West Bank Protest March

In January 2009 I went to Palestine with journalist Tom Rowe. We were making a project about how Israel controls the drilling and supply of water within the West Bank. As part of this project, we went to a protest match in the border town of Ni'lin in the West Bank. The locals were protesting about the building of an illegal wall, the Israeli West Bank barrier, through their land. The protest march had been taking place for months- every Friday after morning prayers. There was great tension, as one week earlier 2 young stone-throwers were shot dead here by Israeli forces. You can see their graves in some of the photos. Tom and I had to walk through fields with a complete stranger to avoid an Israeli checkpoint, as the Israelis did not want Westerners in Ni'lin. After the march, many young Palestinian men traded stones from their sling-shots with tear-gas and then live rounds from the Israeli army. I photographed one man as he was carried away by others after he was shot in the leg. I was then hit by a tear gas canister. It hit the ground in front of me, and then bounced up at me and luckily hit the shoulder-strap of my camera bag. It went off in my face and I ran for cover where locals helped me by giving me perfume to inhale to stop the tears. It was the most unbelievable experience of my life- a complete rush of adrenaline, excitement, fear, and anger.