Three Palestinians were wounded in the village of Budrus in clashes with soldiers on Tuesday morning during a protest against the construction of the West Bank separation wall.
Five left-wing Israeli activists were also arrested in the protest.
Israel resumed construction on Monday, after a long halt forced by the High Court order to re-route the wall section near Budrus village.
Tens wounded in Peaceful Anti Wall Protest in a Village near Jerusalem
Israeli Defense Forces bulldozers backed with soldiers started bulldozing land of the village of Burdus north West of Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, preparing the ground for further construction of the West Bank wall.
Villagers tried to stop the bulldozers by sitting in the area intended to be bulldozed. They were supported by Israeli and International peace activists from the International Solidarity Movement.
Over 30 protestors are being treated for gas inhalation after the army attacked the demonstrators.
The chief of the village council, Abu Ahmad, told IMEMC, ‘The demonstration we had is nonviolent and peaceful, but troops attacked us very violently and this caused the injuries.’
Eyewitnesses said several others were injured with rubber bullets as Israeli soldiers, positioned on the tops of the houses in the village, shot at the demonstrators. Soldiers also fired tear gas inside the houses and several kids are being treated for gas inhalation.
Activists from the International Solidarity Movement have started a permanent presence in the village of Budrus and Biddu to support the local community in their protests against the building of the wall on their land.
Israeli Source: Americans Has no Concerns, We Can Proceed with WB Barrier
An Israeli government official said Saturday that while the Americans asked the Israeli delegation visiting Washington many questions, they did not express any concerns or opposition to the West Bank Separation wall’s new route. ‘We are concluding by this that we can proceed,’ the source added.
As well, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s bureau chief told the American officials that Sharon will opt for early elections if he fails to win a majority of support for his disengagement plan in both the cabinet and the Knesset.
Weisglass and his team met with senior Bush administration officials in Washington last week and discussed possible developments in Israel as the date for implementing the disengagement plan draws closer.
American administration officials were presented with a timetable for passing the necessary legislation for the implementation of the disengagement plan, including laws that would provide compensation for the settlers.
The focus of the Israeli team meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was the new proposed route of the West Bank separation wall.
A government official source affirmed that Americans raised no concerns or objections to the barrier new route, saying that it was possible to go ahead with the construction of the wall.
Another source in Jerusalem said the Americans are giving top priority to the matter of the wall and are likely to present certain objections, but might support Sharon on other issues in exchange.
According to the Israeli sources, the Americans were told that the settlement blocks of Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim will be on the ‘west’ of the fence.
Weisglass said the Israeli intention is to leave as few Palestinian residents as possible on the west side of the wall.
The American officials also raised the issue of Israel ‘s promises to evacuate unauthorized settlers’ outposts and the ongoing construction in the West Bank settlements.
Israel did not wait for the American approval and has speeded up the construction of the wall north of Jerusalem and in the Hebron area. Construction in Al-ram neighborhood, north of Jerusalem is almost completed, and in Hebron area work is ongoing now near the villages of Beit Awa and Deir Samet.
Seeking American approval to the wall route is seen as necessary to block any attempt to call for sanctions against Israel, following the International Court of Justice call for Israel to dismantle the Ã¢â‚¬Å“illegallyÃ¢â‚¬Â built barrier.