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Israeli forces shut down Nabi Saleh protest

June 10, 2011 10:00 P.M. (Updated: June 12, 2011 10:04 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Friday shut down the weekly demonstration against settlements and occupation in Nabi Saleh village northwest of Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers threw tear gas grenades and shot rubber bullets at the demonstrators, activists said.

The army said troops fired "riot dispersal means" at protesters who were throwing stones.

Protesters said Israeli forces targeted residents' homes and deployed on the roofs of buildings in the villages.

Activists said forces raided dozens of homes searching for international activists and Palestinian youths who regularly join the rally.

They said Israeli forces detained three foreign nationals at the protest, in addition to four detained Friday morning as they tried to enter Nabi Saleh.

On Sunday, the trial of Nabi Saleh's popular committee coordinator Bassem Tamimi began in an Israeli military court in Ramallah.

Tamimi is accused of organizing and participating in "unauthorized processions," soliciting youth to throw stones and failing to attend legal summons.

In his address to the courtroom, Tamimi defended his right to organize peaceful civil demonstrations, and noted that international law guaranteed the right of people to resist occupation.

He added: "Violent repression of our demonstrations and protests and your detention camps are not evidence of the illegality of our actions. It is unfair to be tried under a law forced upon us. I know that I have rights and my actions are just."

The military judge refused to allow Tamimi to read his full statement in court.
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