Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, March 14th, 2009
Dozens of people in various West Bank villages were injured this Friday, and one American activist has been seriously wounded in Ni’lin and currently lies in a coma at a Tel Aviv hospital. In addition to Ni’lin, there were actions in Jayyous, Bi’lin, Ma’sara and Burin, with a demonstration planned for tomorrow in Wadi Rasha.
In Ni’lin, nearly 500 people marched to the threatened lands. Soldiers attacked the demonstration and later invaded the village, where they fired hundreds of rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets and sound bombs. Clashes between youth and soldiers lasted until early evening. Four people were wounded with rubber bullets, while a fifth American activist was struck in the head with a high velocity tear gas round. He was evacuated by a Red Crescent ambulance, which was held for 15 minutes at a military checkpoint at the entrance, and is currently in critical condition.
Hundreds of people were also present in Bi’lin, where demonstrators decried the recent confiscation of 142 dunums and called for the release of political prisoners. Five youth between 15 and 22 years of age were injured, while tens more were affected by tear gas.
At the al-Ma’sara demonstration this Friday, soldiers physically beat four Palestinians, among them several youths, a boy of 12 and an older man of 50. All four were transferred to a hospital in the Bethlehem area for treatment.
Occupation forces in Jayyous attempted to preemptively shut down the weekly demonstration, invading the village and placing it under curfew before mid-day. At 11 in the morning, three jeeps and soldiers on foot entered the village, where they fired sound bombs and tear gas at villagers attempting to enter a local mosque for Friday prayers while announcing a curfew on a loudspeaker. Local youth reacted by hurling stones at the soldiers, and clashes continued throughout the day. Many more jeeps were brought in, and soldiers again occupied two homes in the village. Two youth were injured by rubber bullets.
In the village of Burin, southwest of Nablus, villagers held a demonstration against the confiscation of their land for settlement.
Actions are planned for tomorrow in the isolated area of Wadi Rasha, Ras Tira, and Daba’a, just southeast of Qalqilya city. Organizers have planned a general strike to allow for the participation of all the local residents. The demonstration will start early and attempt to halt bulldozers, which have already razed a 350-meter swath of land 2 kilometers in length, uprooting hundreds of trees.