Sunday, August 09, 2020

Peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh attacked by Israeli occupation forces

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By Tadas Blinda - June 03, 2013
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Nabi Saleh] [protests] [popular struggle] [popular resistance] [nonviolent resistance]

Photo by Eugene Peress.

On 31 May, the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh was met with teargas and skunk water. The peaceful protest was attacked by the Israeli army despite the absence of violence or provocation.

Israeli military jeeps entered the village early in the day before Friday prayers, preventing demonstrators to march, as usual, down the main road in an attempt to reach the Ein al-Qaws spring, a spring that was confiscated by residents of the nearby Israeli settlement, Halamish.
Due to the early incursion, the demonstration route was changed, and demonstrators accompanied by international activists marched down the hill towards their olive trees located in a field beside the road close to Halamish. As the participants started to trim the trees, Israeli soldiers arrived on the scene and ordered village residents to leave their own land.
Even though the demonstration was peaceful and not a single rock was thrown, Israeli soldiers started firing rounds of teargas at the demonstrators while they were working on the olive trees. A skunk truck – a vehicle outfitted with a water cannon that sprays awful smelling liquid, whose stench can last for days even after repeated washings – arrived on the scene and proceeded to spray the demonstrators and the trees.
Nabi Saleh is a village located about 20 kilometers from Ramallah and has around 550 inhabitants. The village’s weekly protests started in December 2009 after settlers took control of Nabi Saleh’s privately owned natural spring and surrounding area, subsequently preventing local Palestinians from reaching it and working their land. The demonstrations are usually violently suppressed by Israeli soldiers who fire teargas, sound grenades, rubber coated steel bullets and even live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators.
On December 11 2011, a Nabi Saleh demonstrator was killed by the Israeli occupation forces. Mustafa Tamimi, 28 years-old, was shot in the face with a teargas canister from a short range and later died from the sustained injuries. Almost one year later, on  November 19 2012, 31 year-old Rushdi Tamimi was killed after he got shot with live ammunition during a demonstration.
Despite the brutal response by Israeli soldiers, the people of Nabi Saleh continue to pursue their non-violent struggle against the occupation and confiscation of their private land by illegal Israeli settlers.

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