Bil’in Popular Committee
26 February 2010
Palestinian, Israeli, and International activists demonstrated against the apartheid wall and settlements in Bil’in village west of Ramallah. Despite rain and harsh winds demonstrators marched to the wall and were immediately met with tear gas from the Israeli military as they are each week Friday. Soldiers fired heavy aluminum tear gas canisters into the crowd, and veteran activists commented on the extra strength of the gas today. People attempted to distribute “wanted signs” with the face of the local army commander to the soldiers positioned on the other side of the fence. Signs read:
WANTED: ISRAELI ARMY COMMANDER OF BIL’IN AREA, PALESTINE
Suspected of Committing Crimes Against Humanity
-sections 23(g), 25,42,46,50, and 52 of the Hague Regulations 1907
-Articles 31, 33, and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
IF IDENTIFIED, DO NOT TRY TO APPREHEND THE SUSPECT, CONSIDER HIM ARMED AND DANGEROUS. NOTIFY THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY!
Soldiers warned demonstrators not to come close to the gate that leads to the apartheid fence, and continued shooting gas into the crowd. They later entered the village and continued firing tear gas from a distance as people retreated back towards the village.
One the 11th of this month, residents of Bil’in received news that the path of the wall was finally being moved; giving almost half of the land slated for settlement development back the village. Residents have been crossing the fence to access their land for this years planting season. Farmers and their families are often harassed as they pass through the gate to the other side of the fence. Last week, two men were detained and held for two hours as they returned to the village from the other side of the wall.