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In Photos: While the world watches Gaza, Israeli forces invade Nabi Saleh

Israel/Palestine
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“What’s happening now is what is happening every week, sometimes everyday, since nearly nine years”, explains Belal Tamimi, a resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. “Every Friday, we have this situation, the soldiers try to surround the village, they don’t want anyone to be near the spring area that the settlers occupied nine years ago. Every Friday, the situation is horrible”, says Belal, who has taken the role of documenting the protests and the constant raids by the Israeli army.

Nabi Saleh, a small village of 600 inhabitants, has been recently in the headlines, following the arrest of the young activist, Ahed Tamimi (17), who slapped an Israeli soldier in front of her home last December. However, there is little attention to the fact that the village is regularly invaded by the Israeli army, days and nights, triggering clashes with the youth, who confront the soldiers with stones. The arrests takes place mostly during the nights and currently, acording to Belal Tamimi, 19 residents of Nabi Saleh are imprisoned by the Israeli authorities.

Israeli soldiers during a military raid to the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers shooting tear gas in the center of the village of Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

The weekly protests in Nabi Saleh began in 2009, following the confiscation of the main spring of the village by the nearby settlement of Halamish. Since then, every Friday, the residents gather to protest the land confiscation and the Israeli occupation. Since 2009, three people have been killed by Israeli soldiers during the demonstrations: Mustafa Tamimi (28) killed in 2011,  Rushdie Tamimi (31) killed in 2012, and Saba Abu Ubeid (23), from the nearby village of Salfit, killed in 2017. No Israeli soldiers were brought to justice in any of these cases.

On Friday, April 20, the Israeli soldiers invaded the village at the beginning of the afternoon, triggering clashes with Palestinian youth, who responded with stones to make the soldiers leave. The clashes lasted several hours, during which the Israeli soldiers shot scores of tear gas, fired rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition that wounded two of the protesters. At some point, the Israeli soldiers pretended to be leaving, while some soldiers were still hiding in a garage in order to catch and arrest some protesters. The attempt was unsuccessfull, as the soldiers were spotted by the youth. The main gate of the village was also closed for several hours by the Israeli military forces. The soldiers also harassed Belal Tamimi, a known activist from the village, as well as other photographers and journalist, trying to prevent them from documenting the events.

Belal Tamimi, a prominent activist from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, confronting an Israeli soldier, who tries to prevent him from documenting the events, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Israeli sniper aiming at Palestinian protesters, during clashes in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

A Palestinian protester carried by his friend after being injured by Israeli soldiers, durign clashes in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

While the soldiers were pretending to leave, one soldier turned to a woman, Nawal Tamimi, and with a big smile said: “thank you.” Nawal, a resident of Nabi Saleh, was standing next to her brother, Belal Tamimi, and both were just being harrassed by the soldiers, who pushed them, shoved mobile phones to their faces filming them from close range, and called Nawal a “whore” in Arabic.

“Thank you?!!” Nawal asked and continued: “Thank you for targeting our houses? Thank you for targeting our children? You want to kill our children and you say thank you? You are really… I don’t know, there is no word to describe… because you are killers. You come to kill our children. Thank you killer, because you come to our village to kill our children. Thank you, terrorists!”

A Palestinian woman, resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, looking at Israeli soldiers, who invaded her village, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

A youth throws back a tear gas canister during clashes between the Israeli army and the youth of the village of Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 21, 2018. Two youth were injured by live ammunition. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Israeli soldier holding a mobile phone in front of the photographer, trying to prevent the documentation of the events taking place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Activestills.org)

About Anne Paq

Anne Paq is a French photographer, member of the photo collective Activestills. She is currently back in Palestine and working on a long-term project on Gaza called 'Obliterated Families'.

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About Heidi Motola

Heidi Motola is a photojournalist that works with Activestills.

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26 Responses

  1. John O
    April 23, 2018, 11:21 am

    Thank you for this update on the situation in Nabi Saleh. It’s all too easy to lose track of these things when outrage is piled on outrage.

    • JWalters
      April 23, 2018, 7:33 pm

      Or not even be informed of them in the mainstream press. It reminds me of a Fellini movie.

  2. Marnie
    April 23, 2018, 11:43 am

    The cowardice of the IOF is here for all to see – Thank you Ms. Paq and Ms. Motola!

