Friday 24 October 2008
Report by Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements
A protest was launched today (24th October)after the Friday prayer in Bil’in and was joined by international and Israeli activists to allow Palestinians to pick olives from the trees on their land.
A delegation of journalists and students from Belgium, Students For a Just Peace in the Middle East, joined the demonstration in solidarity with the village in their struggle against the Wall and settlement building. Another group from the Ireland Solidarity Movement with the Palestinian People joined in addition to this group, as well as groups from England and Denmark. Palestinian flags and banners were raised calling to remove the illegal wall and settlements, stop land confiscation, remove checkpoints and road blocks, the release of all of the Palestinian detainees and the halt of all the settlers’ violence against farmers during the olive harvest.
The demonstrators marched in the village chanting against the discriminatory policies of the occupation and calling for a national unity among the Palestinians, while they were carrying ladders and tools to pick olives. When the protest reached the gate, protesters tried to access the land to pick olives, but they were stopped by sound grenades and teargas canisters. Dozens suffered from gas inhalation.
A week ago, the protesters succeeded in removing a gate in the wall and are now using it in a parking lot for cars in the village. The Popular Committee said about this incident “Any tool that the occupation uses to oppress us, we will use it for our own services.” Palestinians have the determination and the belief that this wall will be removed.