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Marking 5th anniversary of protests, Ni'lin marchers choke on tear gas

Sept. 8, 2008 8:31 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 8, 2008 8:31 P.M.)
Ramallah - Ma'an - Dozens choke on tear gas and are hit with rubber-coated metal bullets as protesters mark fifth anniversary of the Ni'lin anit-wall campaign on Monday afternoon.

Hundreds turned out for the anniversary march, and the village declared a commercial strike for two hours during the march.

Meeting in the village center, marchers headed to lands confiscated by Israel in order to build the separation wall, which will permanently cut of residents from their agricultural lands. Protesters attempted to halt the construction of the wall, by thwarting bulldozers busy uprooting trees in Palestinian fields.

By blocking the path of the bulldozers, protesters were able to halt construction for a few hours, amidst streams of tear gas bombs and rubber bullets, which wounded several protesters.

The march also marked the International Day to Oppose Ignorance, and protesters chanted slogans and carried banners illustrating how the separation wall deprives tens of thousands of students from reaching schools, or from continuing their studies altogether.

Coordinator of the Higher Committee to resist the wall Ahed Al-Khawaja affirmed that residents of Ni'lin would not give in to a power trying to deprive children, families and farmers from accessing their lands, their educations and their rights.

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