The regular march to the confiscated land in the village of Ni’lin was different this week, as occupation forces have begun building a concrete wall in front of the fences and military road. The march started after the farmers finished praying in an area near the stolen lands. More than 150 people protested on Friday, with international and Israeli activists supporting the people from Ni’lin.
The protesters arrived at the stolen lands to face a high concrete wall, four to eight metres high depending on the area. Soldiers fired barrages of a tear gas on the crowd, covering the area with clouds of tear gas that resulted in many breathing problems. Occupation forces also sprayed chemical wastewater, which carries an unbearable smell and induces vomiting, to keep people back from the Wall.
Clashes started between stones throwers and soldiers, extending along the fences that have not yet been covered by the new wall. Soldiers fired rubber bullets at those who managed to reach the fences and cut parts of it. Young people responded by throwing tear gas canisters at the soldiers and jeeps, which forced the soldiers to retreat and abandon their jeeps until the gas had cleared.
Youth then broke through one of the gates, passing through to the street and one of the electronic sensors with a Palestinian flag. Soldiers responded by opening fire with all types of bullets, including live ones, and shooting high-velocity tear gas canisters at groups of people. Soldiers then opened the gates and perused protestors by jeep, launching tear gas everywhere. Young men threw three tear gas canisters at one group of soldiers, forcing them to withdraw.
During the course of the demonstration, the army attacked the first-aid teams in an attempt to force them from the area. One volunteer was injured when a captain fired a sound bomb directly at the group. In total, six people were injured on Friday.
The demo continued for six and half hours. According to a resident, “This sends a message to occupation forces that the new wall will not prevent us from fighting and protesting for our rights. We will protest more and more. This was message sent by the all the people who were there.”
[Report from stopthewall.org]