Usually we celebrate the end of Ramadan (called Eid al Feter in Arabic) with a lot of joy and happiness. But this year was different. The people of Ni’lin refused to celebrate as all the years before because we suffered too much in the past year to celebrate now: too many people have been murdered, injured or arrested. And the Apartheid wall is being built on our land under the pretext to protect Israeli children. But instead Israel make us and our children suffer.
Our protest march started at 6:40am, after the holy prayer for Eid. Many many people from Ni’lin took to the streets, chanting slogans that express their deep sorrow about the suffering. After that they visited the graves of the 5 martyrs of Ni’lin that have been killed in the past 2 years by Israeli soldiers during the non-violent protests against the Apartheid wall. The first one was the child Ahmed Mousa who was only 10 years old when he got shot on 29 July 2008, then the 17 years old Yousef Amireh, killed on 4 August 2008, and Arafat Alkhawajah who was 23 years old when he got killed on 28 December 2008, 18-year-old Muhammed Khawaja who was killed on 30 December 2008 and Aqel Srour who was killed on 5 June 2009, at the age of 36. Everyone started to pray for them and to ask God for mercy.
The protest that followed at 1pm was organized by the Ni’lin Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall. And it send a strong message to the Occupation Forces and the Israeli government: we will never forget those who died for our just cause. And we will not stop our protests against the Apartheid wall until we get back the land that was stolen from us. We will continue our struggle, no matter what.
As soon as the demonstration reached the wall the Israeli Occupation soldiers began to threaten the protesters, telling them that they were in a closed military zone (our olive groves). No one responded to the soldier’s threats. Instead, the protesters started speaking with the soldiers. They asked them, whether they don’t feel shame for what they are doing to the people of Ni’lin? How can they kill innocent children?
What about human rights? What about humanity? They’re human, too, or aren’t they? Don’t they have children themselves? How can they live with the shameful crimes they are committing? But the soldiers didn’t response. It looked like they don’t feel any shame, instead they seem to be proud of killing innocent people.
The Israeli military wanted to arrest as many protesters as possible, thus they made them come closer to the wall and didn’t shoot any tear gas at them this time. But the demonstrators were clever enough to understand what was going on and before the soldiers could arrest them, they left the wall. The demonstration took place until 2:30 pm. No one was shot or arrested this time.