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occupied paLestinian territories

From left to right: Young and old gather for the weekly demonstration after Friday prayers in Nabi Saleh, a small Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank. Since 2009, Israeli forces have killed two protesters and injured hundreds of villagers, including children.

© Tamimi Press

© Haim Schwarczenberg

Israeli security forces regularly respond to peaceful demonstrations in Nabi Saleh with tear gas, rubbercoated metal bullets, and sometimes live ammunition. The illegal Israeli settlement that is encroaching on the villagers’ land can be seen in the background.

show their solidarity and support. Bilal Tamimi, his children at his side and a camera over his shoulder, smiles and welcomes them to Nabi Saleh. His camera has captured the villagers’ struggle for years, like Emad Burnat did for the Oscar-nominated documentary Five Broken Cameras, about Bil’in, another Palestinian village.

“We need to tell the Israeli authorities: enough. You are no longer facing a tiny village on small hill. You now have the entire Amnesty movement to reckon with.” Bilal records the villagers’ persistence, their defiance, and the tragedies that have befallen their people. So far, he has three broken cameras. At least one was hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Young LiVes Lost Since the demonstrations started in 2009, the village has lost two of its young people. Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was the first, killed in December 2011. “That day, the army was using excessive force and some people responded by throwing rocks at the army jeeps as they were leaving,” says Saleh. “Then a soldier in the last jeep to leave opened his door and launched a tear gas grenade directly at Mustafa's face from a close distance.” Mustafa died in hospital two days later. As the demonstration continues down the hill, Saleh points to the spot where Rushdi Tamimi, 31, was shot by live ammunition in November 2012. He too died in hospital days later. “We have also seen hundreds of injuries caused by rubber-coated metal bullets, to people’s upper body and face, including children.”

Twelve-year old Ahd holds on to her mother, Nariman Tamimi, as Israeli soldiers detain her, August 2012. Nariman – who is featured in our Write for Rights stamp image (left) – is one of hundreds detained since the villagers’ Friday protests began in 2009.

Rushdi was the brother-in-law of Bassem Tamimi, another leader of the struggle, who was previously jailed by Israel for taking part in the demonstrations. Today, Bassem tells a young journalist about the importance of demonstrating peacefully. Bassem is at the demonstration with his children, but his wife, Nariman Tamimi, a prominent activist, is not.

against the military occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, that they are not alone. “We need to tell the Israeli authorities: enough. You are no longer facing a tiny village on small hill. You now have the entire Amnesty movement to reckon with.”

men and women, shouLder to shouLder

Many thanks to Amnesty International Israel for their help with making this article possible.

Nariman – pictured on stamp image above, left – has been forced to stay at home because she the Israeli authorities have put her under house arrest. Instead, she welcomes a constant stream of activists and wellwishers with small cups of strong black coffee. “Nariman and other women in Nabi Saleh are the forefront of this struggle,” explains Saleh. “Here, women and men stand shoulder to shoulder, in the face of constant harassment by the army.” Back at the demonstration, the children stay under a tree, chanting and singing through a megaphone as the others continue down the hill towards the army. Soon the army launches tear gas grenades and white clouds of smoke cover the hillsides.

come together and saY ‘enough’ “It is very important that we show solidarity with the brave human rights defenders of Nabi Saleh,” says Saleh. “We need to come together and tell the Israeli authorities to stop harassing them. “We need to insist that they stop using excessive force against demonstrators. And hold soldiers accountable for the deaths, injuries, and damage of property they are causing. “Our voices, solidarity and actions will show all the villages holding regular peaceful demonstrations

write a Letter - heLp protect them Please join Write for Rights 2013 by sending a solidarity letter or a card to: Naji Tamimi, Popular resistance committee, Nabi Saleh, birzeit/ramallah, Palestine. You can also leave the villagers a message on their Facebook page: bit.ly/nabi-saleh Urge Israel’s minister of defence to stop security forces using excessive and unnecessary force against demonstrators in Nabi Saleh, and to ensure that those responsible for killings and injuries in the village are brought to justice. write to: moshe Ya’alon, minister of defence, ministry of defence, 37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909, Israel. fax: +972 3 691 6940 email: minister@mod.gov.il

twitter > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >foLLow > >@amnestYonLine > > > >on > > and > tweet > >using > #write4rights >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>5 >>> wire [ noV/dec 2013 ]

Profile for Wire magazine

WIRE November/December 2013  

WIRE is Amnesty's global campaigning magazine for people who are passionate about human rights.

WIRE November/December 2013  

WIRE is Amnesty's global campaigning magazine for people who are passionate about human rights.

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