Monday, July 07, 2008



Ni'lin under siege for fourth consecutive day

Date: 07 / 07 / 2008 Time: 13:25

Ramallah � Ma'an � Israeli forces opened fire on a curfew-defying march in the central West Bank town of Ni'lin, west of Ramallah, after the noon prayer on Monday, injuring dozens of demonstrators.

The mayor of the village, Ayman Nafi', said that resident Jamil Srurwas shot in the stomach, and two others, Mutee' 'Amira and a child named Abdul Karim Srur, were shot in the legs. The other wounded marchers could not be identified.

Israeli forces blocked ambulances from taking the wounded to Ramallah. The Israeli military has laid siege to the village for four days in an attempt to stifle protest against the construction of the illegal Israeli separation wall.

For his part, Muhammad Srur a member of the Ni'lin committee to resist the wall said that clashes between the Israeli military and residents of the village were renewed on Monday evening.

Residents have been trapped in their homes for four days, unable to go to work. Soldiers are using stun grenades near civilian houses, in order "to scare children and to provoke the residents," as one villager put it.

The International Court of Justice declared the Israeli barrier illegal four years ago this week. The 720 km network of concrete walls, barbed wire fences and watchtowers snakes deep into the West Bank and isolating Jerusalem from other Palestinian communities.

Muhammad Srur said Israeli forces seized two young men, Muhammad Al-Khawaja and Ra'id Ahmad and abused them, earlier in the day on Monday. They also ransacked several houses, he added.

Mayor Nafi', says the town is running low on basic food products such as bread and milk due to the curfew. Military bulldozers have damaged the roads and public property.

Journalists and foreign solidarity activists have been barred from the town.

Israeli forces imposed the curfew on Friday morning, anticipating a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the illegal Israeli wall, which local officials say will result in the de facto annexation by Israel of much of the towns land.

***Updated at 22:01 local time

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