This week Israeli soldiers entered the village of Ni’lin in jeeps before the traditional friday mid-day prayer in the olive fields. They occupied the hills and streets of the village and effectively blocked the protesters route to the apartheid wall.
When the prayer was finished, the demonstration marched towards the wall, as usual chanting slogans against the wall and calling for unity of all Palestinians against the Israeli occupation. The demonstration was made up of local villagers as well as a number of Israeli peace activists.
When the soldiers spotted the demonstration they started firing tear gas grenades at the protesters and tried to push the demonstration back towards the village.
Two olive trees were burnt by the tear gas cannisters fired by Israeli soldiers. Israeli jeeps tore up the newly planted wheat fields of the village, leaving empty grenade shells and other trash in their wake.
Meanwhile Israeli snipers armed with 0.22 caliber rifles were spreading out in the fields, trying to get a shot of the protesters who responded by trying to blind the snipers using mirrors. In response one Israeli soldier opened live fire at the people wielding mirrors. Luckily no one was injured. The soldiers kept trying to arrest protesters but were unsuccessful.
The absence of media and cameras at Ni’lin protests has lead to the demonstrations beeing more and more violent as the soldiers don’t fear reprecussions for their brutal treatment of unarmed civilians.