shot at his leg; Mohamad Burnat, 20 years old, a tear gas canister was also shot at his leg; Asia, a 22 year old Italian activist, twisted her left ankle whilst running from the attack”, the Popular Committee reported on its Website.

The Committee added that the soldiers were aiming at the upper body parts, and the heads of the protestors, an issue that provoked violence by some protestors.

In the nearby village of Ni’lin, villagers and their supporters marched up to the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their land.

Soldiers fired tear gas at the protesters and several were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In an-Nabi Saleh, also in the central West Bank, soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters, injuring a 23-year-old local youth.
Earlier on Friday, soldiers closed all roads leading to the village and prevented the journalists from entering it.

During the protest, Israeli troops tried to stop the people from leaving the village. Troops forced people back to the village, declared an-Nabi Saleh a closed military zone and imposed a curfew preventing the residents from leaving their homes.

Two international supporters were detained by Israeli troops who attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem.

Israeli troops prevented the protesters from leaving the village en route to
Palestinian lands confiscated by the army to build the wall.

Soldiers used tear gas to force people back into the village. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

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