Dozens of demonstrators were injured today in the weekly anti-wall march at Bil’in. A number suffered from suffocation caused by the use of tear gas due to clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and international peace activists on one side, and Israel Occupation forces on the other. This is the result of suppression of the last of the weekly marches against the wall and settlement.
The demonstrators set out on the march after Friday Prayers, taking to the streets of the village and chanting patriotic slogans. They called for unity and the casting aside of differences, confirming the necessity of holding on to Palestine and resisting the Occupation and refusing the Israeli decision to add the Islamic Holy Sites to Israeli Heritage. They also refused the Israeli decision to declare the area around the wall a closed military zone, as well as calling for the release of all prisoners.
The march advanced towards the wall, where Israeli Occupation forces were stationed behind cement blocks on the far side. After the gate of the wall was closed with barbed wire, demonstrators attempted to cross, heading for the land behind the wall which is owned by the townspeople of Bil’in. They were met by Israel Occupation Forces firing sound grenade, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters. Demonstrators in the olive groves were targeted, resulting in the injury of dozens suffering from suffocation.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, and Comrade Hisham Abu Raya Member of the Political Bureau of the Palestine Liberation Front participated in the march, called for by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlements in Bil'in, alongside the people of the village of Bil'in and peace activists. This is despite the Occupation government’s decision to declare the area around the wall, which is the location of the weekly protests, a closed military zone.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said, "The decision of the Occupation, which prohibits Palestinians from the villages of Bil'in and Ni'lin access to their land in the area of the apartheid wall and their declaration of the area surrounding the wall becoming a closed military zone is an illegal one. It comes from an illegal Occupying force. We will not accept it and we will resist it.
Bil’in was visited the day before yesterday by a delegation from the US consulate, which listened to a detailed explanation from the Popular Committee regarding the route of the wall and the commencing of work there, as well as the decision to the Israeli occupation forces to declare Bil’in a closed military zone on Fridays for a period of six months.
For more information:
Dr. Rateb Abu Rahmah – Member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in: