The struggle in Bil'in was intensified towards the expected verdict of the Israeli higher court of "justice" about the route of the separation fence and the building of a new neighborhood of the settler colonialist town Modi'in Ilit on lands of Bil'in. During the week a joint direct action tried to dismantle infrastructures built for the settlement on a land piece even Israeli court officially accepted it belongs to Bil'in citizens. In spite of it - Army and police intervened and confiscated a tractor doing the work.
In Friday demo, the participants: Palestinians, internationals, and Israelis of the anarchists against the wall initiative, marched as usual on the road leading from the village to the route of the separation fence - used for robbing most of Bil'in lands for the settlers town. As usual on the last weeks, when we reached the bottom of the hill the gate to the other side of the fence is on its top, we encounter a spool of barbed wire blocking the road, and gendarme officer with his team declaring the area military closed.
When the gendarmes were retreating up the hill so they will be safe from tear gas canisters thrown on us, few of us just followed them while they started to shower tear gas on the demonstrators who were far enough...
After a short time they tried to drive back our group that was too near for treatment with tear gas. They detained two members of the village popular comity, and tried to push the rest of us down the hill so they will be able to retreat and shower us with tear gas... After few rounds, I remained alone near the soldiers - refusing to get down till the road will be cleared from tear gas, taking advantage of the shame of the gendarmes to push hard an old Jewish demonstrator... So, they let me stay there till the commander issued an order to stop shooting tear gas grenades as all the others retreated far enough.
But, the demonstrators had not returned to the village, but were trying to approach the fence through the olive woods on the two sides of the road. Again and again a shower of tear gas prevented the advance, while the state force advanced slowly towards the village while showering tear gas and sporadicly shooting bullet coated with rubber on us and the stone throwing youth who tried to deter them. Two hours were enough for us this Friday and we returned to Israel.
In the region there are few villages but not all of them hold a regular Friday activities. This Friday there were two activities in the region in which AATW people participated.
The first one was in Um Salmuna. The activity started at 10:00 in the morning with a meeting and speeches.
Afterwards, people marched to the fields located on the other side of the route of the separation fence and did symbolic agricultural work in them including in fields adjacent to the Efrata colonialist settlement.
After the midday prayer, there was the second action in the near by Artas village. There people converged at the route in which the works are in progress. People rolled rocks to the already cleared route and symbolic replanted an already dried uprooted tree, surrounded it with rocks as protection.
Link to photos from a previous action in Artas: http://activestills.org/photos.php?setname=Artas&PHPSESSID=1bf7babf216c08dbc132536ab33370c1#id=513999359 In both actions, the Israeli state forces kept distance - and just monitored it from a distance.