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Previously banned 'tutu' bullets return to Nil'in

Nov. 21, 2009 9:23 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2009 7:00 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Israeli forces have renewed using live fire against Palestinian protesters in the West Bank.

An Israeli court first outlawed the "tutu" ammunition in 2001, but the last two Fridays soldiers have used the "tutu" bullets in Bil'in and Ni'lin, two villages near Ramallah, during their weekly anti-wall rallies.

Israeli TV broadcast on Saturday the controversial weapon being used against Palestinians the day before. Israeli rights organizations insist the weapon is a deadly weapon, as it has killed Palestinians in the past.

An Israeli spokeswoman confirmed to Ma'an that the weapons were being used in the two villages, but only within the law and when necessary.

In Nil'in on Friday, Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians with the weapon.

One was hospitalized after being shot in the knee, but later released, according to a spokesman from the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Nil'in.

A second was more seriously injured after soldiers shot him between the legs. He was undergoing surgery in Ramallah due to the seriousness of the injury, but was stable on Friday, the spokesman added.

Around 200 people participated in the protest on Friday, including a delegation of Scandinavian students.

The Popular Committee said Israeli forces expanded the barrier with concrete blocks, and that Israeli forces "warned" protesters that if they opted not to leave, they would begin shooting live ammunition.

"The re-introduction of snipers confirms the rumors," the statement added, referring to information the Popular Committee received last week that Israeli forces were planning to crack down on the demonstrations.

Ibrahim Ameera, a member of the committee, responded that "this will not stop our struggle. We need to fight Israel's unjust policy in a peaceful way, and this is what we are doing.

"We will never give up on our basic human rights, no matter how many concrete blocks the Israelis will put on our land, no matter how many sharpshooters they will use, we will not give up. We know we are fighting for a just cause."

One of the Palestinians who was shot on Friday is the brother of Mohammad Attallah, a 19-year-old Palestinians who was ordered to turn himself in to Israeli forces in October over his involvement in the demonstrations.

Activists also released a video of the young Palestinian in what they termed was his "message to the world."

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