Saturday, August 18, 2007

Palestine-Israel, The Friday joint struggle against the occupation and the separation fence in Bil'in and Wallage 18 Aug 2007

It was a usual Friday in the village Bil'in - west of Ramallah. Like in nearly all Friday noons of the last 30 months, we marched towards the route of the separation fence: Palestinians of the village and the region, international activists, Israelis of the anarchists against the wall initiative, and media professionals. Like in the last three months, when we arrived at the foot of the hill at the top of which located the gate in the fence to the half of the lands of the Bil'in village robbed for the settler town Modi'in Ilit, the Israeli state force commander declare the region as forbidden military zone. As usual he threatened to attack us if we cross a razor wire spool that was stretched across the the road. As it happened lately often, we were "allowed" to come up to the spool and converge there. Even many of the people with cameras were "allowed" to stand beyond the wire spool...

However, after some people without cameras crossed the line, the shower of tear gas started. Most people dispersed among the olive trees and retreated out of the tear gas range. Some were bolder and stayed around the forbidden line dodging tear gas canisters thrown towards them.

Gradually, kids who threw stones engaged the state force who added shooting of bullets coated with rubber. One of our comrades with a video camera recorded a command of the state force ordering soldiers to shoot tear gas canisters on the ambulance with medics that was on duty.

It seems that this Friday no one was arrested or seriously wounded till the end of the demonstration.

Videos of this Friday demo:
Video of previous Friday demo:

======== Wallage - South of Bethlehem =========

The Friday demonstration in the village Wallage was the third consecutive weekly there. This week the activists of neighboring villages in the area united for a larger demonstration in one location and the plan is to continue in this way with the location rotating between the villages. About 150 Palestinians Internationals and Israelis marched a short distance to a site where trees have been uprooted on land belonging to a near by monastery. One of the speakers told the crowd that the monastery has sold the land to the Israelis after protecting it against even the slightest damage by the people of the village.

At the end of the speeches the demonstrators marched up the hill and were blocked by what looked like a mixture of reserve units and Border Police. Some of the demonstrators were attacked by the soldiers and in the scuffle some soldiers were also beaten.

Following the demonstration an Italian activist was arrested walking down the street on charges that he attacked the soldiers but was released after several hours when the police realized he did not.

See also:

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