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Soldiers fire at ambulance evacuating injured demonstrator

International Solidarity Movement | 22 May 2010

The West Bank village of An Nabi Saleh held their weekly demonstration on Friday, attempting to reach the village land that has been annexed by the illegal settlement of Halamish. Demonstrators marched down from the village mosque till they were blocked by a line of Israeli soldiers and jeeps. Participants chanted, danced and sang for approximately half an hour before the military decided to violently disperse the group by throwing tear gas and sound grenades directly at the participants.

Soldiers continued to fire gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the villagers for several hours, injuring several people, including a local teenage boy who was hit directly in the face by a canister. It opened up a hole in his face and shattered his cheek bone. As the ambulance tried to drive him away to hospital, soldiers fired volleys of tear gas at it, forcing it to turn around and take a much longer route round.

Towards the end of the demonstration, two internationals were arrested. The two, Swedish and Canadian citizens, were not taken to military base, but were held for four hours in a small shack. They were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs for the whole four hours, before being released without charge. A similar ordeal was endured by three Israeli activists arrested earlier in the day in Bili’in.

The hilltop village of An Nabi Saleh has a population of approximately 500 residents and is located 30 kilometers northeast of Ramallah along highway 465. Today and every Friday since January 2010, around 100 un-armed demonstrators leave the village center in an attempt to reach a spring which borders land confiscated by Israeli settlers. The District Coordination Office has confirmed the spring is on Palestinian land, but nearly a kilometer before reaching the spring, the demonstration is routinely met with dozens of soldiers armed with M16 assault rifles, tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and percussion grenades.

May 22, 2010 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture

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