October 5th, 2007
***This video can seem misleading. The child was not arrested during the demonstration, but one day before. He was released that day but another child, aged 16, was arrested that night, the night before the demonstration.***
On Friday at 1pm after prayers the villagers of Bil’in continued their ongoing protest against the Apartheid wall inside their village. Joined by international and Israeli activists, the people of Bil’in marched to the wall to be met with uncompromising force from the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) protecting the illegal ‘security wall’.
Recently the Israeli high court ruled that the route of the wall was illegal. the court decided the route of the wall must be moved back away from the agricultural land of Bil’in village. This legal victory has not deterred the popular committee of Bil’in from continuing their weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the wall. The nonviolent campaign continues because the Apartheid Wall, and illegal settlements, still exist on land belonging to Bil’in. Unfortunately the IOF have not been deterred from using excessive violence in the shape of tear gas, sound grenades, and rubber coated steel bullets.
Around 100 people took part in the nonviolent demonstration, marching to the wall, chanting, and singing. The demonstration was broken up by massive amounts of tear gas and the unrelenting firing of rubber coated steel bullets. After dispersing the peaceful demonstration the IOF moved up the road and into the village firing into the village all the way. Soldiers stormed into a Palestinian house in an apparent attempt to kidnap someone. Followed by international peace activists armed with cameras the soldiers soon came back out from the house having taken no one. The IOF then stayed on the outskirts of the village indiscriminately firing at anything that moved.
Although there were celebrations in Bil’in less than a month ago the violation of the village still occurs. The Bil’in demonstrations will continue in solidarity with other villages in the West Bank facing the same situation. The spirit of Bil’in will not be crushed by excessive military violence, this has been proved time and time again.