Friday, March 24, 2006

Palestine-Israel, the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation - the Friday demo in Bil'in and Beit-Sira 24 Mar 2006

This Friday, the efforts to block the way for Israeli activists fro joining the demonstrations was concentrated in the road block of Naalin. The rest of the roads and paths were open and about 50 Israelis from the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and others arrived and split part to Bil'in and part to Beit-Sira. At Bil'in, we marched at noon from the center of the village on the road to the route of the fence. The 150 marchers included about 100 Palestinians, 30 Israeli, and more than 20 international and media people from all over the world. At the head of the demonstration was the theme of the week - four models of buildings representing the illegal buildings of the Matityahu Mizrah new neighborhood of the settler town Modi'in Ilit the highest court issued a stay on its construction and inhabiting; two persons with judges attire; a few big hammers for the destruction of models at the appropriate place and time.

When we arrived at the route of the separation fence, the Israeli armed forces tried in very brutal behaviors... but in vain, to prevent us from doing the symbolic act of destruction the models near the fence After that, they insisted on making us to retreat few meters from the fence route using shock grenades, tear gas canisters, and physical aggression, and arrests... but failed again.

Their only achievement was causing the youngsters to leave the non violent demonstration, disperse among the olive trees on the orchards on the two sides of the road, and to start the attrition war of stones versus tear gas grenades and rubber coated bullets.

The brutal confrontation of the state forces with the demonstrators that did stay continued for a while till they resigned to a kind of a draw, and the demonstrators stayed there for a relatively peaceful hour till the demo finished.

Summing the day in Bil'in: four seriously injured from shooting and physical aggression; four Israelis were arrested and taken for procession to the Givat Zeev police station; three Palestinians were detained too from whom two were released at the end of the demo and one arrested and taken to the Jerusalem police at the "Russian Compound".

The Friday demo of Beit-Sira experienced too the brutality of the Israeli armed forces. Participated in it about 250 people among them about 20 Israelis. At the beginning, about 10 demonstrators arrived before the state forces and tied themselves to trees and fence at the construction site. They were forced to retreat and join the main body of the demonstration by the arriving state forces. Then, a kind of repetitive ritual started: First, the state forces shoot at the demonstrators tear gas and rubber coated bullets; Then some of the demonstrators started to retaliate with stone throwing; Then the activists of the village popular comity make the stone throwers stop; Then the state forces regain shooting and the cycle starts again. Five of the demonstrators were injured significantly - two of them with bullets. In addition, two Palestinian medics of the ambulance were injured when a tear gas canister was shoot into their ambulance. These injured were added to the count of more than 70 injured in the demonstrations in Beit-Sira of the last few weeks.

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