Nabi Saleh Demostrator Sufferes Fractured Skull After Being Hit in the Head with Rubber-Coated Bullet

Two demonstrators hit with rubber-coated bullets, one in the head and two popular committee organizers pepper-sprayed in the face during the weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh. Demonstrator hit in the head with rubber bullet suffered condensed fracture requiring surgery.

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Nabi Saleh Under a Cloud of Tear Gas. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana 

Nabi Saleh Under a Cloud of Tear Gas. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana

Despite the raging wildfire taking place near Haifa, the Israeli army was able to use extensive army forces to envelope the small village of Nabi Saleh with huge amount of tear gas and rubber bullets in order to suppress the weekly unarmed demonstration against the occupation and the taking of the Nabi Saleh's agricultural resources. The residents of Nabi Saleh have been holding regular demonstrations against the creeping confiscation of their lands by the adjacent Jewish-only settlement of Halamish since December 2009. Protest was sparked after settlers, abated by the Army, forcefully took over a natural spring belonging to the village.

As the demonstration began on Friday, two members of the village's popular committee were pepper-sprayed in the face by a Border Police officer while they peacefully marched past a line of soldiers blocking access to the village's spring which has been off limits for almost one year to the village. The army was able to break up the non-violent protest march using tear gas and sealed off all entry and exit points to Nabi Saleh making it virtually impossible for Israeli and international supporters from joining the demonstration.

The army continued its use of massive amounts of tear gas to suppress the demonstration often firing tear gas canisters directly at civilian houses and community centers. The army also used rubber coated steel bullets shooting two demonstrators directly. One demonstrator was hit in the head resulting in a condensed fracture to the skull requiring surgery.

Over the past weeks, the army has increased its use of violent crowd control measures which have included the use of undercover special forces, rubber coated steel bullets, live bullets and high velocity tear gas canisters. The negligent use of tear gas resulted in a number of small brushfires throughout the village including one in the community graveyard. The demonstration lasted until after sundown as Israeli soldiers continued to fire tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators with the occasionally incursion into the heart of the village.