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Rubber-Coated Steel Bullet Wounds Peaceful Demonstrator at Bil’in

Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals came together in the village of Bil’in for another non-violent demonstration against the internationally-recognized as illegal segregation Wall built on Palestinian land.

Israeli soldiers responded to the peaceful protesters with the usual onslaught of tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. Two internationals were injured by the rubber-coated steel bullets, one receiving a bullet to his face, resulting in substantial bleeding. He was immediately rushed off to hospital. The other international was wounded by a rubber bullet to his inner thigh, while two Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

As this is olive harvesting season, villagers attempted to symbolically harvest olives in the groves which have been ravaged by fires and gas throughout the year. While harvesting, Israeli soldiers continued to fire tear gas at the unarmed demonstrators.

The demonstration, numbering over 100, including internationals from Italy, North America, Spain, Denmark, the UK, and Israel as well as the steadfast Bil’in villagers, lasted for over an hour, another in a nearly three year peaceful struggle against Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian land, which has seen 60% of vital agricultural land rendered off-limits to the 1600 Bil’in residents. In the past three years, over 800 activists have been injured, including two injuries resulting in brain damage due to the close-range firing of rubber-coated steel bullets.

Friday’s demonstration followed a successful roadblock demonstration the day before, in which local Palestinians were joined by Israeli and international supporters in blocking highway 443, the Israeli-only highway inaccessible to the Palestinians whose West Bank land it dissects.