John Kerry’s remarks on the Middle East Peace Process Talks

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Remarks on the Middle East Peace Process Talks

John Kerry, Secretary of State, July 30, 2013

‘We all appreciate – believe me – we appreciate the challenges ahead. But even as we look down the difficult road that is before us and consider the complicated choices that we face, we cannot lose sight of something that is often forgotten in the Middle East, and that is what awaits everybody with success. We need to actually change the way we think about compromise in order to get to success. Compromise doesn’t only mean giving up something or giving something away; reasonable principled compromise in the name of peace means that everybody stands to gain. Each side has a stake in the other’s success, and everyone can benefit from the dividends of peace.’

‘We can envision a day when Palestinians can finally realize their aspirations for a flourishing state of their own, and the groundbreaking economic initiative that we’ve been working on the with the Quartet and with Tony Blair and others, with the help of the private sector, can help transform the Palestinian economy and build up unprecedented markets and unblocked waves of foreign investment. And we shouldn’t forget that the new jobs, the new homes, the new industries that can grow in a new Palestinian state will also benefit Israelis next door, where a vibrant economy will find new partners.’

‘The Israeli Government has recognized this, which is why it will be taking in the next days and weeks a number of steps in order to improve conditions in the West Bank and in Gaza.’

‘The parties have agreed here today that all of the final status issues, all of the core issues, and all other issues are all on the table for negotiation. And they are on the table with one simple goal: a view to ending the conflict, ending the claims. Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months. The parties also agreed that the two sides will keep the content of the negotiations confidential. The only announcement you will hear about meetings is the one that I just made. And I will be the only one, by agreement, authorized to comment publicly on the talks, in consultation, obviously, with the parties. That means that no one should consider any reports, articles, or other – or even rumors – reliable, unless they come directly from me, and I guarantee you they won’t.’

‘The United States will work continuously with both parties as a facilitator every step of the way. We all understand the goal that we’re working towards: two states living side by side in peace and security. Two states because two proud peoples each deserve a country to call their own. Two states because the children of both peoples deserve the opportunity to realize their legitimate aspirations in security and in freedom. And two states because the time has come for a lasting peace.’

‘The Israeli and Palestinian people understand their common interests, and that’s why they continue to take positive steps on the ground to improve relations between themselves. I also want to point out that the Arab League understands this too, which is why it has reaffirmed the Arab Peace Initiative and provided vital statements of support for this process.’

‘So many things are already happening. When somebody tells you that Israelis and Palestinians cannot find common ground or address the issues that divide them, don’t believe them. Just look at the things they are doing together and trying to do together. There are many reasons why we need to solve this conflict, but none more important than the security and dignity of the next generations of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and the generations who will follow them and benefit from these negotiations hopefully.’

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/07/212553.htm

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April 14, 2004 – ‘Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace’
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0414-07.htm

November 15, 2010:  U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

February 2011: More than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

February 19, 2011:  Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

October 27, 2011: Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

November 2011 – ‘Israel’s Bunker Mentality -How the Occupation Is Destroying the Nation’
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136593/ronald-r-krebs/israels-bunker-mentality

July 29, 2013 – ‘ISRAELI AND PALESTINIANS TALKS TO RESUME IN WASHINGTON’
http://brusselsdiplomatic.com/2013/07/29/israeli-and-palestinians-talks-to-resume-in-washington/

July 30, 2013 – ‘ISRAEL AND PALESTINIANS RESUME DIRECT FINAL STATUS NEGOCIATIONS’
http://brusselsdiplomatic.com/2013/07/30/israel-and-palestinians-resume-direct-final-status-negociations/

November 10, 2013 – ‘US could kill Middle East Peace’
https://kruitvat.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/us-could-kill-mi…

November 12, 2013  – Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html

November 13, 2013: Abbas: ‘Cancel Building or Peace Talks Over’
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173940#.UoLEmvk2aLc

November 13, 2013 – Middle East peace process nears collapse
http://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east-peace-process-nears-collapse-20131113-2xf86.html

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‘Peace Talks’: Israel’s Bunker Mentality

How the Occupation Is Destroying the Nation

November 2011

For the Israeli right and its allies around the world, the greatest danger to Israel’s future is the unwillingness of Palestinians to make peace. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict does threaten Israel, but not, as the right would have it, because militant and even seemingly moderate Palestinians harbor plans to drive the Jews into the sea. Rather, the conflict threatens Israel because of the havoc it wreaks on the country’s internal politics. Since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, its presence in those territories has played a central role in structuring Israeli politics, transforming a country once brimming with optimism into an increasingly cynical, despondent, and illiberal place.

