The fence continue to devour trees and fields. Inhabitants of the villages Rafat and Dir Balut did a quiet demonstration but encountered tear gas and shock grenades. On Friday, 25.2.05, about 200 of the inhabitants of Rafat and Dir Balut in the Rafat village. They were joined by few tens of Israeli* and international activists. The fence robe in this region about 70% of the lands of the two villages. At about 10:00 started a march from the village towards the building site of the fence - a distance of about 2 kilometer, in a path along the village olive trees orchards - towards the bulldozers. At about one kilometer from the building site, the marchers encountered army forces who shoot them gas canisters in an effort to block the advance of the demo.
The demonstrators insist in continuing the march forwards and the shock and gas grenades do not deter them.... but the repeated shooting succeed to block the march from arriving to Dir Balut.
The demonstrators stood for a while on a hill from where they can see the bulldozers. There were carried speeches - including by Abu Firas the mayor of the Dir Balut municipality, who talked in Hebrew to the soldiers. He talked about the lands taken from them at 1948 - on which is built the Israeli town Rosh Ha'ain. He asked the soldiers why they want to rob the remaining lands. He ask them how there will be peace and what sense there is in all the talks if at the same time they continue in uprooting trees, to separate between the villagers and their fields and harming the demonstrators who protest that.
When the speeches were ended, the villagers males organized in lines for prayers on their fields. At the end of the prayer, the demonstrators who were blocked from arriving to Dir Balut started to march back towards Rafat. The commander of the army power, marching at the head of his soldiers kept minimal distance from the retreating demonstrators trying to provoke a confrontation and stone throwing to show his mighty force....
When he failed, he lead his 10 cars in a wild driving into the village showing off with horn blowing and sirens.
Pictures at https://israel.indymedia.org/newswire/display/2344/index.php