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PNN – Palestine News Network – 08.07.11 – 17:26
Ramallah – PNN – Israeli troops attacked on Friday nonviolent protests organzied every week in a number of West Bank villages. This week protesters marched in solidarity with Freedom Flotilla 2 ships detained in Greece and Welcome To Palestine participants.
Protests were reported in the villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara in the south. The Welcome to Palestine campaign was launched by 40 Palestinian NGOs who invited 600 Europeans and Americans, along with their families, to come to Palestine and meet local families as well as take part in volunteer, cultural and development programs.
While campaign organizers insisted that all their participants will not use violence in the Israeli airport, Israeli security was heavily deployed in the airport on Friday . When some participants of the campaign arrived at the airport, where some managed to go through, many were detained and sent back. Israeli peace activists welcoming participants at the airport were arrested and attacked by both security forces and Israeli civilians.
In Bil’in village on Friday, international and Israeli supporters joined villagers and replanted trees on land given back to local farmers after the army adhered to a court order and rerouted the wall around Bil’in giving the villagers half of their lands back.
Also on Friday, one boy and a youth were slightly injured when troops fired tear gas at the weekly protest in the village of al-Nabi Salleh. Palestinians and their supporters dragged a mock-ship they called Popular Resistance Flotilla. As soon as they reached the end of the village, troops attacked them with tear gas. In addition to the two injured many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, where the residents and their Israeli and international supporters held the Friday midday prayers near the Israeli wall, protestors then marched up to the wall. Troops fired tear gas at protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation.
In southern West Bank on Friday, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters protested against the wall and settlements in al-Ma’sara village near Bethlehem. Israeli troops stopped villagers from reaching the construction side of the wall, and fired tear gas at them to force them back into the village. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.