Friday, April 17, 2009

Nonviolent Palestinian resistance in Na'leen honoring Prisoners Day attacked, 10 injured

17.04.09 - 20:36

Na’leen / PNN - Hundreds of residents of the town of Na’leen today took to their own land for a weekly demonstration against the Wall and settlements. After Friday prayers the nonviolent activists protested land confiscation and honored Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day.

Israeli forces open fire with dozens of canisters of noxious gas, the same type that killed Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahma in nearby Bil’in today.

For Friday prayers Sheikh Salah Tayeh Khawaja invited people to exercise “patience and persistence,” and said in his sermon on Prisoners Day that “the occupation did not stop in the suppression of the Palestinian people and aggression against the human remains and the earth and rocks and trees.” He added, “The increased policy of arrests was designed to undermine the will of the people and the repressive torture and premeditated murder in the prisons has not stopped.”

The people's march began with hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of international justice activists carrying both Palestinian flag and US flags. Nonviolent demonstrators held their hands high in the “V” for victory sign, stressing that arrests will not suppress the struggle and the resistance.

As promised, the coordinator of the Na’leen nonviolent resistance noted that the large march walked through the streets of the town. The Israeli army stormed the town and attacked residents and their supporters from four directions. The Israeli special forces also arrived in a car with Palestinian plates, using it as a cover to open fire.

The homes of Faiz Zaki Khawaja and Khawaja Abboud Saadi were overtaken and the families held in one room. They were prevented from entering or leaving, even for the use of the bathroom. Other roofs were overtaken from where Israeli soldiers began firing noxious gas into homes. Residents report they were “deliberately punishing the elderly, the ill and children. The clashes continued for hours, stones versus guns, in the center of town.

The coordinator of the march in memory of Palestinian Prisoners Day said he "stresses that the occupation and aggression did not stop and continues in the suppression of the popular resistance to arrest and thieve land, while the killings continue."

When the news arrived of the Israeli killing of an unarmed Palestinian nonviolent activist in Bil’in, the stone throwing intensified, as did the Israeli shooting. Ten Palestinians were severely injured.