Friday, December 28, 2008
After Friday prayers, the people of Bil’in marched out in a mass public demonstration, joined by a number of international and Israeli solidarity activists, holding Palestinian flags and signs criticizing the building of colonies and the wall. The Popular Committee (Against the Wall and Settlements of Bil’in) expressed its opposition and resistance to the building of settlements/colonies because they stand as an obstacle to the creation of a geographically contiguous Palestinian state.
The Popular Committee also called for a boycott of Lev Leviev, a business man who supports the building of colonies in the West Bank, noting that Leviev invests in building developments in at least four colonies on occupied Palestinian lands, and that the colonies violate international law.
Lev Leviev undertakes the building of illegal colonies in the villages of Bil’in and Jayyous, in addition to the colonies of Ma’ale Adumim and Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghuneim), and is involved in the destruction of the olive groves and farms that form the livelihood of these villages, partaking in the violation of human rights for material profit.
The Popular Committee has joined Adalah-NY in expanding its campaign against Leviev to Dubai, where Leviev intends to open a third branch of his jewelry chain, after the opening of his branches in London and New York. The demonstrations in opposition to Leviev and the colonies spread to London last week, where Palestinian and British activists organized a similar campaign.
The protesters called out chants with the same message of opposition, as they marched through the streets of the village. When the protesters approached the additional barbed wire laid by the army, the army began to warn them via loudspeakers against crossing the barbed wire. However, even before the army finished their warnings, the soldiers began throwing tear gas and sound grenades at the protesters, as well as firing rubber-coated bullets at them, which caused injury to tens of protesters. Two solidarity activists were injured, one French and the other Italian; but they refused to disclose their names for fear of pursuit by the Israeli occupation forces.
For more information please contact:
Abdallah Abu Rahmeh
Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements of Bil’in
0599 107 059 or 0547 258 210