This video of today’s protest in Nabi Saleh was posted by Christopher Whitman. The caption says, “The last frame is me getting shot at close range with a high velocity tear gas canister.”

Let me set the stage…

From yesterday’s Ynet…

Security forces on high alert ahead of ‘Nakba Day’

Defense establishment reinforces troops deployment in Jerusalem, West Bank ahead of weekend preceding Palestinian day of mourning over Israel’s inception

The Israel police held an official situation assessment Thursday ahead of ‘Nakba Day’ – the Palestinians’ day of mourning over the inception of Israel, set for Sunday.

The police decided to declare a nationwide high alert and increase deployment, especially in Jerusalem and around Temple Mount, ahead of Friday’s prayers

Police intelligence suggests that the Palestinians intend on holding several prequel events on Friday and Saturday; and though the police believe chances of events escalating into riots are low, reinforced police and Border Guard forces will deploy in east Jerusalem, the Old City and Temple Mount plaza, to maintain order.

From the Palestine Monitor…

Protests Erupt throughout Palestine

…Nabi Saleh, whose weekly Friday demonstrations have become the target of escalated Israeli military aggression, also erupted in violence after the protest came to a close. According to eye-witnesses, the protest had been relatively calm before the Border Police officers clashed with villagers and protesters. According to PSCC’s report, the Israeli Border Police began dispersing the peaceful demonstration by shooting ample tear gas and beating protesters with batons.

PSCC reported that approximately 25 protesters were injured. One Palestinian woman in her fifties was beaten by the Police to the point of hospitalization; her condition was critical enough that she was moved from the Salfeet Hospital to the better equipped Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus.

In addition, a 25-year-old American protester endured a serious head injury and one Israeli activist suffered two open fractures in his hand. All injuries were caused by the Border Police shooting tear-gas projectiles from short-range, directly at the demonstrators, in direct contravention of the IDF’s open fire regulations.

The PSCC is also reporting that four protesters were arrested.

Nabi Saleh, a village outside of Ramallah, holds non-violent weekly demonstrations in protest of the Apartheid Wall’s confiscation of its land.

Fortunately, the intrepid Master’s student, Chris Whitman, is fine and wrote about his ordeal…

‘Is this is what the most moral army in the world does!?’: An American student describes being shot by the Israeli military during a peaceful demonstration…

He did lose a hunk of scalp…

As Haaretz reported it…

Israeli-Palestinian tensions rise in Jerusalem, West Bank as Nakba Day nears

Israel security officials on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events, arresting 11 protesters; Palestinian youth shot, others wounded from tear gas, rubber bullets in East Jerusalem.

…Israeli left-wing activists report that two protesters were wounded from projectiles fired by IDF forces in Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian and an Israeli, Ben Ronen, whose arm was broken.

The activists also said that an American suffered a serious head wounded from a tear gas projectile, and that over a dozen other protesters received medical treatment after being beaten with billy clubs and maced in the face by IDF forces.

Israel security officials are on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events this Sunday, when Palestinians mourn the ‘catastrophe’ in which their ancestors were expelled in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.

The IDF has increased its presence in multiple potential points of contention in a preemptive attempt to prevent Palestinians from breaking into settlements and IDF army bases.

From Al Jazeera…

Clashes in East Jerusalem ahead of Nakba day

Arrests as Palestinians prepare to mark “day of catastrophe” on anniversary of Israel’s 1948 declaration of statehood.

…A correspondent for the AFP news agency saw four people hurt as police opened fire with rubber bullets at stone-throwing youths in Silwan.

A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesman said they had treated nine people, including 16-year-old Milad Said Ayyash, who was suffering from serious internal bleeding after being shot in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

A second youth from Silwan was hit in the genitals by rubber bullets, the spokesman said, without giving details about the other injuries.

Insisting that no live ammunition was used, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he knew a teenager had been taken to hospital but with only a light injury and the cause unknown.

Clashes were also reported in Issawiyya, Al-Tur and Ras al-Amud, all flanking Jerusalem’s Old City.

In the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shufat, Israeli undercover police arrived at the scene of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, and detained several Palestinians.

An official at Makassed hospital on the Mount of Olives said “nearly 30 people” had been injured in Friday’s clashes…

It’s not just the Palestinians protesting…

Jordanians and Egyptians take to streets for pro-Palestinian protests

Protesters in Egypt and Jordan call for establishment of Palestinian state, end to displacement of refugees; demonstrations take place days before Nakba Day; Jordanian protesters call for end of peace with Israel.

Now, it does seem to me that any of the ‘friction’ from today’s events, is due solely to the paranoia of the IDF/IOF and their bulked-up presence… But, that’s nothing new…

Btw, no one took me up on my bet…

Obama to give Middle East speech Thursday

US President Barack Obama will give his long-awaited speech on uprisings in the Arab world and North Africa and the wider Middle East next Thursday at the State Department, an official said…

Hmmm… That’s the day before Bibi’s scheduled Tête à tête with Obummer… Oh to be a fly on the WH wall…!

In summing up, Al Jazeera’s Robert Grenier penned another must-read op-ed…

The end of one dream and the birth of another

The Arab Spring has empowered Muslims to create new forms of leadership – dictators and mass-murderers “need not apply”.

It comes as no surprise that reactions in the Islamic world to the death of Osama bin Laden should be so muted.

Yes, we’ve seen the ritual postings on the so-called jihadi websites, including statements from the supposed al-Qaeda “general command”, promising revenge and exhorting Pakistanis to rise up against an impious government of “traitors and thieves”. No surprises there; but these outpourings represent a minuscule population, however dangerous they may be at a retail level.

And no doubt these fulminations by al-Qaeda generate an echo from the extreme fringes of the Salafi movement, from those who would actually embrace the dark, obscurantist, mono-chromatic governance championed by the Afghan Taliban and its al-Qaeda mentors, and for whom Sheikh Osama is not only a champion, but a model. But such views clearly have scant resonance among the broad, healthy-minded mass of the general Muslim population. […]

…In truth, the promise represented by Saddam Hussein was not a dream, but a nightmare. It should not be the fate of the Muslims to be “liberated” by mass-murderers, whether Saddam or Osama, whose contempt for the core beliefs and aspirations of most of those whom they pretended to lead was palpable.

Instead, and in spite of the many obstacles ahead, one can see in the middle distance a very different sort of liberation, one forged by and for the people themselves, based on models which exist within the Muslim world, and carrying the tangible hope of a future where the leaders are servants to the desires of the people, and not the other way around.

“…Where the leaders are servants to the desires of the people, and not the other way around.”

Yes, we could all ‘hope’ for the same…