Last night at 12:30 am a road block, consisting of 8 military jeeps, was set up at the entrance to the village of Ni’lin in order to prevent anyone from gaining access to the village. During the last week these flying roadblocks have been set up daily.
Ahmad Abdullah Amireh, 35, and his friends were returning to the village from Ramallah when they found the way home had been blocked. Ahmad was brutally apprehended by the soldiers for joining demonstrations labeled as illegal by the Israeli authorities.
At 02.40, around 60 Israeli soldiers invaded the village from the south, the side blocked to Palestinians by the annexation wall. The soldiers raided the house of Hassan Nafi, a 23 year old photographer and volunteer with the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Segregation Wall, and arrested him.
Ahmad Abdullah Amireh and Hassan Nafi were both taken to Ofer Military Jail, where they remain as this is being written.
In 2009, Ahmad Amireh was shot by the Israeli military several times right outside his home resulting in serious. One of the bullets was a live round fired by an Israeli sniper that hit him in the knee. This particular bullet was a 0.22 caliber bullet, considered illegal by international as well as Israeli law as it explodes on impact, resulting in grave injuries. Still it is used by the Israeli military against the unarmed villagers of Ni’lin.
Hassan Nafi was also shot with the same kind of ammunition in 2009 while he was filming. The bullet hit him in the groin where it is lodged to this day and serves as a testimony as to how scared the Israeli army is of cameras watching and recording what they do to the people of Ni’lin and the rest of the West Bank.
The village of Ni’lin has been facing brutal arrests since 2008, including the kidnapping of children as well as live ammunition fired toward civilian houses and peaceful demonstrations. Hundreds of night raids have been carried out by Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and sound grenades at the houses. Many children in the village suffer from trauma and nightmares as a result of their houses being raided in the middle of the night while they’ve been sleeping.
The usual routine of the soldiers is to invade the village on foot after having surrounded it from all sides with military jeeps. They also frequently use snipers to quickly take out any resistance to the invasion. Several people have been hurt or killed by sniper fire, even rubber coated steel bullets are lethal if fired towards vital points of the body.
Since 2008 and 2009 more than 250 people have been arrested from the village and accused of ”joining illegal demonstrations”. The implication being that the military wants the villagers to as Israeli authorities for permission to protest against the confiscation of their own land.
Despite this hard repression however, the village has continued its struggle with strength and determination.