Dozens of protesters suffered teargas inhalation in a demonstration against the Wall and settlements in Bil’in which was joined by Israeli and international activists.
Despite the bad weather, protesters marched on the streets of the village chanting slogans and singing national songs. The protesters carried Palestinian flags and called for national unity against the Israeli occupation and against the confiscation of the Bilal ben Rabah mosque in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron . Protesters also called on Palestinians to resist the new Israeli policies in Hebron district.
When protesters reached the wall, an Israeli army unit was situated behind a block of cement. The gate that leads to the confiscated land was already closed with barbed wire. The army immediately fired high-velocity tear gas canisters, the same weapon that killed Bassem Abu Rahmah on 17 April 2009, and rubber bullets when the protest reached the gate, causing dozens to suffer gas inhalation.
The Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements condemns the recent Israeli policies to confiscate the Ibrahimi mosque and bring it under the authority of the Israeli Ministry of Antiquities and called on the international community to protect all Islamic and Christian holy sites.
The Israeli authorities have extended the detention of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, who has been kidnapped since 10 December 2009. His conditional release was also denied at his hearing in ‘Ofer prison on 22 February 2010.
For more information:
Dr. Rateb Abu Rahmah - a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil'in
saborahmeh42@ yahoo.com 0597117673
Wanted: Israeli army commander of Bil’in area, PalestinePalestinian, Israeli, and International activists demonstrated against the apartheid wall and settlements in Bil’in village west of Ramallah. Despite rain and harsh winds demonstrators marched to the wall and were immediately met with tear gas from the Israeli military as they are each week Friday. Soldiers fired heavy aluminum tear gas canisters into the crowd, and veteran activists commented on the extra strength of the gas today. People attempted to distribute “wanted signs” with the face of the local army commander to the soldiers positioned on the other side of the fence. Signs read:
WANTED: ISRAELI ARMY COMMANDER OF BIL’IN AREA, PALESTINE
Suspected of Committing Crimes Against Humanity
- Sections 23(g), 25,42,46,50, and 52 of the Hague Regulations 1907
- Articles 31, 33, and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
IF IDENTIFIED, DO NOT TRY TO APPREHEND THE SUSPECT, CONSIDER HIM ARMED AND DANGEROUS. NOTIFY THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY!
Soldiers warned demonstrators not to come close to the gate that leads to the apartheid fence, and continued shooting gas into the crowd. They later entered the village and continued firing tear gas from a distance as people retreated back towards the village.
One the 11th of this month, residents of Bil’in received news that the path of the wall was finally being moved; giving almost half of the land slated for settlement development back the village. Residents have been crossing the fence to access their land for this years planting season. Farmers and their families are often harassed as they pass through the gate to the other side of the fence. Last week, two men were detained and held for two hours as they returned to the village from the other side of the wall.