Credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters
At 13:00 today the people of Bil’in started their weekly march to protest the apartheid wall which is being built on their land. The march started with around 100 Palestinians and 40 internationals and Israeli activists who attended in solidarity with the locals to support their resistance. The people started the march as usual singing and chanting different Palestinian songs and slogans.
The theme of the protest was centred around a memorial box bearing the names of all the journalists who were killed by the Israeli occupation forces during the second intifada. This was erected at the gate in Bil’in as a memorial to remember those journalists .
Once the march arrived to the usual confrontation point, border police and army were already waiting for the march to prevent people from getting to their lands. And also as usual, the border police declared the area a closed military zone through the jeeps’ loud speakers in both Arabic & Hebrew, but the people didn’t accept that and kept singing and chanting in front of the soliders.
After 20 minutes Abdullah Abu Rahme from the Bil’in popular committee called the people together and he declared a ceremony to honour the journalists who have been participating in and covering the activities in Bil’in for the last 16 months and who have suffered like the villagers from being shot and jailed. The ceremony started with a speech for a representative from the local council who thanked the journalists for the important role that they have played and continue to play by documenting the army and the border police’s acts in the occupied territories in general and in Bil’in in particular.
Later on Abdullah called some representatives from different establishments like the local council and the youth club and the national committee against the wall and the popular committee against the wall to honour the journalists.
Different journalists and photographers from different like AP, AFP Reuters, and Ma’an News Network in addition to the Bil’in people, honoured the ISM for the great media work that the ISM did and still is doing. Finally, Abdullah declared the end of the action.
Once the people turned back there was some stones thrown toward the border police and soldiers who had not stopped harassing the people during the celebration. The border police then attacked the people with sound grenades and tear gas, as well as rubber bullets which caused some injuries among the people and also to an American photographer who got hit by a sound bomb.
Here is the full list of the injured people:
1- Phil, US photographer sound bomb in the arm
2 – Mahdi Abu Rahme (17 yrs) shot with a rubber bullet which entered his hand. He has been transferred to Shaikh Zayed hospital in Ramallah so they can operate on his hand.
3 – Solaiman Yaseen (14 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
4 – Ali Abu Rahme (14 yrs) rubber bullet in the back .
5 – Mohammad Yaseen (11 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
6 – Khamees Abu Rahme (23 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
7 – Ayed Abu Rahme (32 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
8 – Fuad Samara (20 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.