Saturday, May 13, 2006

Plestin-Israel, Bil'in, the traditional Friday joint demonstration against the separation fence and occupation. 13 May 2006

This Friday demonstration was in reference to the coming Sunday hearing of the case of the separation fence cutting the majority of the lands of the village Bil'in (not robbed yet by previous acts of Israel) at the Israeli highest court of "justice". For this demonstration arrived about 40 Israeli activists recruited by the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative' 20 international activist, people from neighboring villages and Ramalla, and 20 media workers - Israelis, Palestinians, and from other parts of the world. Together with about hundred of people of Bili'in we started at noon the march on the road to the route of the separation fence. The march was ended like in the last previous demos at the entrance to the route of the fence and the way to the olive orchards on the other side of the fence. The rode was blocked as in the last few Fridays by two tangle of barbed wire and two armored car on which stood soldiers of the border guards' with additional soldiers near by as a reserve.

About 15 minutes of chanting verbal confrontation with the soldiers and some efforts to reach them in spite of the barbed wire - with batons responses. This came to abrupt end when unruly youngster or few, threw few stones on the armed cars from the near hill... to which the soldiers responded with shower of shock grenades - mostly on the nonviolent demonstrators standing near them. As next step, the soldiers opened the block to the fence route and advanced by foot about 30 meters assaulting the near by demonstrators and the farther stone throwers. This assault resulted in injuring demonstrators of which three were rushed to hospitals.

The confrontation with "low intensity" of soldiers batons work and mutual pushing between the nonviolent demonstrators and the soldiers.... who continued in parallel the usual stones versus grenades and rubber coated bullet between the village youngsters dispersed in the near by olive orchard.

During the additional 45 minutes the demonstration continued ti it was declared finished by the local comity, the big palestinian flag carried in the demo was fastened to the metal fence bordering the route of the sophisticated separation fence - not far from the entrance to the route. Few times small contingent of soldiers were sent to confiscate it but met resistance of the demonstrators. after a protracted mutual pushing, the flag was moved by the demonstrators but the soldiers were forced to retreat to the opening of the route.

The same thing happened to another small contingent of soldiers who entered the area the demonstrators stood in, and forced to retreat by the demonstrators screams and pushing.

After the intensive confrontation of an hour, the demonstrators gradually returned to the village leaving the area for the confrontation between the stone throwers and the soldiers.

As usual most Fridays the afternoon radio news programs reported on the clashes in Bil'in demo. So was reported in the internet web pages of dailies and the main evening news program of the public TV channel.

From the web page of the Haaretz daily:
"Border Police fire on anti-fence protesters in Bil'in, wounding 3 By Michal Greenberg, Haaretz Correspondents

Three demonstrators were wounded on Friday afternoon in clashes with security officers during a protest against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Bil'in.

Border Police officers fired rubber bullets on the demonstrators, wounding a French photographer and two other members of the International Solidarity Movement.

The three international activists were evacuated, the photographer to a nearby Ramallah hospital and the other two to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

According to reports by other demonstrators, one of the activists was hit in the head from a dangerously close range of about 15 meters.

Israeli, international and Palestinian activists protest every Friday against the route of the separation fence being constructed next to the village. Some 150 demonstrators came out for Friday's protest."

Later, the counting of injuries risen:
Abut 14 were injured among them head traumas were inflicted to two internationals, one media worker (France photographer), one Palestinian youth, and a women who live in the lone house located about 50 meters from the entrance to the route of the fence.

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