More craziness in Ni’lin. I spent quite a bit of time there last summer. The story is quite simple. Nil’in is a small village who land has been annexed previously for a nearby settlement and now more land is being lost for a section of the ‘security barrier’ (The Wall). The route of the wall / security barrier is in the hands of the army and has little to do with green lines or previously agreed borders, only security. In this case, the fence / road / ditch etc will leave a large buffer between it and the settlement. Good bye olive trees.
Anyhow, the villagers are rightly protesting this. I can’t remember all the details of court cases and subsequent appeals but whatever happened the construction goes on relentlessly. An average protest aims to walk from the village square to the current point of construction activity and peacefully stop the work there. Rarely does it get that far. Sometimes its gets close to the construction but then the tear gas flies and everybody runs. Sometimes the protest is stopped in the village itself. Sometimes a ‘shit gun’ is used on the crowd. Basically something that smells like very raw sewerage is sprayed on to people. It makes you want to wretch to smell it and it is ver hard to get rid of. Later in the protest rubber bullets, or rubber coated steel bullets to be precise, are used. If you’re very unlucky, live ammunition will be used. I have been in this situation and it is terrifying. While I was there, two were killed. One a 10 year old boy (Ahmed Mousa) was shot in the head by a military policeman (or was it border police) from quite a distance (maybe 100m from route of the barrier) while playing with friends in the early evening. Another was killed by a rubber (coated steel) bullet shot to the head.
Anyway, enough. It is a shocking way to deal with legitimate protest.
As Groucho Marx said: Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.
To get a feel for how it is, you can see a trailer from a documentary that never was: “Closed Military Zone” by Eran Vered and Rick Berman.
Back to the recent issue. See the release below:
13th Friday 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.
Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.
Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed.
– Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) – International Solidarity Movement
The Israeli army began using to use a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.
Apparently the guy is doing much better but still in a serious state. Good luck to him.
For more information:
and for balance, through don’t spend too much time reading the comments as they might make you feel physically sick: