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Dozens suffer tear gas inhalation during the weekly Bil’in protest

Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall & Settlements

5 February 2010

An EU delegation for monitoring Israeli army violations against protesters, lead by Mr. Thierry Vallat, along with international and Israeli activists joined a demonstration in Bil’in village on Friday. Protesters carrying Palestinian flags and banners called for an end to the Israeli occupation and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.

The protesters marched on the streets of the village chanting slogans and singing national songs. Protesters called for national unity against the Israeli occupation, the release of all prisoners and specifically the release of the Coordinator of the Popular Committee of Bil’in, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, and Bil’in residents Adeeb Abu Rahmah and Ibrahim ‘Amera.

When protesters reached the wall, an Israeli army unit was situated behind a block of cement. The gate that leads to the confiscated land was already closed with barbed wire. The army immediately fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets when the protest reached the gate, causing dozens to suffer gas inhalation.

The head of the Israeli District Coordination Office informed the village council of the new route of the Israeli wall last week. The Popular Committee of Bil’in condemns the Israeli army kidnaps of activists and leaders of Popular Committees in the West Bank. Last Wednesday, Feb 3rd 2010, Ibrahim Burnat (27 years old) was kidnapped from his house in Bil’in.

The Israeli authorities issued a conditional release of a member of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement building, Mohammed Khatib, on bail of 10,000 Israeli Shekels and with the condition of not participating in any of the protests by appearing at the nearest Israeli police station every Friday between 12:00- 5:00pm.