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Women's voices: Najla T. - Soldier violence


Name: Najla T
Age: 65
Location: An Nabi Saleh, West Bank
Date of incident: 15 January 2016
Nature of incident: Soldier violence
On 15 January 2016, Israeli soldiers entered the village of An Nabi Saleh after the weekly protest and fired tear gas in and around the house of a well known local activist and WCLAC fieldworker.
  1. On 15 January 2016, at about 3:30 p.m., we heard people from the village saying that Israeli soldiers had re-entered our village more than one hour after our weekly protest had ended. For the past six years we have been protesting every Friday which often leads to clashes with Israeli soldiers.
  2. We went up to the roof to see what was going on and I saw soldiers firing tear gas canisters all over our neighbourhood. Quite quickly the atmosphere became so thick with gas that I could hardly see. Then I saw Ahmad, who is 11-years-old, was trapped on Manal’s roof and there was tear gas everywhere. He was trying to cover his nose and mouth with his shirt. He tried to go down the stairs but there seemed to be too much gas. Then I saw he found an old ladder and managed to escape from the roof.
  3. Then I saw my daughter Manal run from her house in a bad condition. We ran downstairs as quickly as we could to see if we could help her. Manal went to her brother’s house and when we got there she was on the floor and could hardly breathe. We picked Manal up from the floor and put her on a couch. Manal was semi-conscious and managed to tell us that her husband, Bilal, was still inside their house.
  4. I ran outside towards Manal’s house to check on Bilal. On the way I passed our neighbour, Atallah Tamimi and I told him what had happened.
  5. I stood outside Bilal’s house calling his name until he responded and told me that the children were ok. I couldn’t get inside the house because it was full of tear gas. Then I saw Atallah  on the main road again and he told me that he would get his car to take Manal to hospital.
  6. Once I was sure that Bilal and the children were alright I went back to Manal. I was very worried when I saw Manal as her face was beginning to turn blue. She was obviously not well. I started to shiver from fear.
  7. Atallah  brought his car to the front of the house where five Israeli soldiers were now standing. Both Atallah  and my husband were arguing with the soldiers telling them that they needed to take Manal to hospital. There were other soldiers and military vehicles in the area at the time.
  8. Then Bilal showed up and carried Manal past the soldiers to Atallah ’s car. We then took her to the hospital in Salfeet. Bilal stayed behind to make sure that the children were alright.
  9. On our way to the hospital Manal’s condition started to deteriorate. I was getting increasingly worried and was very relieved once we arrived.  Bilal followed us to the hospital and Manal was discharged just before 7:00 p.m. Manal remained at her brother’s house for two days until the smell of tear gas was gone from her home.
  10. The soldiers have fired so much tear gas at us over the years I have now developed an allergy. Sometimes we cannot return to our houses for days following a demonstration until the gas has completely dispersed. We suffer so much from the Israeli military near our village.

keyword: Violence against women