By inducing a bunker mentality among Israelis, the occupation has bred an aggressive ethnic nationalism that privileges the interests of Israel’s Jewish citizens over those of its Arab citizens, who have come to feel that they will never be treated fairly in an Israel defined as a Jewish state. At the same time, by paralyzing the Israeli political system, it has strengthened ultra-Orthodox political parties, which have exploited divisions between the right and the left to become kingmakers. In exchange for their parliamentary support, they have demanded economic subsidies for their constituents, who often devote their lives to studying Jewish texts rather than participating in the work force. Educated, largely secular elites, frustrated by low pay and high taxes, have, until recently, been emigrating in substantial numbers, and the long-term prospects for reversing this brain drain are poor as long as the occupation continues. These are the real threats to Israel’s founders’ vision of a democratic, Jewish, and prosperous state.

Read more at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136593/ronald-r-krebs/israels-bunker-mentality

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Middle East peace talks

Our pictures are deactivated sometimes because of our critical publications:
http://brusselbruxellesbrussels.skynetblogs.be/

 

Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank

Adam Horowitz on November 12, 2013

Haaretz reports on a massive expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank which reporters Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid describe as “unprecedented” in recent years. Peace Now Director Yair Oppenheimer says the new tenders reveal Israel’s intention in the occupied territories, regardless of whatever negotiations are taking place.

Oppenheimer:

The [peace] talks are only for show. Behind the scenes, the government plans to destroy all chance of the two-state solution and flood the area with new settlements. The issue of the tenders is unequivocal evidence of Netanyahu’s intention of sabotaging the chances for an agreement.

The new tenders originally included over a thousand units in the E1 area which would connect Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to the large settlement Ma’ale Adumim, effectively cutting the West Bank in half. President Obama has said that Israeli expansion in E1 “would be very difficult to square with a two-state solution,” and Netanyahu ordered a freeze on the E1 tenders after they were issued, apparently wanting to avoid even more confrontation with the U.S.

More from Haaretz:

The Housing Ministry has issued a tender to hire an architect to plan the construction of 1,200 housing units in the E1 area, which links Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim in the West Bank, as part of a larger wave of tenders to construct some 20,000 housing units in the West Bank at a cost of NIS 45 million.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was updated on the plan earlier Tuesday and shortly afterward ordered to freeze all construction plans in the E1 area. Officials in Netanyahu’s office told Housing Minister Uri Ariel that he must immediately halt the tender for selecting an architect to plan the project in E1.

The broader plan of some 20,000 housing units encompasses several urban areas, as well as the Binyamin Regional Council and Gush Etzion. This is an unusually large and unprecedented planning tender in the last decade. The tenders are for planning only – some are skeleton plans, some are in a general urban building scheme and others in a detailed urban building scheme.

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html

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April 14, 2004 – ‘Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace’
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0414-07.htm

‘US could kill Middle East Peace’
https://kruitvat.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/us-could-kill-middle-east-peace/

3 hours ago – Abbas: ‘Cancel Building or Peace Talks Over’
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173940#.UoLEmvk2aLc

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US could kill Middle East Peace

As a reminder:

April 14, 2004

Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian President Yasser Arafat told the United States Wednesday it would kill all hope of peace in the Middle East if it gave assurances to Israel on keeping West Bank settlements.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in Washington to seek support for a plan to withdraw from Gaza, but keep Jewish enclaves in the West Bank where Palestinians also want a state.

Palestinians fear President Bush will make landmark promises to Sharon that imply backing for Israel’s occupation of land seized in the 1967 Middle East war and reject the eventual right of Palestinian refugees to return.

A statement from Arafat’s office said such an agreement would “lead to the destruction of the chances for the peace process and security and stability in the region. It will also restart the vicious cycle of violence in the region and end all the agreements and commitments that have been signed.”

Arafat urged rejection for any such deal from Arab states, Islamic countries and the world in general, saying it would violate international laws and cancel the “road map” peace plan that Bush has backed.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0414-07.htm

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1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On  Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

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Israel’s role in Arafat’s death

Swiss professor Francois Bochud, left, director of …

Swiss scientists said that they found elevated traces of polonium-210 and lead in Arafat’s remains that could not have occurred naturally, and that the timeframe of Arafat’s illness and death was consistent with poisoning from ingesting polonium.

“Our results reasonably support the poisoning theory,” Francois Bochud, director of Switzerland’s Institute of Radiation Physics, which carried out the investigation, said at a news conference.

Bochud and Patrice Mangin, director of the Lausanne University Hospital’s forensics center, said they tested and ruled out innocent explanations, such as accidental poisoning.

“I think we can eliminate this possibility because, as you can imagine, you cannot find polonium everywhere. It’s a very rare toxic substance,” Mangin told The Associated Press.

