On Friday morning at 7:55am, 3 Palestinians, 7 Israelis and 5 internationals chained themselves to the posts of the apartheid wall that is currently under construction near Bil’in, a small village in the West Bank. This act of non-violent resistance was aimed at illustrating the devastating effect the wall has on this and other villages in the West Bank. The idea was to force the Israeli soldiers to destroy the posts in order to remove the activists from the scene – this, however, did not work out as planned. At 8:10am the soldiers had managed to untie all the activists, and dragged them away from the posts. Three Israelis were brought to the police station, but were released later in the morning.
The demonstration then turned into a playground when children’s toys were handed out and a slide was raised close to the line of the soldiers. Children were playing and chanting together with the activists in front of the surprised soldiers and members of the Border Police.
Around 11:00 three Israeli activists once again chained themselves to a fence. After fruitless attempts of getting them loose, Border Police changed their tactics and waited close by in order to arrest the activists when they decided to loosen themselves. When they did, however, they managed to escape arrest by running through the olive groves towards the village, tailed for a while by Border Police that didn’t quite reach the same running speed and eventually gave up.
After the noon prayer that was conducted at the scene of the demonstration, the rain came and people started to drop off. At 12:30 the demonstration was over. Apart from some pushing from the soldiers and Border Police, it was a peaceful demonstration without violence – no tear gas, rubber bullets or other experimental “less lethal weapons” were used. Apart from the three Israelis in the morning no other arrests were made.