  3. Kay24
    April 23, 2018, 12:33 pm

    I wish these zionist brutes would just leave these areas alone, and not try to intimidate and harass Palestinians, brandishing their American given weapons. They must not be very bright to wonder why they are hated, and disliked, around the world. They are a bunch of whiners, who bully, and then pretend THEY are the victims.

    • Misterioso
      April 24, 2018, 10:30 am

      @Kay24

      “They are a bunch of whiners, who bully, and then pretend THEY are the victims.”

      They are indoctrinated murderous fascists, reminiscent of the Nazis.

  4. eljay
    April 23, 2018, 12:52 pm

    … While the soldiers were pretending to leave, one soldier turned to a woman, Nawal Tamimi, and with a big smile said: “thank you.” Nawal, a resident of Nabi Saleh, was standing next to her brother, Belal Tamimi, and both were just being harrassed by the soldiers, who pushed them, shoved mobile phones to their faces filming them from close range, and called Nawal a “whore” in Arabic.

    “Thank you?!!” Nawal asked and continued: “Thank you for targeting our houses? Thank you for targeting our children? You want to kill our children and you say thank you? You are really… I don’t know, there is no word to describe…

    There is a word: Zionist.

  5. amigo
    April 23, 2018, 1:15 pm

    An Army to be thoroughly ashamed of.

    What is in the zionist DNA that prompts them to view these thugs and killers as Heroes.

    It defies logic and all forms of normal humanity and self respect.

    A sad society with a sad future which is richly deserved.

    • Maghlawatan
      April 23, 2018, 2:15 pm

      Zionism is probably a mutation of Nazism.
      Israeli Jewish society is deeply disturbed.

      • festus
        April 23, 2018, 2:52 pm

        Zionism predates Nazism.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 23, 2018, 3:40 pm

        Zionism had a very long gestation period and its coming of age coincided with the sick flowering of Nazism.

      • Kay24
        April 23, 2018, 4:21 pm

        Hence zionazis. So appropriate when you see the savagery of their crimes against unarmed civilians. The orders come from the top, so do the praise and admiration, after they have killed.

    • echinococcus
      April 23, 2018, 4:22 pm

      What is in the zionist DNA that prompts them to view these thugs and killers as Heroes

      The same genes as in the US DNA, I suppose: just watch the militarist ceremonies at one ball game over here in extravagant adoration of our thugs and murderers. Who, by the way, have been working almost exclusively for the Zionist plan in these last 20 years.

    • amigo
      April 23, 2018, 5:40 pm

      Check this out —right from the Generals mouth.

      “An Israeli general has confirmed that when snipers stationed along Israel’s boundary with Gaza shoot at children, they are doing so deliberately, under clear and specific orders.

      In a radio interview, Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel describes how a sniper identifies the “small body” of a child and is given authorization to shoot.”

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/snipers-ordered-shoot-children-israeli-general-confirms

      • Maghlawatan
        April 23, 2018, 6:33 pm

        IDF rules in Gaza allow anyone to be shot . The beauty of Gaza is that they can always be called a terrorist.
        Gaza is Amalek the Boogeyman of Bronze Age Jews. Because Gaza reminds Israel of 1948.

  6. Maghlawatan
    April 23, 2018, 2:24 pm

    In 2014 a Medical charity compared its work in Gaza to ‘patching up torture victims in an open-air prison’ .
    80% of British Jews felt blamed for Israel’s actions.

    Don’t name the dead children.
    The people must not know the names
    of the dead children.
    The names of the children must be hidden.
    The children must be nameless.
    The children must leave this world
    having no names.
    No one must know the names of
    the dead children.
    No one must say the names of the
    dead children.
    No one must even think that the children
    have names.
    People must understand that it would be dangerous
    to know the names of the children.
    The people must be protected from
    knowing the names of the children.
    The names of the children could spread
    like wildfire.
    The people would not be safe if they knew
    the names of the children.
    Don’t name the dead children.
    Don’t remember the dead children.
    Don’t think of the dead children.
    Don’t say: ‘dead children’.

    Judaism is such a mess because of Israel.

  7. chocopie
    April 23, 2018, 3:48 pm

    They also brought their terrorism to Malaysia, where they gunned down a Palestinian engineer in Kuala Lumpur, on a busy street full of homes and businesses.

    Russia, suspected of poisoning a former spy in UK, came in for international condemnation, but Israel can open fire on the streets of KL and that’s just fine–the people there are mostly brown and many are Muslim, so who cares.