Palestinian officials, including Arafat’s successor, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, had no comment on the substance of the report but promised a continued investigation.

The findings are certain to revive Palestinian allegations against Israel, a nuclear power. Polonium can be a byproduct of the chemical processing of uranium, but usually is made artificially in a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator.

Israel has repeatedly denied a role in Arafat’s death and did so again Thursday. Paul Hirschson, a Foreign Ministry official, dismissed the claim as “hogwash.”

“We couldn’t be bothered to” kill him, Hirschson said. “If anyone remembers the political reality at the time, Arafat was completely isolated. His own people were barely speaking to him. There’s no logical reason for Israel to have wanted to do something like this.”

In his final years, Arafat was being accused by Israel and the U.S. of condoning and even encouraging Palestinian attacks against Israelis instead of working for a peace deal.

Polonium-210 is the same substance that killed KGB agent-turned-Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

“It’s quite difficult to understand why (Arafat) might have had any polonium, if he was just in his headquarters in Ramallah,” said Alastair Hay, a professor of environmental toxicology at the University of Leeds who was not involved in the investigation.

“He wasn’t somebody who was moving in and out of atomic energy plants or dealing with radioactive isotopes.”

Photo: Swiss professor Francois Bochud, left, director of Switzerland’s Institute of Radiation Physics, and Swiss professor Patrice Mangin, right, director of the Lausanne University Hospital’s forensics center, speak on a forensics report during a press conference at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nov. 7, 2013. Swiss, French and Russian teams took samples of the remains after exhuming Arafat’s body in Ramallah and submitted results to the Palestinian Authority on November 5.

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As a reminder:

Arafat Headquarters Bombed to Ruin

March 11, 2002

GAZA CITY — It was a vivid symbol of his power and of the state he expected to create and lead. But much of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s headquarters lay in ruins Sunday after Israeli warships and combat helicopters blasted the building from the air and sea with about 35 missiles in 45 minutes.

The attack came in retaliation for a pair of horrific Palestinian assaults Saturday–a suicide bombing at a crowded Jerusalem cafe and a shooting rampage at a hotel in the town of Netanya that left 16 people dead and about 100 wounded.

Photo: Rattling through Ramallah’s near deserted streets it takes some effort to remember that this was supposed to be the capital of the Palestinian state-to-be.

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As a reminder:

Brussels, Nov 28 2001 (IPS) – A group of Israelis have filed a complaint holding Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat responsible for a series of bomb attacks and murders stretching back more than a quarter of a century.

“We have come from Israel to demand justice for the victims of the 30-year career of Yasser Arafat,” said Meir Indor, head of the Terror Victims’ Association, a group that includes a survivor of a 1974 attack by Palestinian gunmen on Israeli high school students in which 22 people were killed and 60 wounded.

The Israeli lawsuit takes advantage of a controversial Belgian legislation that empowers the nation’s courts to prosecute individuals – including heads of state – in cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, regardless of where the incidents occur or whether the accused person’s presence on Belgian soil.

About 100 people, many Belgian Jews, demonstrated Tuesday outside the Palace of Justice in Brussels in support of the Israeli plaintiffs. They carried banners proclaiming “Belgians and Israelis against terrorism.”

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs said the complaint holds the Arafat and Palestinian Authority figures responsible for a suicide bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria this August that killed 16 people.

“The plaintiffs are people who were wounded, or whose relatives were wounded or killed, in attacks committed over the past 30 years in Israel, but also in Belgium,” one lawyer, Jacob Rubin, told reporters as he left the courthouse.

The Israeli group’s action came a day before a Brussels court was due to consider whether to proceed with a lawsuit brought under the same legislation by Palestinian and Lebanese plaintiffs against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon over a 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied Lebanon that left 800 to 1,500 people dead.

Like the laws that permitted General Augusto Pinochet’s arrest in London on a warrant from a Spanish judge for crimes committed largely in Chile, the Belgian law is based on the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” applicable to the most egregious atrocities.

This mechanism, which was given explicit expression by the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, recognises that all states have an interest in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern, no matter where the crime was committed, and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators or their victims.

William Goldnadel, another lawyer for the Israeli and Belgian plaintiffs, said their suit was in no way connected with that against Sharon. The Palestinians’ delegation to Brussels, however, has dismissed the Israeli group’s complaint as being politically motivated.

“The aim of this complaint is to deflect attention of opinion from the continuous (human rights) violations by Israel,” the delegation said in a statement in which it also pledged to cooperate with Belgian authorities.

Some Belgian politicians are eager to tone done or scrap the law, arguing that it has turned Belgium into a magnet for all the world’s human rights cases – a caseload the country cannot handle.

