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Strong Military Repression at Non-Violent Demonstration in Bilin

Palestinian demonstrators, joined by international activists, marched in Bil’in on Friday 2nd November as part of the weekly non-violent protests against the segregation wall, internationally recognised as illegal.

As the protest neared the wall the Israeli army used both teargas and sound bombs in attempts to drive the demonstrators back towards Bil’in village. This use of force lasted approximately one and a half hours, with one of the teargas cannisters setting fire to one of the village’s fields. As demonstrators attempted to put out the fire the Israeli army fired teargas and rubber bullets into the crowd. One of the demonstrators was hit by a rubber bullet in the ribs close to the front of the demonstration. Fortunately no one else was injured.

The demonstration, numbering around sixty, including a large party from France, marked the continuing non-violent struggle for Bil’in village against Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian land, which has seen 60% of vital agricultural land rendered off-limits to the 1600 residents of Bil’in. 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.