During this Fridays demonstration in the village of Ni'lin three boys ages 13 to 17 were shot with 0.22 caliber live ammunition. Yet another 14 year old boy way injured by a rubber coated steel bullet that hit him in the mouth.
Protesters gathered as usual for the Friday prayer near the wall on the southern edge of the village of Ni'lin at midday. The Israeli soldier however started firing tear gas even before the protest had started which led to suffocation of dozens of protesters. Nevertheless the people of Ni'lin remained in the fields to pray among the olive trees as a way of showing their dedication to the land and olives being burned and uprooted daily by the occupation.
After the prayer, the demonstration marched in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoner as this Friday marked prisoners day in Palestine. The demonstration chanted slogans in solidarity with Ni'lins and Palestines prisoners who are facing the suppression of their jailers as well as slogans against the apartheid wall illegally built on Ni'lin's land.
20 minutes into the protest, two military jeeps invaded the village and started firing tear gas grenades in mass. This formed toxic clouds of tear gas in the fields which forced the protesters to go into an area without olive trees. This area was under watch of the Israeli snipers hiding on top of a hill who started firing towards the protesters. The first to be hit was a 13 year old boy who was shot in the leg. Two minutes later another boy was shot in his leg and a third boy shot twice with live ammunition: once in his foot and once in his knee, both on the right leg. As the third boy was shot a group of Israeli soldiers made a move to who arrest him since he couldn't run away. The rest of the protest managed to chase the soldiers off with stones and get their injured comrade to safety.
Unfortunately the ambulance had already rushed off with the first shooting victim but the two others were rushed to Ramallah hospital by car. Just as the car had left the village, the only entrance to Ni'lin was blocked off by two Israeli military jeeps.
As the protest continued, the soldiers invaded the village and shot another 14 year old boy in the face with a rubber coated steel bullet.
The injured are still being treated at Ramallah hospital and awaiting surgery to remove the bullets from their bodies. The last of the injured, the boy shot twice, might not be able to walk properly again since the bullets shattered bones and nerves in his legs.
Today was a violent day across the West Bank. Four Palestinian protesters were shot with live ammunition in Betunia, Kufr Qaddum and Bil'in. It would seem as if the absence of media at Palestinian weekly protests is being used by the Israeli army as a que to step up their violence against peaceful protesters. In this pace it is only a matter of time until someone gets killed.
But nothing will stop our march to freedom, not their tear gas, not their walls, not their arrests, not their rubber coated or even live bullets!