    Can you imagine the reaction if a Malaysian opened fire on an Israeli street?

    On this article: thanks for the reporting and photographs. This is what the reader contributions are paying for! 12-year-old not intimidated by IDF goons.

    • mondonut
      April 23, 2018, 5:17 pm

      You should alert the authorities, apparently you are in possession of information that nobody else has.

  8. mondonut
    April 23, 2018, 5:08 pm

    It’s a miracle. Nabi Saleh is simultaneously Occupied and Invaded.

    • Mooser
      April 23, 2018, 5:43 pm

      Yes, both. You know, reprisals on an already-occupied population.

    • eljay
      April 24, 2018, 7:28 am

      || mon donut: It’s a miracle. Nabi Saleh is simultaneously Occupied and Invaded. ||

      The village – like the rest of not-Israel – is under military occupation by Israel. The surge of Israeli Occupation and Oppression Forces soldiers into the village is an invasion.

      There’s nothing miraculous – only Zionist – about it.

  9. Ossinev
    April 23, 2018, 6:10 pm

    “It’s a miracle. Nabi Saleh is simultaneously Occupied and Invaded”

    I have no military training or background but I think you have to invade a country before you can occupy it. A bit like the Germans/Soviets invaded and occupied Poland in 1939 but in their case(and feel free to correct me if I am wrong) I don`t think either were claiming that they were simply taking back their”ancient homeland” from which they had been expelled by nasty Roman legionaries 2000 years previously

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Poland_(1939%E2%80%931945)

    • mondonut
      April 23, 2018, 8:49 pm

      @Ossinev

      So invasion comes first? Then please explain how occupation BEFORE an invasion works. Unless of course, you believe an occupation began on Friday, April 20, 2018.

      • ritzl
        April 23, 2018, 10:30 pm

        You can’t be this dense. They’re not mutually exclusive. OK? Especially in the peculiar 50 yr history of this occupation.

  10. rhkroell
    April 23, 2018, 9:21 pm

    “However, there is little attention to the fact that the village is regularly invaded by the Israeli army, days and nights, triggering clashes with the youth, who confront the soldiers with stones.”

    Anne and Heidi might have chosen different words to describe the highly-organized, recurring, search and destroy missions conducted by the IDF in Nabi Saleh, military operations designed to harass, molest, abuse and traumatize the civilians residents of this particular Palestinian village. All reporters are working against a prescribed deadline, so you need cut them a little slack. Readers should be able to surmise the objective of the military operation they have described without getting caught up in legalistic nitpicking.

  11. inbound39
    April 24, 2018, 3:18 am

    It is totally bewildering why any person would support what Israel is doing. What’s worse is the American Government constantly states it has an unbreakable bond with Israel based on shared values….REALLY?. I do wonder whether the majority of Americans do share these values exposed by the IOF…..I doubt it. The American Government cannot defend supporting Israel yet it does.

  12. Maghlawatan
    April 24, 2018, 4:51 am

    Comment from the Financial Times site back in 2011 . What is happening now in Israel has been building up for years . Israel can’t be fixed without radical surgery.

    “Logios
    * 24.06.11
    * 02:56

    Let us look at the composition of Israeli Jews today: 1. The former Soviets constitute about 20%. They grew up under a totalitarian regime and tend to prefer strong leaders and a brute-force approach. 2. The Sephardim/Mizrahim (from Islamic states), constitute about 1/3 of the Jews. They tend to hate Arabs, their former oppressors, tend to be more emotional people, and their grounding in democracy is still weak. Shasniks are of course worse in this respect. 3. Religious Ashkenazis, including Haredim, about 10% of the Jews (as estimated by Knesset representation, which minimizes their numbers because they have many children). Haredim and the religious are messianists and believe in Religious Law as superior to state law.// Altogether we have about 2/3 of the Jews with hardline tendencies, based on cultural and religious background. To them one could add the secular Ashkenazi right-wingers like Netanyahu, and you see that Israel is facing a democratic crisis. The big question is: How did the State manage to be formed as a democracy in the first place? The simple answer is that the main non-democratic forces were not yet citizens: The Russians, Sephardim, Haredim, and religious messianists, had a small and negligible representation in the 1948 Yishuv. They are now ready and able to destroy what their more democratic brothers had established. ”

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