Protesters Hurt in Ni’lin Demonstration

November 30, 2009

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Several people were injured after protesters launched an anti-wall rally in the West Bank village of Nil’in on Saturday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

In a statement, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said eight demonstrators were wounded and one arrested.

In a surprise move, demonstrators used bolt cutters to open one of the gates in the Israeli barrier, which is built across the village’s land, the statement said. Israeli soldiers then arrived, firing tear gas rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.

The committee said seven demonstrators were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, and a one and a half year-old child was evacuated to a Ramallah hospital after soldiers fired a tear gas canister into her house.

For the first time since demonstrator Aqel Sadeq Srour was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in June, the Israeli forces crossed the barrier and invaded residential areas of Ni’lin, groups involved in the protest said. Srour’s brother was arrested on Saturday while in the village’s center, according to the Coordination Committee.

Another group, the Nil’in Youth Center, also said said Israeli forces used tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.

The center also said Israeli soldiers were injured when youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails toward five military jeeps that crossed over the barrier and entered the village.

Approached by Ma’an, an Israeli military spokeswoman denied that soldiers used live fire.

She confirmed that two soldiers were lightly injured, and that protesters used at least one Molotov. Protesters threw rocks and burned tires, as well, the official said.

According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, since June 2008, five Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by soldiers’ fire during protests in Ni’ilin, including two minors – 10 year-old Ahmed Mousa and 17 year-old Yussef Amirah.



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