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On Friday March 28, 2008 scores of residents of Bil’in, a village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international and Israeli supporters, took to the streets to conduct their weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli wall and illegal confiscation of the village’s land. Israeli troops manning the wall and its gate that cuts off the villagers from their land showered the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets immediately after the protesters reached the gate.
17 people were injured including seven journalists. Medical sources identified some of the injured journalists as Fadi Al Arouri, a photojournalist, Najud al Qassem, a cameraman, Moheb Al Bargouthi, a reporter, and George Haltah, a cameraman.
Also among those injured was Eyad Burnat, of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, who said, “I was trying to protect one of the village youth who was attacked by the soldiers when soldiers attacked and beat me up.”
The parents of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza five years ago, took part in the Bil’in protest. Her father, Mr. Craig Corrie, praised the nonviolent resistance in Bil’in and called for more support for the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom. Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 in Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, when an army bulldozer ran over her while she was protecting a local family home from being demolished by the Israeli army.