It started on Thursday morning - last work day of the Israeli week. The Israeli comity for dismantling the mass annihilating arms expanded its boundaries. The conference of the sponsors of the Israeli atom bomb in Tel Aviv university was an opportunity for counter action. The comity, the Israeli green peace activists an the people of the anarchists against the wall organized a counter conference. Activists held placards, gave speeches and distributed leaflets to a big queue of audience of the conference as security measures held them for a long time at the entrance of the auditorium....
Next came the already traditional three joint demonstrations against the occupation and the separation fence.
In Bil'in it was the 145th Friday demonstration. It differed a bit from these of the last few months as the whether was on our side... As usual, when we crossed the line at the foot of the hill the gate in the separation fence is on its top, the Israeli state forces showered as with tear gas.. but the very weak Eastern wind blew it to their direction. It was nice to see them retreat up the hill and hear the anxious commander order them to stop shooting and throwing tear gas grenades. Celebrating the small victory two comrades climbed on an temporarily abandoned border police jeep and got punished later when 4 people roughly detained, one had his head banged three times on an army vehicle, another was shot at with a tear gas canister which burned him a bit and broke his hand.
While we were confronting and arguing with the soldiers half way up the hill, a team of the border police advanced along the road to the village in pursuit after the less bold comrades who were retreating to the village, to avenge the lost honer of the state forces. As they could not use tear gas and batons, they shoot people with metal bullet coated with rubber. As results, two of the Israelis needed medical treatment in hospital: one comrade was shot at his head resulting in a light concation, and another was shot at her knee.
After a long verbal arguments and confrontation we retreated slowly back to the village waiting for the release of the detainees before returning home. It is usually done after the end of the confrontation between the state force and the stone throwing kids that usually start their take after the nonviolent demonstration is attacked by the state force... And indeed, so it happened.
During the time of waiting we exchanged information with the comrades who returned from the parallel demonstration at the apartheid road 443 and with the comrades who escorted the injured comrades to the hospital in Ramalla.
The activist that was shot at his head in Bil'in was admitted to a local hospital when we returned to Israel. He was released after an intensive checkup - bruised, in some pain, and shocked but at the late evening started to get over it.
The Joint demonstration at the 443 apartheid high way done as a regional joint project was rather peaceful. The state force did not try to block people from the region to arrive at it. Their effort to block the way of the demonstration from arriving at the margin of the high way - where the concrete blocks prevent Palestinians from the near by village to drive their cars to it, was half hearted and overcome easily. (They succeeded to hit some kids but not much more.) When the people stood along the high way, they shouted their opinions for the drivers and passengers using it what are their opinion on the apartheid road.
After the demonstration, Few youngsters who were restrained during the demonstration started after it ended to throw stones on the state forces. These responded with invading the village with jeeps pursuing the kids shooting them with tear gas canisters and rubber coated bullets. However the youngsters evaded the Israeli state force who shortly afterwards left the village.
The organizers of the regional demonstration against the apartheid 443 high way, announced that the demonstration will continue every week and invited Israelis to join in the future demonstrations.
The action in the Bethlehem region was not so spectacular. Activists of the villages Artas Um Salmuna, and from Bethlehem, converged near the Efrata intersection. The alarmed state force were afraid the demonstration will infringe on the high way and prevented the AAtW contingent (blamed to be the instigators of such steps by state spokes) from mingling with the Palestinians - keeping them separated few meters away, till the demonstration ended.
443 highway Friday 23-11-07 - link to video
A short movie made during the critical mass in Tel Aviv of November 15. http://clk.atdmt.com/AVE/go/onm00200471ave/direct/01/
Bil'in Friday demonstration - 16-11-07 - link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCNmQKFI46k