Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP, the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, strongly condemns the attack on Ahed Khawaja, a member of the Palestinian National Initiative, and the EU Representative Jerome Bellion-Jourdan in Niílin this morning.
Ahed Khawaja, a member of the Palestinian National Initiative and the coordinator of the Steering Committee against the building of the Wall in Niílin received burns and cuts to his face, and bleeding in his nose and mouth, after Israeli soldiers threw a sound bomb in his face. He is currently in Al Sheikh Zaied hospital receiving treatment for his nose that is broken. Doctors are still trying to establish whether he has received permanent damage to his eyes as well.
The attack on Ahed Khawaja occurred as he was accompanying Jerome Bellion-Jourdan on a field trip around the village of Niílin to see the devastation caused, and the amount of land confiscated, by the building of the new section of the Apartheid Wall.
Salah al-Khawaja, the media coordinator for the Steering Committee, described the situation where the Israeli Occupation Forces patrol arrived at the scene, disembarked their vehicle, insulted Bellion-Jourdan and Khawaja, and told them they had two minutes to leave the area. As they turned to leave, the soldiers fired three teas gas bombs at the delegation specifically taking aim at the EU representative. Instead one of the bombs hit and exploded in Khawajaís face. The soldiers continued firing tear gas at Khawaja even when he was injured. Bellion-Jourdan suffered inhalation problems due to the continuous firing of tear gas and sound bombs.
According to Barghouthi, "the vicious and barbaric attack reveals the true face of the occupation forces who ignore and violate all norms of international law. I call on the European Union to take a strong position on the Israeli onslaught, and the way they have installed themselves above the law."
Barghouthi added "Israel is committing international crimes and is trying to provoke the non-violent peaceful demonstrators into using violence. Not only has Israel looted the land of the villagers, but the soldiers also deliberately abuse them for protesting against the loss of their lands."