On Wednesday 23rd July, the women in Ni’lin village organised their first all-women demonstration against the construction of the Separation Wall in their village. Surrounded by the settlements of Shilat, Mattityahu, Hashmonaim, Mod’in Illit and Menora, Ni’lin, as I explained in a previous blog, has become well known as a site of protest against the wall, and of all the villages affected by the wall has been one of the most successful in slowing down its construction.
As Willow’s blog attests, demonstrations are held in Ni’lin several times a week. Usually these demonstrations are attended by the men of the village, as well as international activists and some Israelis, including journalists and refuseniks. The women of the village watch, and provide refreshments and medical relief for protestors affected by tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, which are regular features of these demonstrations. However, this time they decided to have a demonstration of their own. I reported on the demo for WATC’s Voice of Women newspaper, and interviewed Ni’lin resident Rema Khawaja about the demonstration:[youtube]-DqeXXFml8s[/youtube] [youtube]hS-OIESYt94[/youtube]
As the army attacked the demonstrators with tear gas and hit them with rifle butts, some of the men of Ni’lin stepped in to try to protect the women, and members of the press, including Ma’an News, Associated Press and Watan News, continued to film. Three people were arrested, including a Canadian activist who was filming the event, and Jamal Hussein Amirra, the father of Salam Kanaan, the young girl who recently filmed a Palestinian prisoner being shot in the foot with a rubber-coated steel bullet by the IDF. Jamal has since been charged with beating a soldier, and sentenced to 100 days in prison. Witnesses report that he was waving a plastic stick but that he did not hit soldiers with it. In a forthcoming blog you’ll see what Salam had to say when we spoke to her about her experiences and the effect her father’s detention was having on her family.
Posted By Hannah Wright
Posted Aug 15th, 2008