Saturday, June 18, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, The joint Friday demonstration of Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals 18 Jun

The "traditional" Friday demonstration in Bil'in (for the last three months) started as usual from the center of the village (near the Mosque) after the Friday noon ceremony, on the road to the route of the fence. Many of us were holding plastic imitations of tombstones on which were written in English, Arabic, and Hebrew "inhabitants of the village Bil'in - cause of death: the separation fence". We were about 200 people - Palestinians, Israelis*, and internationals from Europe and US. At the outskirt of the village, when the road pass between the last buildings and an olive plantation, a big force was waiting for us, including Border police and army as usual, and not as usual a unit of the police elite task force.

They insisted as usual to block our march far away from the fence route, as they moved lately the imaginary line of confrontation from 200 meters from the fence route to 500 hundreds... in spite the fact that no work is done there on Fridays, and no heavy equipment or any destructible objects are at the building site.

Thus, the forces do not protect any other than the "honer and prestige" of the state of Israel that want to prevent any option for nonviolent protest against the fence and the occupation.

At the point of the road leading to the route of the fence, they put a provisional barbed wire fence and put on it a sign: which announce that all the Bil'in village and the villages around it are a closed military zone (enabling the forces to forbid presence of Israelis and to arrest offenders. (Like they do lately, they resigned to the limitation forced on the harassment of Palestinians when Israelis are amongst them, and arrest only when there is close range confrontation.)

About two minutes or less from the moment we arrived at the demarcation barbed wire, while people at the front are lying on the ground, the army started the experimentation of the new weapons. First they used the Noise macine - a big lowdspeaker that create unberable noise... if you do not use any kind of ear-plugs. As we all were prepared to it, the noise machine failed to disperce us and the forces started to use the other arsenal. A new kind of a bullet the size of a ping-pong ball made from foamed rubber or plastic, which cause a very strong pain when it hits. And of course the usual shock grenades, tear gas, and even rubber coated bullet.

When member of the comitee of the village mass movement against the fence, among other people at the front of the demonstration who did not retreat at the beginning of the harasement confronted the soldiers with words - calling them to go home, and the like, they tried to bruttaly arrest him. People around him who tried to de-arrest him - among them a women of the AATW* were arrested too. (A total of three Palestinans and three Israelis arrested at that demo - including one deep in the village when the special forces intruded into the village.)

As usual, the peacefull nonviolent demo turn violent after the state force assoult the non violent demonstratin. As usual, in responce to the violence of the state forces, many of the youngsters of the village start a protracted war of attrition with the state fources. They through stones on the state forces who try to deter them with tear gas, rubber coated bullet, and even some live ammunition.

Good photographs:
* About 40 Israelis of the anarchists against the wall initiative and the coalition against the wall.
Not as the usual procedures, the army did not try this Friday to block the Israelis from arriving at Bil'in. It was like a month ago, when the army alowed 200 Israelis to arrive for the Friday demo - as it wanted to try on us new weapons and tactics...

As we encounterd on the way to Bil'in soldiers who did not even try to bother us, it was expected that they will try on us that day new weapons... and they did.
Media reported widely on Friday demo, including short item in the main TV news program of the day.

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