RAMALLAH, May 8 (JMCC) - Reporter Joseph Dana describes a
Friday in Nabi Saleh, where Israeli soldiers patrol the village to prevent its residents from coming out in largely non-violent demonstrations.
Israelis soldiers were inside the village long before the demonstration began on Friday, creating an uncomfortable air of uncertainly amongst villagers. Adding to the uncertainty were the aggressive comments of one particular group of soldiers who had taken over a rooftop in the middle of the village.
“Soon,” one of the arrogant soldiers barked at an elderly villager in horribly accented English, “I will make your house go boom.” It was not clear if the solider meant that he would blow his house up or attack it with tear gas and stun grenades. Regardless, the elderly man was clearly shaken by the soldier’s violent comment.
Men and boys emerged from mid-afternoon prayers determined to continue the demonstration despite the military presence. Roughly 12% of the village’s male population, out of a total population of 500, have spent time in Israeli military jails for demonstrating. Bassem and Naji Tamimi, the Popular Committee leaders of the village, are currently in jail. They have not been sentenced, however based on similar situations in Bil’in, they will be in jail for the next year or two. Their crime: leading unarmed demonstrations which bring Israelis, Palestinians and internationals together to resist occupation.