|• Also spelled||Nilin, Na'alin (official)|
|Governorate||Ramallah & al-Bireh|
|• Head of Municipality||Ayman Nafie|
|• Jurisdiction||14,756 dunams (14.8 km2 or 5.7 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||N'alin, from na'l, a sandal|
Ni'lin (Arabic: نعلين) is a Palestinian town in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the central West Bank, located 17 kilometers (11 mi) west of Ramallah. Ni'lin is about 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) east of the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) bordered by Deir Qaddis, the Israeli settlements of Nili and Na'ale to the northeast, the village of al-Midya and Modi'in Illit (Kiryat Sefer) settlement bloc are to the south, Budrus (4 km) and Qibya (5 km) villages are located to the northwest. The town's total land area consists of approximately 15,000 dunams of which 660 is urban. Under the Oslo II 93% of town lands has been classed as 'Area C'.
Most of the town's inhabitants rely on agriculture for income and prior to the outbreak of the Second Intifada, many had jobs in construction in Israel. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of approximately 4,750 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.
Situated 262 meters (860 feet) above sea level, Ni'lin has mild winters and hot, dry summers with temperatures averaging 32 °C (88 °F) during the day.
In 1517, Ni'lin was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Ramla of the Liwa of Gaza. It had a population of 72 households, all Muslim. The villagers paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, fruit trees, goats and/or beehives, and a press olives or grapes, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 3,500 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf.
On 28 December 1917, during World War I, the village was captured by the British from Ottoman forces. The British held the line from here eastwards to Beitin and westwards to the coast, north of Jaffa.
British Mandate era
In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the village, (named Na'lin), had a population of 1,160 inhabitants, all Muslims, while in the 1931 census the population of Ni'lin was 1249, 1 Christian and the rest Muslim, in 299 inhabited houses.
In 1945 the population of Ni'lin was 1,420, all Muslims, who owned 15,875 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 5,921 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 3,053 dunams were used for cereals, while 29 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
In 1961, the population of Ni'lin was 2,055.
After 1995, 93% of town lands has been classed as Area C, while the remaining 7% is Area B. Israel has confiscated Ni'lin land for the construction of three Israeli settlements: 945 dunams were taken for Hashmona'im, 645 dunams for Mattityahu, while 384 dunams went to Modi'in Illit.
The residents of Ni'lin and international activists, have been staging weekly demonstrations against a nearby expansion of the Israeli West Bank barrier. It has been estimated that the completion of the barrier will remove ⅓ of Ni'lin's land.
In the first of escalating incidents at the anti-barrier protest demonstrations led to the fatal shooting of 10-year-old Ahmed Moussa on 29 July 2008. The incident occurred when a group of mostly teenage boys had gone to the barrier construction site outside Ni'ilin, where there were no security personnel, the boys began removing razor wire. A preliminary Israeli police probe has found that Israeli border policemen used live ammunition to disperse the group and that one of the bullets likely killed 10 year old Ahmed Moussa. During the demonstration 15 others were injured by rubber coated steel bullets. The funeral of Ahmed Moussa was marred by a distinct up-swing in violence. The permanent stationing of a Border Police force, ordered by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, on the outskirts of the village where the daily demonstrations are held, infuriated marchers in the funeral procession. Yousef Ahmed Younis Amera, (18), was declared brain dead in a Ramallah hospital on Wednesday 30 July 2008 after being shot in the head with a rubber coated steel bullet and finally died on Monday 4 August 2008. On the 5 August 2008 Israeli police said that they had detained a border policeman and placed him under house arrest in connection with the death of 10 year old Ahmed Moussa.
In the second week of August 2008 Twenty-two unarmed civilians (including eight children) were shot with metal-coated rubber bullets at protests in Ni'lin and Bil'in villages (Ramallah). Israeli forces in the occupied territories have begun using a new method of crowd control in Ni'lin. A mix of weak sewage water with animal manure and chemicals has been nicknamed "skunk", due to its powerful smell, the mix induces vomiting when sprayed on demonstrators.
On 28 December, during a demonstration against the Israeli assault on Gaza that had started the previous day, Mohamed Khawaja (19) was shot in the head by the Israeli military, and Arafat Khawaja (22) was shot in the back. Mohamed Srour was shot in the leg. Arafat died on the scene while Mohamed Khawaja was declared braindead in hospital and died on 31 December. These incidents were brought to the attention of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict by witnesses Mohamed Srour and Jonathan Pollak at the Mission's Public Hearings in Geneva on 5 July 2009.
The regular clashes here came more sharply into the international spotlight when a U.S. citizen named Tristan Anderson, of Oakland, California was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces on 13 March 2009, during demonstrations against the barrier. The impact caused massive damage to Andersons frontal lobe, and to his eye. The 38-year-old Anderson required several brain surgeries at a Tel Aviv hospital.
On 5 June 2009, Yousef Aqel Srour (36) was shot with 0.22 caliber live ammunition during a demonstration. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital in Ramallah.
On 6 November 2009, activists marking the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall managed to topple a small part of the wall that cuts through the village's land; the first time Palestinian demonstrators succeeded in toppling a part of Israel's concrete barrier.
On 7 July 2008 A 17-year-old Salam Kanaan filmed an incident where an Israeli battalion commander (Lt. Col. Omri Borberg of Armored Battalion 71) is filmed holding a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian (Ashraf Abu Rahma of Bil'in) detainee's arm while the subordinate shoots the detainee in the foot. A second polygraph test on Tuesday 29 July 2008 has cast doubts on the testimony of Lt. Col Borberg. After meeting with OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, Borberg agreed to take a 10-day leave of absence while IDF Judge Advocate-General (JAG) Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblitt made the decision of whether or not to press charges against the battalion commander. The Battalion commander was accused by the army of "severe moral failure", is to be reassigned to another post and will face the relatively minor charge of "unworthy conduct". Israeli human rights groups B'Tselem, Yesh Din, the Association for Civil Rights, and the Public Committee Against Torture have criticized the Israeli army's disciplining of Borberg as lenient and have asked the Israeli military Judge Advocate General suspend legal proceedings against both the lieutenant colonel involved and Staff Sergeant "L" who fired the shot to enable a challenge to be mounted against the decision to charge the two with the relatively light offense of “inappropriate conduct”. The Ha'aretz editorial comments that:
The opportunity to send a message of total intolerance of shooting a person in shackles has been missed.
On 19 August 2008 the Military hearing against Borberg and Staff Sergeant "L" was suspended following the B'Tselem petition. On 28 September the Israeli high court asked the JAG to reconsider the charges against Borberg and Staff Sergeant "L".
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-  7 Nov. 2009: Twenty years after Berlin, Palestinians crack Israel's wall
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- Ha'aretz August 2008 Ha'aretz Editorial Just fire a rubber bullet at him? Shooting a shackled and blindfolded person, who is clearly not endangering soldiers, and even shooting in order to frighten, or the threat to shoot in order to frighten, and not even directly at the person's body but only in immediate proximity to him, are all acts forbidden by law, whether military or civil, during times of both war and peace, in Israel or anywhere else where respect for human rights exists.
- B'Tselem 19 Aug. 2008: High Court suspends proceedings in Ni'lin shooting case
- Ha'aretz 28 September 2008 High Court to IDF: Reconsider bound Palestinian shooting charges
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- Backgrounder on Ni'lin and effects of the wall at IMEU.net
- Stop the Wall
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- Ni’lin Town (Fact Sheet), Applied Research Institute–Jerusalem (ARIJ)
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- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 14: IAA, Wikimedia commons