Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, The daily struggle against the fence - Monday update: 5 Palestinians were injured, 5 Israelis were detained, 06 Apr

Monday, Jonathan Polak of the anarchists against the wall was seriously injured by a tear gas canister shoot directly to his head*.
Today, in another round of demonstrations, while the Bil'in village continue to resist to the separation fence - Israeli "security forces" continue the violence. In the demonstration to day 5 Palestinians were injured - two of them by rubber coated bullets, the other three from beating of the border police. Five Israelis and two Palestinians were arrested. The two palestinians were released after a short time.
The demonstration was relatively peaceful, but when the "civilian administration" officer responsible to the area departed, the situation escalated. The border police forces start to shoot on the demonstrators with rubber coated bullets, threw on them shock and tear gas grenades. Two of the injured were taken to the Ramalla hospital - one of them a member of the local committee against the fence.

Arrested comrade's report:

"....... The commander of the border guard unit that detained 5 of us [at the site of the demo] is a settler of "Gush Katif" in the Gaza strip. This same unit is scheduled to evacuate the resisting settlers of Gush Katif. In a long [non-formal] conversation developed with him while we waited for the regular police that would take us to the police station, he showed a surprising insight: ("If I was in their shoes - meaning the Palestinians, I would not be satisfied with just throwing stones".) These words were in spite the repeated use of the same famous excuses of Adolf Eichman (Nazi bureaucrat who was kidnapped in Argentina and sentenced to death in Israel) "I am under the obligation to execute orders of my superiors".)

His second-in-command is a Druze - an Israeli Palestinian citizen from the Galilee village Beit Jan, who himself lives in an "illegally-built" house [a common occurrence in the Israeli Palestinian regions as part of their suppression is the refusal of permits to build new houses or to expand existing ones]. A fact that does not prevent him from taking part in the destruction of the houses of Palestinians [in the occupied regions] on the pretext that they did not have building permits.

The Ethiopian [Jewish immigrant] who strangled me with such great passion [link to the pictures:] told me later in secret that if there had not been cameras around he would also have shot me in the head.

The policeman at the police station said that, in essence, Israeli law is a "joke" as the supreme court of justice or the Knesset [Israeli parliament] can change it at whim. The only law that one must obey is Mosaic/Biblical law. According to him, the [Nazi] Germans understood that Jews are the truly pure and superior race and that was the reason they tried to exterminate us. The Arabs are wild animals, but it is not their fault as it is a decree from the Bible.
Then they offered to release us if we signed a bail condition not to approach the separation fence for 15 days - we refused. They made it clear that such a refusal meant that we would remain under arrest till tomorrow morning, and the restrictions that the judge would impose would be all the harsher... we still refused to sign it.

Then, we were offered to agree not to approach the fence at the Bil'in region for five days.... and we signed it. A few minutes before the expected release, the policeman said in embarrassment that the bail and guarantee must be extended for 7 days. We said that we already signed for 5 days. He said we needed to correct that. We said it was absurd. He told us not to be stubborn over an increase of two days. We asked why he was insisting. He said that "it is an instruction from higher up in the hierarchy" (General Security Service? The prosecution? Higher level in police command?). We still refused. We were threatened in response with detention till a judge released us tomorrow.... and we still refused... And they gave up and released us.

Thanks to I.V. who came from Tel Aviv to Givat Zeev [near Jerusalem - about 80km] at 10.00pm to take us home. Thanks to Kobi who signed a third-party bail order with the Tel Aviv regional police. Thanks to Oded that did not turn off the camera. Thanks to Shai who accompanied us with his camera and his good humour. Thanks to Ilan [not me] who brought a sweatshirt, some vegan food and cigarettes to the police station. Thanks to [the lawyers] Gabi and Dov who advised us and put pressure on the policemen.

Personal conclusions:

1) There is a serious lack of participation by women in the Israeli group [of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative].

2) When detained, it is recommended that you lie on the ground and not be walked by the policemen/soldiers to their cars.

3) It is highly recommended that you bargain about the conditions of any restrictions when detained.

4) If we were organized before the action (including coordination with the Palestinians) we could happily stop the work on the fence.. even if only for a few minutes.

* (en) Palestine-Israel, Bil'in-Tel Aviv, The daily struggle against the wall/fence and the war crimes continue

** Israelis in this and similar contexts refer to participants of the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall initiative.

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