Residents of Bi’in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli and international peace activists protested on Friday against the Israeli annexation Wall, and the recent statements of the acting prime minister in Israel, Ehud Olmert.
Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, reported that the protesters carried a symbolic Wall made of Iron and attempted to march towards a construction site of the Wall.
Soldiers, heavily present in the area, violently attacked the protesters with batons, and fired rubber-coated bullets, concussion grenades and rounds of life ammunition.
Four residents were injured after the soldiers struck them with batons; the four are three brothers identified as Mustafa, Akram and Mohammad Al Khateeb, and resident Ayed Ahmad Sa’id.
Dozens of youth clashed with the soldiers, and hurled stones at them, in another area of the annexed orchards. Five soldiers were reportedly mildly injured during the clashes.
Abu Rahma added that soldiers attacked reporters present in the area, and fired gas bombs at them. One gas bomb broke a window of a Reuters vehicle, and was centered inside the vehicle.
Last Wednesday, the Israeli High Court of Justice delayed the ruling in a petition filed by the residents and Human Rights organizations.
The petition was filed against Israeli construction companies that claimed purchasing the Palestinian lands for settlement construction.
Dozens of extremist settlers entered the area of Midi’in Elit settlement bloc, and nearby settlement outposts and barricaded themselves there.
Abu Rahma informed the IMEMC that the construction there is illegal and that the Israeli authorities did not present any documents that prove the Israeli claims of purchasing the lands.
“We, and everybody who loves peace, cannot accept the Israeli destruction of land under the pretext of security”, Abu Rahma stated, “Olmert is carrying his plans to expand the settlements and build the illegal Wall, he invaded Jericho and abducted political detainees from the Jericho prison, he wants to win the elections by spilling the Palestinian blood”.
Olmert recently stated that the route of the Annexation Wall extending deep inside the Palestinian territories, and around the settlements, represents the future borders of Israel.
These statements reflect the Israeli mentality of isolating the Palestinians in smaller ghettos and separating them from their orchards, and from each other.
The Palestinian territories remained closed, residents are barred from leaving their areas, while Israel installed dozens of portable checkpoints that accumulated to the existing checkpoints and strict closure imposed on the Palestinian areas since many years.
In a separate incident, ten residents were injured in Beit Siera village, west of Ramallah, after soldiers attacked a peaceful procession against the Annexation Wall.
Soldiers fired gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated bullets at the protesters.