Friday, September 16, 2005

Israel-Palestine, The joint struggle in Bil'in in the eye of the storm 16 Sep

This Friday demonstration and the surrounding activities reflected the the increase of struggle within the Israeli ruling elite. The focal point in the Bil'in struggle against the separation fence is that in addition to robbing lands of Bil'in villagers for the building of a settlement and then robing some more in the name of security of the Israeli settlement, it is the much bigger robbery of lands for future expansion of the settlement. Yesterday verdict of the highest Israeli "justice" court, moved a bit from full support for the settler colonialist and decreed that the security claim will not justify the expanding of the separation fence to include options for expansion. This, in addition of latest verdicts in the regional military court that claimed that the banning of the friday demonstrations by the local army commander is illegal... forced that commander from continue with the ban of the joint friday demonstration.

However, the change was not complete.

Thursday evening, the army put road blocks to prevent the arrival of Israelis who took it as counter measure for probable roadblocks and curfew on Friday. 15 israelis of the anarchists against the wall and others succeeded to find their way around the road blocks.

Early in the morning, the change in the army behavior was observed. The night harassment stopped, and instead of the curfew as the previous Friday, they left the village. Later few hours, the first Friday activity - the piano concert was not disturbed, though the road blocks of the army continued to make the arrival of Israelis hard to achieve.

Till the early afternoon demonstration only additional 20 Israelis succeeded to overcome the road block. And the demonstration started as scheduled though 50 additional Israelis were detained within the buss that brought them to the region.... only four of us succeeded to get out of the bus and took the road and the goat paths on the step hill around the road block and three even arrived in time for the demonstration.

And surprise surprise, the commander of the region who got scolded from his superiors, did not try to prevent the demonstration nor tried to disperse it before we decided to end it. He just forced on it the limit not to go beyond the outskirts of the village. The response of the army to an act of defiance of us to go around them in the direction of the building route of the fence, did not bring the shooting of tear gas and shock grenades or rubber bullets... just pushing with their hands and the arrest of two internationals activists.

All that time, the 46 comrades were held for nearly an hour within the bus, and when released, continue the way to Bil'in... and when nearing the village they had to go around the road block and climb the hill out maneuvering the soldiers who tried to stop them. % of them where detained and the rest arrived... but after the demonstration was finished.

Nearly before returning home, there was a call for action. As usual, the youngsters of the village started a stone throwing attrition war with the soldiers. This Friday they were restrained and did not start it before the end of demo.. and did not supply any excuse for repressing the demo... However, the angry soldiers were with bad mood as one of them fell to a water hole while pursuing after stone throwing youngsters, invaded the village in pursuing them.

So we were called by the villagers to confront the invading soldiers... and we did it. And the soldiers retreated from the village to the fence route.

This was an opportunity for a second demonstration about 150 of us - israelis and palestinians marched up to hundred meters from the fence rote. The army blocked us with few tear gas grenades, and after a while we decided to go home.

The people detained on their way around the road block were released and one of the internationals was taken to Givat Zeev police station.

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