Friday October 17th was another day of blood and pain for the residents of Ni’lin, as they continued their olive harvest near the land that has been confiscated by the Occupationâs expanding settlements.
***image2***Volunteers and medical teams came to the village early to help the farmers pick their olives, and to provide support and solidarity for the villagers.
This marked the second time that Occupation forces interrupted the villagersâ Friday prayers with bulldozers and other construction equipment for the Wall. The Wall and the bulldozers serve to steal an increasing amount of land from the villagers, in order to create a âmilitary zoneâ that will be used by the Occupation.
Occupation forces prevented the farmers from praying on the land, as they threatened to use their weapons on the villagers if the prayers continued. The farmers were thus forced to leave the land, and to pray in an area nearby that has not yet been confiscated.
The farmers finished their prayers with tears in their eyes, partly due to the sadness of losing their lands, and partly due to the tear gas emitted from the soldiersâ weapons. The soldiers used tear gas against the people who protested against the murder of the people of Ni’lin, the theft of their land, the widespread arrests of their youth, and the policy of preventing farmers from reaching their olive trees.
This violence directed at the demonstration forced the protestors to disperse, and clashes broke out between the protestors and the Occupation forces. As is usually the case, the Occupation forces shot at the people with rubber bullets and tear gas grenades.
Twelve farmers from Ni’lin were injured by the rubber bullets. Among the injured was a young boy, who was hit in his right leg with two rubber bullets. Others were shot in different parts of their bodies, and a number of people had difficulty breathing as a result of the tear gas.
After escaping from the violence of the Occupation forces, the residents went back to their village and found a group of settlers there calling for the death of the Palestinians, the confiscation of all the land, and the expulsion of all of the villagers. Following a prolonged confrontation between settlers and residents, the latter were eventually able to force the three cars of settlers to leave the village.