The 20-1-06 demonstration of this Friday in Bil'in was in many aspects the most successful of the more than 10 months weekly ones since February 2005. This Friday demo was on a special day - 11 days before the Israeli Highest court deliberation about the route of the separation fence on the lands of Bil'in, Five days before the election of the Palestinian Parliament a villager of Bil'in (which have only 600 valid voters) is on the regional list of candidates, few days after a temporary stay imposed by a highest court judge which stop the building and populating a new illegal neighborhood of the settler town Modi'in Illit. It was in the context of the not yet destroyed Bil'in center of joint struggle for peace on the West side of the fence route the Israeli state can not decide how to deal with.
This was the reason a general mobilization was decided on by a meeting of the Bil'in popular comity against the fence and the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall activists representing the Israeli coalition against the fence.
The weather was too on our side - a warm sunny day after few rainy weeks. So were the undercurrents of the Israeli ruling elit which reflect the gradual diminishing of the power and prestige of the settler colonialist tendency.
about 350 Israelis arrived to the demonstration - mainly from Tel-Aviv region, Jerusalem, and Haifa. In spite of some hesitations, we changed from the last few tactics of early hour travel by small and private cars to go around the Israeli state road blocks on the roads to Bil'in, and decided on going by busses from points announced in advance, in not too early hour. Last few weeks we experienced diminishing efforts to block our arrival for the demos in Bil'in. And indeed, this Friday too no serious efforts were done to block the arrival of the Israelis to Bil'in. Some small and mainly symbolic acts were done by state forces which caused just small inconvenience to our people. At some points we suspected the state forces are intending us to be a test field for non lethal means for dispersing demonstrations - like they did in other cases they let us come easily to Bil'in... but this was not the case.
It seems a new wind is really blowing.
To the demo arrived also many Palestinians out of Bil'in - from other villages of the region who struggle too against the separation fence and people from Ramalla involved in the election - who interwoven their propaganda in this Friday Demo.
And so, at noon, after the prayer, about 1000 of us started the march towards the route of the separation fence, like in the previous two weeks intending to focus the attention on the use of the separation fence to enable the robbery of lands for the building of the settler town Modi'in Illit on the lands of Bil'in and neighboring Palestinian villages. On the march, in addition to the placards and chants, we prepared mentally to use the bigger number of participants to break through the live barrier of Israeli state forces who blocked our way to the Bil'in center for joint struggle for peace on the other side of the fence on the previous two Fridays.
When we arrived near the separation fence we found the state forces ready and blocking our way - including a unit of the most violent special forces of the police. After a short rest from the march and some preliminary confrontation, few of us held hands and break through the lines of state forces. In spite of brutal pushes, hits of batons and some shock grenades, 250 of us - the more experienced and daring, crossed their lines and the route of the fence to the West and marched towards the three weeks old Bil'in center for joint struggle for peace.
When we arrived there and had our meeting, state forces rushed there to block our way so we will not go to the illegal building area on the lands of Bil'in of the new district of the settler town Modi'in Illit (a judge of the Israeli highest court froze last week the construction and population.
After a short meeting and few speeches we returned to the East side of fence, but not in a way the state forces liked. Many of us stayed near the fence itself, and banged with stones on the metal line and gate bordering the fence. After the state forces failed to stop us even using their violence and attempted arrests they vent their frustration with a shower of tear gas canisters on the village youngsters who confronted them as usual with stones on the neighboring olive orchards.
After 3 hours of demonstration and confronting the state forces we finished the demonstration.
Below is the invitation for the mass demonstration ín Bil'in distributed widely towards this coming Friday 20.1.
The Coalition Against the Wall invites you to a mass demonstration in Bil'in, Friday, 20.1.06
Dear friends and comrades,
For almost a year now, we demonstrate regularly together with our partners from Bil'in against the wall and the settlements that rob over half of the village's lands. Trough this struggle we've managed breaking through many walls of silence in Israeli conciseness: we've exposed, time and again, the use of brutal military violence by the army in its attempts to suppress the struggle - violence that is contrasted by the demonstrators' nonviolence. We've managed to show that the path of the wall is not security driven, but settlement driven. On February 1st the Supreme Court will convene to discuss Bil'in's petition against the wall.
We invite all people - those that already stood with us in Bil'in, and those who still didn't - to come and join us in the struggle.
Tel Aviv: Arlozerov train station, El Al terminal, 9:30.
For more details contact Adar at 052-54.....
Jerusalem: Gan Hapa'amon Parking lot, 9:30.
For more details contact Yossi at 052-52.....
Haifa: Solel Boneh Square, 8:30.
For more details contact Oren at 054-67......
The Coalition Against the Wall:
Taayush, Gush Shalom, Coalition of Women for Peace, Alternative Information Centre, Anarchists Against Walls