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Against the Fence: Children of Bil’in Village demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court

Translation of http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3098699,00.html:

After the Israeli Army forbade adults resident in the village to enter Israel in order to protest in front of the Supreme Court that has been deliberating their appeal against the building of the separation fence on their land, dozens of children were brought from the village to demonstrate. Friction was created between them and the police after the children waved Palestinian flags. One of the adults that was permitted to accompany them said: “We had hoped the children would create sympathy”.

Children’s demonstration: Dozens of Palestinian children, residents of Bil’in village that is located between Modi’in and Ramallah demonstrated today (Tuesday) in front of the Supreme Court after the army forbade the adult residents of the village from entering Israel. Light friction developed between the children and the police after the children waved Palestinian flags and the police ordered them to desist. An argument developed between Israeli and international activists accompanying the children and the police. One international activist was arrested.

Ahram Khatib is one of the adults who were permitted to accompany the children. According to him: “These children are the first to be directly affected by the wall, and we had hoped that they would create sympathy in the Israeli court system, but I am afraid the decision has been taken ahead of time”.

In their appeal, the residents of Bil’in, located east of Modi’in and adjacent to Kiryat Sefer, state that the building of the fence is confiscating more than half their lands – 2,300 dunums out of a total of 4,000.

In the appeal, it is argued that the village lands are used for agricultural purposes, including olive and almond trees. The appealers argue that the confiscation of land hurts their income as well as their dignity, and does not allow them to exist and to grow the produce on which they rely, and hence that the confiscation of land contradicts the basic law: human dignity and freedom, and also the basic law: freedom of employment.

According to Khatib, there is an additional problem with the building of the fence on village land: “They are not taking our land just to build the wall. They are building settlements behind the fence. They are building five and six storey houses, and that is for the settlements”.

Bil’in, like the other villages in the area, has stood out in the last few months in non violent struggle against the separation fence. The residents said that they want to use this struggle to highlight the damage to their lives and to recruit as many people as possible from the Israeli peace camp and international supporters.

Over the weekend, demonstrators in Bil’in used a new weapon to protest against the wall. They threw balloons filled with chicken excrement towards security forces.

Photos of children’s demo at:

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