Friday, February 10, 2006

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, One year for the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation - Friday 10-02-06

The activity of the week end started already Thursday evening (in parallel to the preparation for the international conference in Bil'in due at 20th to 21st of February). That evening, activists of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative joined international activists and people from Bil'in to keep alive the Bil'in center for joint struggle for peace, and the new post adjacent to the piece of land confiscated for the building of a tower in service of the separation fence - both on the west side of it.
Next day, Friday morning, we marched to the village - taking advantage of the free passage through an opening in the already built part of the fence, as ordered by the highest court of "justice" to be available till the end of the deliberation about the legitimacy of the route of the fence in Bil'in area.

In the village, we joined others and prepared placards for the Friday demonstration, marking the completion of a year for the joint struggle and Friday demonstrations in Bil'in. As usual, we prepared placards in Arabic, English, and Hebrew to join previous placards and banners that survived previous Friday demonstrations.

At noon, in a shiny and worm weather - compensation for the previous Friday storming rain, we started the march from the center of the village towards the route of the separation fence with a hope to pass to the new outpost on the other side of it.

It was really a small one in comparison to the big thousand strong demo of three weeks ago, but still a respectable one. We were about hundred people. 70 palestinians, 20 Israelis, and 15 internationals. On the way, we were joined by a female villager who took with her two branches of olive tree and a hoe, for a symbolic planting them in the middle of the route of the separation fence in building (which she really did later with protection of the other demonstrators who blocked the objection of the armed forces).

When we approached the route of the fence, we turned through the olive groves toward the part of the fence not already completed. The state forces blocked our way in the middle of the route - preventing us from passing to the new outpost on the West side of the route. After half an hour of low intensity "nonviolent" confrontation - if you can call the brutal pushes of the state forces as "nonviolent"... part of us along the route hoping to go around to the block. Just as we arrived in a place where there was building equipment and a way to climb to the other side of the route, an armored car with soldiers arrived. They tried to force us back up the hill to where we came, and we tried to go around them. Forces were quite equal so we could not go as we wished, but they could not force us back either.

After a long draw, we decided to go back up the hill, to where the rest of the demo people remind. When we arrived we got an unpleasant surprise - the band of village youth who do not respect the nonviolent mode of struggle of the village popular comity for struggle against the fence, start their usual stones throwing on the soldiers, but also on us who were still near the soldiers. So, we had to depart fast to evade the shower of stones and the shower of tear gas and rubber bullets that came in response.

Few of us marched to the usual place of demonstration where the gate in the already built fence is located. However, the state forces did not welcome them there and detained few Israelis - to be released there some time later.

As usual, the confrontation between the youngsters and the state forces continued for another two hours - including pursue of the state forces into the village they have not done for long. Many of the Israeli activist remind near by till the confrontation ended, to ensure the state forces (who have order to be careful when Israelis are around) will not use live ammunition and other lethal activities.

Rumors say that during that confrontation, few of the soldiers were hit by stones.

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