By the ISM Media Team
June 29th 2007. Many internationals and Israelis joined today the Palestinian residents of the village of Bil’in in their weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall and the occupation – and of course in solidarity with Iyad Bornat, who has been arrested since the previous demonstration. As usual, the peaceful demonstrators, among them many children, chanting and holding Palestinian flags, tried to reach the Wall/Fence.
Credit: Emad Bornat
As soon as the first demonstrators arrived at the point of the road where the soldiers had put barbed wire, the soldiers started to shoot tear gas canisters at them. Because of the amount of tear gas, the direction of the wind and the high temperature, the majority of the demonstrators were forced to step back. Two Palestinians, an Israeli and three Internationals managed to stay at the area despite the soldiers bombardment of teargas. A teargas canister nearly hit one of the internationals in the leg.
An Israeli demonstrator, former soldier of Golani battalion, was in the front talking for a long time to the soldiers, through a huge cloud of gas. A Palestinian member of the Popular Committee of Bil’in and an international tried to extinguish a small fire caused by the gas canisters. A few more internationals and Palestinians managed to reach the area. But finally the soldiers attacked the peaceful demonstrators with gas and sound bombs, and they arrested the Israeli demonstrator. Later we were informed that there was also an Israeli woman arrested.
The demonstrators tried several times to step forward again, but they were dispersed with teargas and rubber bullets. Palestinian residents of Bil’in, some of them children, also faced the same treatment while there were trying to collect the gas canisters.