Ramallah, 03-08-08: Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP, the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, today held a press conference condemning the use of internal violence to solve Palestinian internal divisions.
"We have to return to unity. Division is exactly what occupation wants", said Dr Barghouthi. "We must support the use of democracy and promote dialogue within the Palestinian society.'' He highlighted that "the current internal division is a direct consequence of Israel jeopardizing Palestinian democracy, by refusing to work with the Unity government and denying the legitimate outcome of the democratic practices."
In the context of extreme violence and killings perpetrated by the Israeli Army in Ni’lin village and around the West Bank during the last month, the Deputy stated that: “Israel is trying to provoke peaceful Palestinian demonstrators into using violence.“
Popular peaceful demonstrations against the construction of the Wall have been taking place in Ni'lin; a small village located North of Ramallah, on almost a daily basis since May. The demonstrations are attended by local people, Israeli activists and internationals, and are a response to the Israeli order to build a new section of the Wall which would completely isolate the village and lead to a major confiscation of land. In the last 60 years the villagers have been dispossessed of 87% of their original land.
Particularly during the previous month, the Israeli soldiers' violence against peaceful demonstrators has been extremely intense. Soldiers have been shooting at demonstrators at close range, using high velocity bullets, lethal metallic rubber coated bullets and launching tear gas at the crowds.
In the last 4 weeks, 2 people have been killed – one died a clinical death, 3 have been shot with high velocity bullets (M16 ammunition), 252 have been shot with metallic bullets, 120 children have been injured, hundreds of people have been injured by tear gas and 6 people were arrested and fined.
In the last week, the violence targeted in particular young people. Ahmed Hassan Yousef Musa, a 10 year old boy, was shot with M16 bullets in the head at close range and died on Tuesday 29th July. Yousef Ahmed Amira, 19 years old, was hit by two bullets in his head which penetrated the brain and caused severe irreversible brain damage. He died on Thursday 31st July.
To the deputy: “by using extreme violence Israel is trying to provoke and push the Palestinians back to violence and to break peaceful demonstrations”.