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Bil’in Unbowed; One Year of Non-Violent Resistance to the Apartheid Wall

by Henry and David

The weekly non-violent protests against the Israelis Apartheid wall continued today in Bil’in, when Palestinians from the village displayed their resistance to the ongoing theft of their village’s land. At least one Palestinian was injured by a tear gas canister which was fired directly at a group of three non-violent demonstrators as they stood with their hands raised in the air. One Israeli protester was detained by the Israeli Military, and another Israeli was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister and taken to hospital; many others also suffered from the use of tear gas and force by the soldiers. The one year anniversary of the struggle of Bil’in is fast approaching, on February 20th, and their will to resist the Occupation and the Apartheid Wall has not diminished since then.

Despite heavy rain, the crowd of approximately 150 Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched to the construction site of the Apartheid Wall, which is gradually cutting off the village from much of its land. The Israeli Army and Border Police were on hand to prevent the unarmed demonstrators from reaching the construction site through the use of force.

At the site, demonstrators chanted slogans and some Palestinian national songs. A decision from one of the local committee against the Wall was made to move to the other side of the village. The Israeli Military attempted to prevent this by the use of force, but the people were able to prevail and remain unmoved.

After half an hour, activists observed the soldiers shooting rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at the young boys of the village at very close range. The decision was then made to return to the village, however, it was interrupted in order to de-arrest an Israeli activist. This was done successfully by Internationals, Israelis and Palestinians together, but soon after that another Israeli was taken and detained by the Israeli Military.

(Israeli soldier seen aiming his rifle at unarmed Palestinian children)

When the demo was declared over by the Popular Committee, the activists moved towards the village. The Israeli Military then used the activists as cover, so that they could get closer to some of the young Palestinians of Bil’in, which led to more shooting of tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. From this point on, the army continued to use disproportionate and unnecessary force against unarmed Palestinians, shooting tear gas canisters directly at them and coming very close to the village itself.

Later in the evening, the Palestinians of Bil’in and internationals watched a film, Rachel Corrie An American Conscience, directed by Yahya Barakat. The director was present in Bil’in for the screening of the film, which is about the death of Rachel Corrie, who was killed on March 16 2003 by the IOF in Rafah. The film will be screened again for the Bil’in Conference, which will take place February 20 & 21, 2006, which will be the beginning of a Spring 2006 ISM campaign.

for more information on the film, go to