Israeli and international supporters joined villagers at all four locations. This week’s protests marked the International Day of Human Rights.
In al-Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank, protesters headed towered lands taken from the village to built an illegal Israeli settlement and soldiers fired tear gas and forced people back to the village. Troops then stormed the village and fired tear gas at a number of homes.
Two-year-old Lara Tamimi and her mother Zainab were injured by tear gas, while Khitam al Tamimi was hit in the back with a tear gas bomb. Witnesses said the Israeli officer in charge gave orders to fire tear gas at villagers’ homes. The protest ended after clashes between local youth and soldiers.
In Bil’in, around 300 villagers and their supporters marched from the village mosque and headed towards the Israeli wall separating local farmers from their lands. Many carried Brazilian and Argentine flags in appreciation of the recent steps taken by the governments of those countries to recognize the state of Palestine.
“Argentina is with us,” said one protestors, who preferred to remain unnamed, “and Argentina is against the wall.”
Before protestors reached the site of the wall, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets at them and the large crowd gradually dispersed.
A local teenager was hit in the leg with a tear gas bomb while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Jonas Lindt, a 21-year-old German activist, was arrested by Israeli soldiers for standing in a “closed military zone.”
“We were making a peaceful demonstration,” said Daniel Robinson, 30, who was with Lindt at the time, “and under no provocation, Jonas was arrested.”
In the nearby village of Nil’in, soldiers also used tear gas to suppress the weekly anti-wall protest. A number of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In al-Ma’sara village in the southern West Bank, Israeli soldiers prevented demonstrators from reaching confiscate land and pushed them back into the village. Soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs at the protestors.