Friday, July 14, 2006

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, in spite armed forces and the local youth despising the joint nonviolent struggle the joint continue. 14 Jul 2006

The demonstration of last Friday of 14-7-06 was marked by the wedding of Mantsur - coordinator of ISM international demonstrators. After some wedding rituals in the hours preceding the demonstration, the new couple entered their car that traveled at the head of the demonstration towards the route of the separation fence. Along the march, interwoven with the usual chants, singing, and dancing, components of the Palestinian celebration of wedding. At noon, 150 of us started the march from the center of the village towards the fence among us, in addition to the local villagers, about 40 internationals, 30 Israelis, and 15 Palestinians from out of the village. When we arrived about 20 meters from the blocked gate of the route of fence (with armored cars and lot of border police), the couple exit from their car and the wedding ceremony was resumed. Gradually the people moved towards the blocking forces, and the verbal confrontation with them interwoven with the usual proceedings of the demo and the celebration - chanting, singing, dancing and calls towards the state forces.

Not like in the last previous Fridays, the local activists expected the unruly stone throwers youth, who object to the joint nonviolent struggle, to respect the wedding and refrain from disrupting it, and had not invested efforts to restrain them. These, took advantage of the "free hands" and hiding behind our backs started much earlier than usual to through stones on the state forces blocking the gate of the route. These responded as expected with a shower of shock grenades but this time with much more intensity than usual. The demonstrators dispersed in the adjacent area and the coward stone throwers who could not hide behind our backs fled.

When we tried to reassemble after the inflammation as usual, not as usual, the armed forces continued their attack on us and tried to force all of us to return to the one kilometer away village. They used shock grenades, tear gas, rubbercoated bullets... But the wedded couple and about 50 demonstrators resisted and stayed at the blocked gate another hour till the local activists declared the demonstration as finished.

During the intense confrontation few people were injured - some of them were taken by the ambulances to hospital.

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