FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This Friday at 12:00 pm the villagers of Bil’in together with Israeli and International supporters will hold another creative non-violent march to the construction site of the Apartheid Barrier. The main theme of this week’s demonstration will be prisoner solidarity. Due to the recent night-time raids by the Israeli military, seventeen non-violent protestors from the village currently remain in Israeli detention. These arrestees are being accused by the Israeli authorities of damaging the foundations of the barrier and throwing stones.
Over the past eleven days, the Israeli military has conducted a series of arrest raids during the night in Bil’in. Going house to house, they have been rounding up activists known to participate in the non-violent demonstrations, keeping the entire village sleepless and distressed in the process. International Human Rights Observers last Monday night witnessed and filmed the illegal (under Israeli law) use of a Palestinian civilian as a “human shield” by the Israeli military (footage available upon request). One on occasion, the Israeli military distributed a leaflet in Arabic warning the villagers that although they have “allowed the people of the village to conduct non-violent protests against the construction of the wall on their lands” they consider the damaging of the barrier “violence against security property” and warned them that “the daily lives of the villagers will be disrupted as a result of such acts”.
Among the Palestinian non-violent activists arrested are a 14 year old child, a 16 year old child and three brothers from one family. Only one of those arrested -who was taken by the soldiers in order to pressure his brother to turn himself in- has been released so far. Mohammed alKatib, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in said: “they go after the young and vulnerable in order to intimidate them into giving information about other activists in the village”.
In response to the latest invasion on Monday night, Bil’in residents together with a few Israeli and International volunteers again poured out of their houses and confronted the military, singing and chanting. The Israeli force subsequently withdrew from the village.
For more information:
Muhammed alKhatib 0545-851893
Abdullah Abu-Rahme 0547-258210
ISM media office 02- 2971824