The two themes of this Friday demonstration were the planting of olive trees saplings to replace the olive trees robed by the companies building the big Modi'in Elit settlement on the lands of Bil'in, and the call for the release of the two peace activists kidnapped in Iraq who were previously active in our region against the separation fence.
As usual, the demonstration started at noon with a march from the center of the village towards the route of the separation fence in building. Participated in it about 100 people. About 50 activists of the Bil'in village, about ten people from other villages and students of the Bir-Zeit university, about twenty international activists, and 30 Israelis from the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and others (other activists of our initiative and some internationals participated in a parallel demonstration against the separation fence together with 150 villagers of the Al-Jib village).
In the march from the center of Bil'in, in addition to the placards and the usual chants, we carried with us saplings of olive trees and working tools for their planting. When we neared the route of the fence, we got off the road and through the olive orchards we marched towards the destroyed orchards where the olive trees of Bil'in villagers were robed by the settlement construction companies.
The armed forces of the Israeli state did not like our ideas. When they discovered our change of course the showered us with tear gas canisters - some of them were shot directly at demonstrators and two of them hit comrades. In spite the shower of tear gas significant part of us succeeded to reach the fence route, and when the cloud of gas cleared, the rest of us joined them.
As the armed forces prevented us from passing to the other side of the fence - where the olive trees were robed, we had to plant the sapling at the side of the route where they blocked us. They did not like the idea at all. They detained one of us at the start of the planting - reported by the afternoon news programs of the main radio stations that he was accused for planting an olive tree in a closed military zone - as reported by the army spoke man.
The planting of the last sapling aroused fierce objection of some of the state force who tried to grab the sapling and the working tool and prevent the digging in the ground. However, after a stubborn struggle the last sapling was planted too. After a while part of us tried again to pass to the other side of the route. This brought on them the harsh attack of soldiers who even arrested a Palestinian youngster. The comrades around objected to this and de-arrested him. As revenge, the soldiers drove them away by physical force and some gas towards the village.
After a while the village struggle comity announced the end of the demonstration and we returned to the village.
In parallel to the nonviolent demonstration, youngsters of the village who were driven away by the first shower of tear gas started a bit later the usual attrition war of stones throwing versus tear gas of the soldiers.
In the news program the reported on two injured among the youth.
They have not reported about the number of our people injured by the rough treatment of the soldiers or the tear gas canisters.