Photo By AFP
The struggle of Palestinian villagers against the separation wall and settlements is collecting momentum. In addition to the ongoing direct action of manning the two Palestinian “out posts” that Bil’in villagers have built on their land to be stolen by the annexation wall, three demonstrations were held this Friday. As usual, the Israeli military attempted to block the way of the Israeli activists to Bil’in and detained two of them who were not fast enough to evade the few soldiers allocated to the mission.
In Bil’in, about 20 internationals who came to participate in the Bil’in international conference due 20th-21st February joined the 70 Palestinians and the 20 Israelis in what has become the traditional Friday demo.
The demonstration began at noon with a march towards the land cut off from the village by the route of the barrier. Protesters first attempted to pass through the olive orchard towards the part of fence not yet finished but , the soldiers were ready to stop them among the olive trees… so they diverted back to the road leading to the open gate in the fence – now “blessed” by the highest court of justice as opened always for passage, though the armed forces make an exception, and block it every Friday during the demonstration.
The march was blocked by a border police unit about 20 meters from the passage. During the usual confrontation the protestors advanced about 2 meters – something the commander of the unit took personally. A few shock grenades and physical pushing gained the Israeli military the last two meters. After a while, people tried to get down from the road to the olive orchard in order to go around the blocking border police and get nearer to the fence. A large group of demonstraters did reach the fence route and started to bang with stones on the low fence bordering it. A small unit of soldiers who rushed there tried unsuccessfully to disperse the people with tear gas grenades.
After the nonviolent demonstration was declared over, many of the protestors stayed near by observing the usual confrontation between the stone throwing youngsters and the military, shooting tear gas grenades at them.