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Return to Iraq Burin

After a month recess during Ramahan, the weekly Friday protest at Iraq Burin, a small village 6 miles south of Nablus, resumed this week. Seven internationals, including 3 MPTers, were invited to be present. By noon on Friday a group of 200 or more from the region and the village gathered together in front of the village mosque.

Villagers, other Palestinians and internationals prepare to march toward the confiscated land.
All joined in in chanting and clapping.

At 12:15 the march began with flags, banners and the chanting of Arabic slogans. This was to be a peaceful, nonviolent demonstration. As the march approached the area claimed by the illegal Har Bracha Israeli settlement which was built on confiscated Palestinian land (including 25 acres of confiscated Iraq Burin land), Israeli soliders were seen across the valley and others above the hill crest.

Israeli soldiers targeted the group from both the north and south of the march.
(Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Suddenly white clouds were seen on the ground as the Israeli Occupation Forces started shooting tear gas bombs. (For more details on Iraq Burin and the Har Bracha settlement, see an earlier MPT blog, August 22, 2009: http://mptinpalestine.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-08-28T05%3A33%3A00%2B03%3A00&max-results=10
This Palestinian woman spoke fiercely against the illegal Israeli occupation.

One of the group, a Palestinian woman, took the megaphone and passionately told the Israeli Occupation forces in English that the Palestinians people were there to protest that their land had been unjustly taken away and that the Israeli army had no right under international law to be there.

As some young people began to encroach more into the "off-limits"area (but Palestinian land) near the Israeli soldiers, more than 30 soldiers were visible. A total of about 30 tear gas bombs were volleyed by the Israeli soldiers at the nonviolent protesters. Protesters protected themselves by moving away from the tear gas smoke.

Tear gas bombs were fired by the Israeli army at unarmed nonviolent protestors.

The group moved quickly away from the direction the wind blew the tear gas.

However one young man who had moved ahead was hit in the head by a tear gas bomb and had to be evacuated. (It was later reported that he had a head wound requiring five stitches.) Two other individuals, including a member of the media, were overcome by tear gas and had to receive medical treatment.
Village youth carried the press agent to the ambulance for treatment from tear gas inhalation.

Ambulances were on alert for effects of the tear gas bombs - injuries or inhalation.
After about an hour, demonstration leaders called the group together and advised them to end the protest. The group slowly returned to Iraq Burin, vanquished again by overwhelming force, but satisfied that they had made a statement against the illegal occupation.

Having made a statement against the illegal occupation,
the marchers return to the village.

The Nablus fire truck came to put out the fire in the olive grove.
In the distance is the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Bracha.

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