Large forces of Israeli army and border police raided the village of Nabi Saleh this morning, long before the demonstration in the village began. The forces, apparently including high ranking officers and accompanied by Israeli media, blocked the local gas station and main road to the village in an attempt to halt the demonstration. Protesters, in response, took a different route than usual for their march, bypassing the army through the hills and making their way to the spring confiscated by settlers of Halamish. A small group of protesters actually managed to set a precedent when they got approximately 50 meters away from the spring. In the meantime, clashes began to erupt in the village. While the army aiming at first to present "restraint", following international criticism on extreme use of force against unnamed protesters this week. However, this guise did not last for long: beyond the regular use of tear-gas canisters and the foul smelling "skunk" water canon inside the village, the army also used clubs to beat up women and children.
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills
In clashes that took place inside the village, between youth and soldiers, two Israeli activists were arrested, one is still held in custody. The army also made an attempt to arrest Manal Tamimi, one of the major women activists of the village. As her husband, Billal, approached to release her from the soldiers' grip, he was himself arrested, beaten and his camera broken. Manal and Billal Tamimi are the parents of the boy injured last week when a tear gas canister hit him in the face.
Clashes maintained for another few hours on both sides of the village, with the army using extensive amounts of tear gas canisters, and spraying the "skunk" directly into private houses. Towards the end of the demonstration, the army detained a resident of Nabi Saleh who did not participate in the demonstration and was making his way back to the village tried to come into the village through. Soldiers confiscated his ID card and said it will not be returned until the man succeeds in convincing the demonstrators to disperse.