BEIT LIQYA/RAMALLAH — Two cousins, 14 and 15 years old, were shot dead today by Israeli soldiers who opened fire on a demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in the village of Beit Liqya.
After school ended for the day students went out to protest against the illegal Wall which is right now cutting through their homes and lands threatening the livelihood and freedom of movement of the entire region. Israeli soldiers, positioned on a hill above the demonstration, met the student’s confrontation with live fire. According to eye witnesses, the two boys were shot by the same soldier from a distance of 5 to 10 meters.
Jamal Jaber Ibrahim Assi, 15, received a bullet in the heart and died at the scene. Odai Mufid Mahmoud Assi, 14, was shot in the left side of his stomach. The two boys, who were cousins, were rushed by ambulance to the village of Biddu while doctors tried in vain to save Obai. He died enroute to the hospital. Their bodies are currently in the Ramallah Government Hospital.
Less than 5km away in the neighboring village of Bil’in, residents organized a non violent action against the annexation wall. Sixteen people, nine Palestinians, joined by Israelis and internationals chained themselves to the olive trees while fifty others demonstrated. Bil’in farmers had received notice yesterday that eighty five olive trees would be uprooted to make way for the illegal Wall and called for International and Israeli support. After a stand off that lasted four hours, the Israeli military using excessive force cut the chains and dragged away twelve of the non- violent protesters, arresting 6 Internationals and 5 Israelis.
The six Internationals arrested are scheduled to have deportation hearings at Ben Gurion airport at 8:30 AM Thursday morning 5 May after which they may be immediately deported from the country. They are Atle from Norway, Maria from Greece, Yohan from Sweden, Nathan and Gabe from the United States, and Ester.
Please call the Ministry of the Interior to protest their deportation and point out that the building of the Wall was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Hague which ordered that it be dismantled. This ruling has been ignored by the Israeli government which continues to build the Wall each day destroying more homes and trees as it steals more Palestinian land.
All the Palestinians who were initially detained were all released. All 5 arrested Israelis were released after agreeing not to return to Bil’in for 15 days.