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Soldiers shoot bullets and gas at Bil’in villagers

On Friday, January 25th, around a hundred Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists gathered for the weekly demonstration against the Annexation Wall in the village of Bil’in.

The demonstration coincided with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands have surged through the Egyptian border after the walls were leveled by explosives. Activists held banners stating “Gaza 3ala Bali (Gaza On My Mind)”, as well as “Boycott Israeli Apartheid”.

Activists marched toward the gate at the Annexation Wall, but were blocked by Israeli soldiers who became aggressive and confrontational. While forcing demonstrators backwards towards the village, soldiers proceeded to throw a barrage of around 20 sound bombs in a matter of minutes in an attempt to disperse the protest. At one stage soldiers threw three sound bombs directly at a man in a wheelchair, who was unable to escape the bombs which landed less than one metre from him.

The demonstrators were showered with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets while they left, which injured several Palestinian and Israeli activists. Medics were present and were called numerous times to provide first aid to injured activists.

During the demonstration, two Bil’in residents were detained for several hours and one international was arrested and brought to the police station, but released later in the day.