Residents, Israeli and international peace activists conducted their weekly protest in Bil’in, North West of Ramallah and marked the day of the partitioning of Palestine in 1947.
The protestors carried a large piece of cloth which had four maps of Palestine printed on it.
The first drawing represents the historic Palestine, complete and undivided; the second represents Palestine after Security Council resolution Nr. 181, in November 1947, which recommended the partitioning of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state (with an international enclave comprising Jerusalem and Bethlehem)
The third map represents the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the east of Jerusalem following the 1967 war while the fourth resembles a map of the Separation Wall with the symbol (2006, 2007..?) printed on it resembling the unclear future of the Palestinian territories, and the Palestinian residents.
Abdullah Abu Rahma, Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in of the Public told the IMEMC that the protestors expressed their rejection to the Separation Wall and the Israeli policies of expansion and land grab.
The protestors obstructed the Israeli bulldozers and managed to stop them from working for several hours. Soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs, no injuries were reported.
One resident, identified as Adeeb Abu Rahma, was injured after the soldiers attacked and hit him with their batons; one Israeli peace activists was arrested, and dozens of protestors received medical treatment after inhaling gas fired by the army.
Abu Rahma informed the IMEMC that a peace group in Berlin conducted a protest in parallel to the protest in Bil’in, and phoned the protestors informing them that they will be holding weekly protest in Berlin at the same time of the Bil’in protest.
“Israel is attempting to kill any chances of a Palestinian Independent State by annexing the land and isolating the people”, Abu Rahma said, “We will continue our peaceful resistance against the Wall, settlements and the Israeli policies against us in the occupied territories”.
Background on the Partitioning of Palestine:
During the course of the War of 1948, Jewish forces captured much of the territory assigned to the proposed Arab state, incl. 85% of Jerusalem (mainly in the city’s western part and surrounding neighborhoods).
The Jordanian Arab Legion took control of the West Bank, incl. 11% of the eastern part of Jerusalem (incl. the Old City and adjacent villages).
The remaining 4% of the Jerusalem area was considered no-man’s land in which the UN headquarters were established.
Some 64,000-80,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven out of West Jerusalem and the villages in the immediate vicinity. In June 1948, their property (incl. 10,000 homes, furniture, and businesses) came under the control of the Israeli ‘Custodian of Absentee Property’. Some
40 Palestinian villages in and around Jerusalem were depopulated and many of them destroyed.
The 1949 cease-fire agreement between Jordan and Israel formally divided the city into Jordanian-controlled East and Israeli-controlled West Jerusalem. In 1950, the Israeli government passed the ‘Absentee Property Law’, which transferred the ownership of ‘left’ property to the Jewish state
On 2 Feb. 1949, Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, unilaterally declared that
Israeli-held (West) Jerusalem was no longer occupied territory but an integral part of the Israeli state, and on 13 Dec. 1949, West Jerusalem was declared the capital of Israel.
Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, incl. East Jerusalem, in the course of the June War of 1967.
In April 1947, the UN established a Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate the situation in Palestine and propose a solution. The committee published a majority and a minority report containing different proposals.
In Nov. 1947, the UNGA voted by 33-13 with 10 abstentions for the majority scheme (UN Res. 181), recommending the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state with an international enclave comprising Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The Palestinians (two-thirds of the population and owning most of the land) rejected
the resolution. The ensuing disturbances culminated in the first Arab-Israeli war, after the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 in the part of Palestine allocated to the Israelis in UN Res. 181.