Like the other Friday noons of the last few months, tear gas and shock grenades - was the lot of few hundreds demonstrators who came for a nonviolent protest against the building of the separation fence on the lands of the village Bil'in. To day, 29th of July 2005, few hundred people of Bil'in and about 100 of the Israelis Against The Wall initiative and others (including internationals) a demonstration against the robbery of more than half of the lands of Bil'in for the settlement Kiriat Sefer and the separation fence was carried. This was on the background of intensified confrontation in the Media between the demonstrators and the spoke persons of the Israeli army and border police on the other side. They do lot of efforts to demonize the demonstrators. They claims that state forces are "forced" to use means for dispersing demonstrations (tear gas, shock grenades, rubber bullets and their like) because the demonstrators in Bil'in are "ruthless" and through stones on soldiers.... But they fail to convince even the state and other public media.
For these who still needed, this day demonstration proved again that the violent starts from the army and border police.
Today demonstration had two main motives:
The first, reminding people the fact that under cover of the mist of disengagement (in Gaza Strip) continue, and with full intensity the project of colonial settlement in the West bank of the Jordan. This subject was represented with a special model of a house of settlers transported from Gaza to the West bank, while part of the demonstrators around it had Sharon masques on their faces.
The second, was a solidarity act with Abdallah Abu-Rahma, the chairman of the popular comity of Bil'in already two weeks jailed in the concentration camp Ofer, after he was falsely accused of attacking a border policeman. (Previous week the military judge had to release him from jail after a similar accusation was refuted. The present military judge - probably under higher level orders, refuse to release him in spite clear evidence.)
Amongst the hundreds of demonstrators - including the 80 Israelis, many had on their shirts the slogan: "I am Abdallah Abu-Rahma" in Hebrew, English, Arabic, Russian, France, and Spanish.
The march from the center of the village was orderly as usual, till we arrived to the fringe of the village built area. There, as usual in the last few Fridays, the army put a portable barbed wire fence and a placard on it stating it is a closed military zone, with a map including in it all the region up to the Jerusalem-Modiin road.
When we arrived there we stopped with the soldiers on one side of the portable fence and us on the other. No stone was thrown and no shooting occurred yet - just the usual declaration of the army commander on the illegality of the demo and the presence of Israelis.
Few minutes after the model of the "house" was moved to the side of the road, without passing the line, the army started an intensive shooting of shock and tear gas grenades, folded the portable fence and invaded the village - pursuing the part of the demonstrators who run for it. At this assault three demonstrators were detained... to be released a bit later.
These of us on the front refused to disperse, sat down, and confronted the soldiers with words about their unprovoked assault.
We continued the demonstration for a while till the demonstration was officially finished and we started to regroup to the village.
At this stage, the army provocation succeeded to provoke the 50 or so youngsters who refrained till that moment from being provoked, and the usual attrition war of stones versus rubber bullets and tear gas continued for an hour or so.
At the end, the Israelis and international had a meeting with the village comity to discuss the demonstration.
It seems that the exposure in the media of the deceitful behavior of the usual border police unit (company 22) resulted in its replacement with another army unit. Last Friday made it clear that they only mildly differed from the older unit (less unprovoked assaults, less arrests, less injuries, less false accusations).
Free translation of Nir report "they shoot without reason"
Thursday, Media, Confrontation between the (Israeli) security forces and demonstrators at Bil'in
The army and border police are clashing with Palestinians and activists of the Anarchists Against Fences in the Bil'in village. The spokesperson of the Israeli army say that demonstrators entered a closed military region and thus means for dispersing demonstrations were applied against them.
Palestinians: 6 hurt in anti-fence protest
Palestinian sources say six people sustained light injuries during the demonstration against the continued construction of the West Bank security fence in the village of Bil'in, west of Ramallah.
Protesters claim soldiers had sprayed them with tear gas and fired rubber bullets at them without provocation. (Ali Waked)