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Dozens of volunteers injured while picking olives in Bil’in

Report from the Bil’in Committee Against the Apartheid Wall

Friday 10th of October 2008

After the Friday prayer, the residents of Bil’in gathered in protest along with Israeli and international activists. The French Farmers Union Northern France joined the protest to pick olives. The protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners calling to allow the Palestinian farmers to pick olives from their land. The protesters called also for a popular struggle to remove the wall, stop the confiscation of land, remove the checkpoints and free all the Palestinian detainees.

On the other side, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Party brought 100 volunteers to help the farmers of the village in picking the olives. They started the voluntary work in the early morning in the fields with the farmers.

The demonstrators chanted against the discriminatory policies of the occupation and called for national unity among the Palestinians, while they carried 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 inhalation and around 14 volunteers were shot with rubber coated bullets when the IOF attacked the weekly protest. Most of the injuries were from the Popular Struggle Party known among them: Sameeh Fawzy, Baker Suliemnan Baker and Naseem Aljabaritie was sent to Alshiesk Zayed hospital in Ramallah city. The other injuireds are Azzmi Alnabali, Omar Saleh, Basem Ibraheem, Kamal Aljhaj, Mohammad Sadeq, Mohammad Abo Rumi, Samer Awwajneh, Khamees Abo Rahmah, Adeeb Abo Rahmad and Abdullah Abo Rahmeh the coordinator of Bilin popular committee.

The political board of the US consulate, along with a human rights worker from the United States visited the village of Bil’in a few days ago. The National Committee against the Wall gave a presentation to the group about the illegal construction of the Wall, the chemical weapons that the army uses against demonstrators and the unwillingness of the Israeli military to implement the Israeli court decision to remove the Wall. The group was denied entry the confiscated land behind the wall by the Israeli soldiers.

A delegation from Bil’in popular committee, international volunteers and Israeli peace activists visited the village of Nilin and helped the farmers there in picking olives.