FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Last night at about 3am the Israeli army entered the West Bank village of Bil’in in yet another of their night time arrest raids there. They awoke one house intending to arrest Palestinian children who had taken part in non-violent demonstrations.
The presence of about 20 Israeli and international activists in the village seemed to make the army reluctant to carry out the arrests. After about one hour the army left the village. Some Palestinians came out of their houses to resist the arrests, and make another non-violent stand against the Isreali army’s invasion of the village.
Sixteen children and young men from the village remain in Israeli detention for their participation (or alleged participation) in non-violent demonstrations and action against the apartheid barrier in Bil’in.
On the 21st of October, in an act of non-violent resistance, villagers from Bil’in began to implement the decision of the International Court of Justice that Israel’s illegal wall should be dismantled and removed metal posts meant to serve as foundation for the wall on Bil’in land. The Israeli military reacted to this act with arrests and distribution of a text in Arabic warning people not to take part in direct action against the wall. In the Arabic text the army claimed that “every Friday for the last six months, the IDF has allowed the people of the village to conduct non-violent protests against the construction of the wall on their lands”, despite regularly firing on non-violent demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets. The text concluded with the threat that “the acts of the people violating the law will disturb your daily lives”.
For the last ten months, Bil’in has launched an ongoing non-violent campaign against the annexation barrier supported by hundreds of Israeli and international activists, which has been met by violence from the Israeli army. Israel designed the current route of the barrier to annex 60% of Bil’in’s agricultural land, and expand the settlement of Modi’in Elite. Plans for Modi’in Elite’s expansion have yet to be approved by the Israeli government.
For more Information:
Abdullah Abu Rahme, Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements: 0547258210
ISM media office 02-2971824