31 January, 2009

Swedish activist shot in West Bank

An activist from my home town Gothenburg was shot in the leg with live ammuntion during a peaceful protest against the Wall in the West Bank village of Nil'in yesterday, the Swedish press and the ISM reports. One Palestinian man was also injured.

I've been to a couple of these demonstrations, who take place every week, and they always follow more or less the same script: A peaceful march, followed by light scuffles with Israeli troops and border police. It usually ends with a highly unequal stand-off between the young boys of the village, who throw rocks against the soldiers, who in turn respond with (potentially lethal) rubber-coated bullets and tear gas - and occasionally live ammunition. Sometimes the soldiers start firing at the demonstrators as soon as they reach the outskirts of the village.

In December, two Palestinian children was killed during a demonstration in the same village. I don't know the exact circumstances of this last incident, but one thing is certain: Everyone killed or injured while voicing his or her opposition to the Wall, the illegal settlements, and the occupation, is another victim of the apartheid system being constructed in the West Bank.

Pic above: Medics attend a young Palestinian injured in his hand after being hit by a tear-gas canister fired straight at him from close range, march 2006.

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