The village of Ni’lin, with about 5,000 inhabitants 10 miles west of Ramallah and just two miles from the Green Line, was separated from her closest neighbors as a result of the 1948 Nakba. Once again Ni’lin is under threat, this time by Israel’s wall to “defend” an encirclement of Israeli settlements around the village built after the 1967. The occupation is not just occupying Ni’lin, but aims to destroy it and absorb the settlements into Israel. Ni’lin is resisting.
The village has been the site of daily actions and demonstrations against the construction of the wall on their land. These acts, with support internationally as well as from anti-occupation and left-wing Israeli organizations, has been galvanizing and points to a different direction than the militarist Hamas or the collaborationist Fatah: militant, mass, non-violent direct action. It scares the shit out of the Zionists.
The Israeli government claims the wall is a defense against “terror” have unleashed a terror campaign of their own on the village known for its resistance. Ni’lin has been under a state of siege for near on a month. The village was the site of the widely publicized shooting of a young Palestinian, Ashraf Abu Rahma, bound and held by an IDF officer who ordered a subordinate to shoot Rahma in the leg with a rubber coated bullet in early July.
Yousef Amira and Ahmed Moussa, two Palestinian children murdered by Zionists this week, join the hundreds of other children and thousands of Palestinians killed in the previous 8 years by Israel. Ahmed, 10, was killed by live fire on Wednesday while removing a barbed wire barricade. Brave Israeli teens plastered Tel Aviv with his name and stopped traffic in the hours after his murder. Yousef, 17, was killed while resisting an IDF assault on Ahmed’s funeral. He was shot, in the head, with a “non-lethal” rubber coated bullet, fell into a coma and succumbed on Monday. These are crimes born of years of racist occupation. Remember their names. Someday they will be called out in judgement.
Shooting children at the funerals of children you have previously killed. Even for the IDF these killings are particularly heinous. The shootings, designed to stop a campaign that has succeeded in showing the wall for what it is: a racist land grab by a bullying outlaw of a state, may well ignite further campaigns. Other villages are also fighting. Stop the Wall! and The International Solidarity Movement are participating and their sites are excellent resources. Palestinian resistance, even after so many years and so many turns, continues to be a vanguard; creative and, without irony, a source of hope.
In response to the killing of Ahemed Moussa the Ni’lin Popular Committee stated, “the Occupation accuses small children with empty hands and bare chests of causing a threat to their forces and their security, but we know exactly why the Occupation is building this wall and that is to expel us from our lands. Ahmad set an example for all of us. We will all fight together in this popular struggle, the farmer, the worker, every Palestinian.”
The above photos is from the great activestills.org site. Also see Seth Freedman’s vivid report from Ni’lin in the Guardian. Part of the campaign has been “shooting back” initiated by B’Tselem and spreading; issuing residents with video cameras to turn on the actions of the Israelis. Below is a look at the village’s resistance in a documentary from the campaign followed by footage from a demonstration on the 29th which show just how ugly an occupation is. It is this day that Ahmed is killed. The next video from the 30th is of Ahmed’s funeral, attacked by the IDF, and the day Yousef was shot.
Edward Said, what would he have to say about Israel’s “security barrier” today, spoke before he died of the Dignity and Solidarity in the Palestinian struggle. He said that Palestine had become “a byword for enlightenment” in much of the world. What, after all, can be more enlightened than a people oppressed lifting their heads and together saying, “no more!”