Friday, January 19, 2007

Palestine-Israel, The 104th Friday demonstration in Bil'in against the separation fence and occupation (+ one at Umm Salamuna) 19 Jan 2007

In sunny and warm winter day which remind us of the approaching of the third Spring of our struggle. At noon we started the march from the center of the village toward the route of the separation fence - Palestinians from the village and the region, internationals and Israelis from the anarchists against the separation wall initiative. Probably because of the nice whether we were a bigger crowd than usual. Carrying placards and chanting and some times even dancing we marched. At the fringe of the built area of the village we have seen the border guard provocateurs waiting-baiting for the stone throwing kids, so the spoke person of the army will be able to say the Friday demo in Bil'in was not nonviolent as claimed by the village comity. When we arrived at the blocked gate to the route of the fence and beyond it, the low intensity confrontation with the soldiers there started.

The soldiers kept calm except declaring the area as closed military zone. They even refrained from assaulting us when people puled and dismantled a spool of razor wire fortifying the gate.

The low intensity was ended abruptly when a group of young adults (mostly with birds) standing on the fringe of the demonstration started to shower stones on the soldiers blocking the gate. The soldiers engaged them with shock grenades and some tear gas, with a group of special police in training doing the pursue after the stone throwers adding shooting rubber coated bullets to the shock and tear gas grenades. Mean time the soldiers at the blocked gate had to regroup as the Eastern wind carried some of the tear gas they try to punish us with, towards the gate - causing them to "regroup" some distance away. This enabled some of the nonviolent demonstrators to enter the route through the unguarded gate. The commander of the soldiers lost his stability and besides detaining 3 Israelis and one Palestinian of the intruders (to be released after the end of the confrontations), ordered his soldiers to drive away all the nonviolent demonstrators staying around, threating the few of us remaining behind with shock grenades.

In parallel to the Bil'in demonstration, another joint struggle occurred in Umm Salamuna. a small contingent of the anarchists against the wall traveled there in response to the following invitation:
"This Friday the residents of 10 villages in the South Bethlehem region will be gathering in Umm Salamuna village at 11Am at the mosque and will march to their land west of the village, which is being razed for the Wall. Many of these villages are having land annexed and destroyed for the Wall and have already lost land to Efrata and Migdal Oz settlements. Bulldozers have recently stepped up the razing of the land and villagers have resisted. These villages have a cultural center and website -"

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