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Protester Injured in Bil’in During Weekly Non-Violent Demonstration

Friends of Freedom and Justice

22 January 2010

Today 30 to 40 Palestinian, Israeli, and other international protesters marched through the West Bank village of Bil’in to the Israeli built separation barrier, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice. Per usual, the demonstration was dispersed by tear gas projectiles and concussion grenades shortly after the marchers arrived at the gate. At least one Palestinian protester was injured and many other demonstrators were treated for varying degrees of tear gas inhalation. As of Friday evening, there have been no reported of injuries from the Israeli army.

After the midday prayer, Palestinians and internationals assembled outside in the village of Bil’in and proceeded to march to the barrier while chanting pro-Palestine slogans and waving Palestinian and Fatah flags. Tear gas and concussion grenades were initially employed to disperse the protesters, but roughly thirty minutes into the demonstration Israeli soldiers crossed the barrier line into the village and attempted to chase and detain Palestinian protesters. No arrests were reported. Several Palestinian youths wearing keffiyehs to cover their heads threw rocks and shouted insults at the Israeli soldiers. International demonstrators recorded and photographed the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces invaded the village in response to the clashes with the demonstrators and eventually fell back across the separation wall over an hour after the protest began. This week’s demonstration in Bil’in marks a continued escalation of repressive tactics employed by the Israeli military. 2010 has seen a dramatic increase in night raids, arrests, and harassment directed towards the organizers of the Popular Committee resistance in the West Bank.