Israeli Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) was lightly hurt Thursday by a stun grenade thrown by police officers at an anti-wall protest in the village of Bilien, near the West bank city of Ramallah.
Thousands of Palestinians, Israeli and international peace activists demonstrated in the area in protest to the construction of the separation wall on privately owned farmland.
Israeli Police officers and soldiers used force to disperse the crowd. Soldiers fired rounds of rubber coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and stun bombs towards protesters. In few occasions they got involved in fist fighting with some protesters.
Local source reported that an Associated Press photographer was also lightly hurt by a stun grenade thrown by police officers.
Organizers of the protest accused soldiers and police officers with starting the violence, saying that the protest went peaceful until soldiers hurled stun grenade wounding Barakeh in the leg. Barakeh was treated inside a Palestinian red crescent Ambulance.
Army source later explained that protesters entered into an area that army declared as a closed military zone.
Bil’in has been the site of daily anti-wall demonstrations organized by Palestinians and Israeli leftists.
Hundreds of dunams, constituting the major part of the villages’ farmland, were confiscated for use in construction of the wall.
Some 300 Israeli leftist activists arrived in the village Thursday morning, headed by MK Barakah and MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List). Among the demonstrators were members of Ta’ayush, Anarchists Against the Fence, and additional Israeli peace organizations.
Among the Palestinian protestors were former PA minister Kedura Fares and former candidate for Palestinian chairman Dr. Mustafa Barghouti.