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Israeli army shuts down 'illegal' Palestinian protests
Published Friday 27/05/2011 (updated) 29/05/2011 09:39
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shut down anti-wall protests in villages across the West Bank on Friday.

The Israeli army says the unarmed weekly protests in Palestinian villages are illegal.

Asked why the protests were illegal, an army spokesman said the areas between Israel's separation wall and villages Ni'lin and Bil'in, near Ramallah, were declared "closed military zones" every Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Any civilian who entered the area was breaking Israeli law, the army official said,

Palestinians, Israelis and foreign nationals join protests every Friday in villages along Israel's separation wall, which runs deep inside the West Bank and confiscates villagers' land.

The International Court of Justice and Israel's Supreme Court have ruled that the route of the wall is illegal under international law.

In Nil'in, the wall cuts off around one third of the village. On May 20, protesters marked the third anniversary of non-violent protests against the wall. Since 2008, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians and injured hundreds more at demonstrations in the village.

On Friday, the army installed a checkpoint at the entrance to Ni'lin, stopping activists from joining the rally. Troops fired tear-gas grenades into fields, setting fire to over 100 olive trees, witnesses said.

At a simultaneous rally in Nabi Saleh, soldiers declared a closed military zone and detained 6 protesters for entering the area and "hurling rocks" at forces, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

In Al-Ma'sara, south of Bethlehem, more than 30 international activists joined the weekly demonstration against the wall, but Israeli forces shut down the rally.

Popular committee coordinator Mahmud Zawahra said villagers would continue to protest Israel's confiscation of their land "despite Israel's suppression."

Israeli forces frequently raid villages which participate in non-violent resistance and detain protest organizers and residents, including children.

In Ni'lin, entering its fourth year of protests, popular committee member Salah Khawaja said that despite Israel's military campaign against the village, the demonstrations would continue.

"We lost five people, 700 have been injured and 150 arrested, many of them children.

"But we vow to continue and to bring more people to our strategy of non-violent resistance. We saw in Egypt what can be achieved when the people work together," Khawaja said.
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1 ) izzy / usa
27/05/2011 20:36
"We lost five people, 700 have been injured and 150 arrested, many of them children"
just curious, if you know this is how israel will react why do you bring children?

2 ) frank / usa
27/05/2011 21:06
the israelies dont want the truth to be exposed. they always lie. stop stealing palestinians' land and there wont be any protests. it is not illegal to peacfully protest what is being stolen by the israelies. stop the violence against the peaceful palestinians.

3 ) Tobias / US
27/05/2011 21:55

Hooray for the IDF:
Unlike the other armies in the region (Egyptian, Lybian, Syrian, etc.)
the Israeli army did NOT "shut down 'illegal' protests" with death !!!

- Hooray for the IDF.


4 ) southparkbear / usa
27/05/2011 23:11
zer goot, good weekend

5 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
27/05/2011 23:37
Sounds like the Assad and Gadhafi reactions to protest. Are Netanyahu and Barak really any different when if comes to Palestinians under occupation?

6 ) Gareth Smith / Australia
28/05/2011 03:10
On June 3 we will erect a model of the Wall outside the office of federal member of parliament, Justine Elliot, in Tweed Heads, New South Wales. This is a protest against Australia's total support for Israel and the pro-Israel policies of the USA and marks the UN International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

7 ) Hilde / Palestine
28/05/2011 10:28
Blaming the oppressed victims when the occupier is killing their children - that's just sick.

8 ) sarah Lith / the netherlands
28/05/2011 14:25
#3 Yes they do but oke, you are known as braindeath and payd by zionists to wright your nonsens and making yourself ridiculous. What the hell is the zionist doing in Palestinian territories. If the Pals want to demonstrate on Palestinian territories so let them! Attacking them is an act of war so it is illegal!

9 ) Mary / US
29/05/2011 02:58
@Mark of Lewiston, Astonishing! Are you comparing Netanyahu and Barak to Assad and Gadhafi? Did you notice Assad and Gadhafi are in their own country? Does that make a difference to you? The sheer numbers killed by Barak and Netanyahu, Olmert, Livni and Sharon, as Israel, cannot be compared with the numbers killed by Assad and Gadhafi, in Syria & Libya, sad as those are as well.
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