Wednesday, July 09, 2008

on the sad anniversary day of the ruling on the ICJ against the Wall

Fwd: 8 July 2008 for immediate release: statement by the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall
1 message
Grietje Baars 9 July 2008 09:36
To: Anne Paq , sarah kamens
Please distribute widely!

--- On Tue, 7/8/08, Hindi Mesleh wrote:

8 July 2008 for immediate release: statement by the Ni'lin Popular
Committee Against the Apartheid Wall

As of today, Tuesday 8th of July 2008, the military curfew in Ni'lin
has been lifted. In response to statements released earlier today by
an Israeli army spokeswoman claiming that "There were discussions
between the villagers and the army commanders and they decided to lift
the curfew," and that "The villagers promised not to protest and to
keep the village quiet" (Reuters 7/8/08), the Ni'lin Popular Committee
Against the Apartheid Wall wants to clarify the following:

The Popular Committee, who is representing the Ni'lin municipality,
political parties, institutions and organizations in Ni'lin, has not
been in any discussions with any Israeli army commanders and has not
made a promise to the Israeli army that there will be no more
No such discussions have taken place with the village.
The Popular Committee wants to stress that the people of Ni'lin
village will not give up their right to defend their basic human,
economic, and social rights and therefore will not relinquish their
right to protest against the confiscation of their land.
The people of Ni'lin are also not willing to give up their right to
stand up against the construction of a Wall that has been declared
illegal by the International Court of Justice.

The village will not be quiet! The demonstrations organized in Ni'lin
were always of a peaceful, nonviolent nature. Each time, the unarmed
demonstrators were met with severe force and heavy violence from the
side of the Israeli army (often before even reaching the construction
site), injuring many Palestinian, international and Israeli
participants, even attacking and injuring journalists and medical

The Ni'lin Popular Committee would like to draw attention to the
following facts regarding the disproportionate use of force by the
Israeli army and Border Police since the beginning of the construction
of the Wall (May 2008):

160 people were injured by rubber coated steel bullets during the
protests, including children
Hundreds of non-violent protesters were brutally beaten by the Israeli
army during the protests
26 people were arrested
A Palestinian Medical Relief Society ambulance was shot at. The driver
counted 18 bullet marks on the outside of the van and two of the
ambulance windows were shattered, with several bullets found inside
the van
Many people in the protests suffered severe respiratory problems due
to the heavy use of tear gas
Tear gas canisters were shot directly into the crowds, aiming at
people and injuring dozens
The Israeli army started using a new tear gas machine, shooting 30
tear gas canisters at the same time
The Israeli army used live ammunition on several occasions
There were numerous incidents where the Israeli army invaded the
village in the middle of the night after a protest, shooting tear gas
and rubber coated steal bullets at and into homes where families were
sleeping, and also arresting several people during these military
incursions into the village

The curfew imposed on Friday 4th of July 2008 was yet another measure
in line with the severely disproportionate tactics that the Israeli
army is using to slam down the protests and silence the people of
Ni'lin, who are merely trying to defend their land and lives through
nonviolent measures. The Ni'lin Popular Committee against the
Apartheid Wall strongly condemns these aggressive and unprovoked
Israeli military policies that have been declared illegal under
international law. The Popular Committee specifically condemns the
recent curfew and siege on Ni'lin, which caused excessive damage and
severe injuries in a village that is already being strangled due to
the construction of the Wall.

The Ni'lin Popular Committee draws your attention to the casualties
and damages caused by the 4-day curfew and siege on Ni'lin:

The Israeli army injured more than 50 villagers with rubber
coated-steal bullets, three of them were seriously injured by live
ammunition. They are currently undergoing treatment in different
hospitals in Ramallah
Hundreds of people suffered from respiratory problems due to teargas
inhalation. Teargas was shot at and into the houses. Villagers, who
went on their rooftops or gardens in order to try to communicate with
family and neighbors, were immediately attacked with tear gas and
rubber coated steal bullets. Even standing too close to the window
meant risking being shot at. The firing of teargas and rubber coated
steal bullets at the windows has caused irreconcilable damage to the
houses in Ni'lin
During the first three days of the siege ambulances were not allowed
access into the village, the injured remained untreated
The body of a deceased villager was kept for four hours at the
entrance of Ni'lin before they let the remains into the village for
A woman in labor was not allowed to leave the village and was forced
to deliver the baby at home
A twelve year old boy was kidnapped from his home by the Israeli army,
who kept him hostage for 2 days
The army invaded approximately 20 houses, breaking personal property
in the house and beating women, children and men
The army used bulldozers to dig up newly paved roads, thereby wrecking
parts of the municipal sewage system and destroying a large portion of
the village's infrastructure. In order to strategically control the
whole area of the village, they entered the girls' school, breaking
the school's windows and doors
Shops and businesses were closed during the curfew and people could
not get to work, depriving the people of Ni'lin from their much-needed
Three journalists were detained for several hours while trying to
report on the situation of Ni'lin.

The Ni'lin people are calling for local, regional, and international
support to sustain solidarity with the village. This support is very
much needed. The Popular Committee would also like to take this
opportunity to thank everybody who participated in the demonstrations
and for all the efforts individuals have put into advocating for
Ni'lin, contacting political representatives, and drawing worldwide
media attention. We cannot express enough our feelings of deep
gratitude for all of these efforts and the coming efforts too!

This Thursday, 10th of July 2008, a monumental protest is organized
for the 4th anniversary of the ruling on the Wall of the International
Court of Justice. T

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