Belgian Foreign Minister, Louis Michel, has made clear the government wants to amend the law, which blurs the line between the country’s federal and judicial powers, to prevent future prosecutions of sitting heads of state or government.

The Sharon case embarrassed the Belgian government when it caused the Israeli prime minister not to visit European Union headquarters in Brussels. The case has also hurt Israeli relations with Belgium, which now holds the rotating EU presidency and as such is at the helm of the EU’s post- Sept. 11 effort to push for peace in the Middle East.

Sharon’s lawyers will argue before a Brussels appeals court this week that the law cannot apply to defendants who are not present on Belgian soil and will contest the lifting of diplomatic immunity that allows prosecutions to take place.

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Arafat’s mysterious death

As a reminder:

Arafat Headquarters Bombed to Ruin

March 11, 2002

GAZA CITY — It was a vivid symbol of his power and of the state he expected to create and lead. But much of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s headquarters lay in ruins Sunday after Israeli warships and combat helicopters blasted the building from the air and sea with about 35 missiles in 45 minutes.

The attack came in retaliation for a pair of horrific Palestinian assaults Saturday–a suicide bombing at a crowded Jerusalem cafe and a shooting rampage at a hotel in the town of Netanya that left 16 people dead and about 100 wounded.

http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/11/news/mn-32231

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John Kerry: Israeli settlements are ‘illegitimate’

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/11/07/palestinians-protest-against-kerrys-regional-tour.html

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John Kerry: Israeli settlements are ‘illegitimate’

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1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On  Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

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November 6, 2013 – Grappling with troubled peace process, Kerry urges Israeli settlement limits:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/06/us-palestinians-israel-kerry-idUSBRE9A50CD20131106

Photo: http://electronicintifada.net/content/month-pictures-may-2013/12515

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Let us not forget the Palestinians: Ni’lin village

Israeli soldiers invading Ni'lin 06.11.2013

Ni’lin village Raided Again,two guys got arrested.

November 6th, 2013

At 5am Wednesday morning around 16 Israeli military jeeps and 50 soldiers on foot invaded the village of Ni’lin. They raided two houses using military dogs, making two arrests: Abdull Halim Khawaja, 24, and Zohdi Nafi, 21. The soldiers also stole the car of Ahmed Nafi, 34.

The soldiers used sound grenades as they went through the village, waking up civilians along the way. Once again the jeep mounted tear gas canon was used covering the village in gas.

The night raids continue as the families of Ni’lin are losing their children day by day. The number of prisoners are constantly rising as a consequence of the collective punishment forced upon the village of Ni’lin for protesting against the occupation and the struggle against the apartheid wall.

Monday morning two other young men, Abdullah Amireh, 22, and Nasir Amireh, 20, were arrested in the middle of the night. The arrested has been sent to the underground Almasqubyia jail in Jerusalem and Aljalama jail north of the West Bank.

http://www.nilin-village.org/2013/11/06/nilin-village-raided-againtwo-guys-got-arrested/

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1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On  Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip. 

Nearly 34 years ago, an America-firster used The American Mercury magazine to warn of the danger posed by Zionism in the Mideast. 

http://www.mediamonitors.net/johnhenshaw1.html

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Let us not forget the Palestinians: Ni’lin village

October 27th, 2013 

Israeli soldiers blocking the entrances of Ni’lin village

Since last week the village of Ni’lin is being target daily by mid-night raids from the Israeli occupation forces. The soldiers have been shooting tear gas into people’s homes while they are sleeping. Only two people have been arrested but ten houses have been invaded by the soldiers.

The arrested are Naha Nafi, 21, and Tariq Kawaja, 24. Another three young men were sought after but could not be found.

The situation has escalated in the last two days. Israeli soldiers have started blocking the entrances of Ni’lin preventing people from entering or leaving the village. For the villagers who commute to Ramallah for work or studies this collective punishment has caused huge problems.

However, 11 pm on Saturday night a big number of Israeli jeeps invaded the village, seemingly just to cause disturbance. The soldiers began harassing villagers, firing their rifles without any apparent reason. As youths gathered to drive the soldiers out of the village they were directly fired upon with rubber coated steel bullets. One young man was hit in his leg and many bystanders suffered from tear gas asphyxiation. Also at this occurrence tear gas was fired into the homes of sleeping villagers.

At present the entrances to Ni’lin is still being blocked by the Israeli military. The villagers are awaiting their next move with anxiety.

http://www.nilin-village.org/2013/10/27/israeli-soldiers-blocking-the-entrances-of-nilin-village/

Photo: July 2008 – An Israeli soldier shot and killed a Palestinian child during a nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall in Ni’lin village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

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