Hundreds of Palestinian residents of Bil’in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, protested along with dozens of Israeli and international peace activists, and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) against Israel’s annexation Wall. At least twelve protestors were injured after troops violently attacked the peaceful protest, two of them international activists who were severely injured by rubber bullets fired at their heads at close range.Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, in Bil’in, told the IMEMC that the residents carried at least 500 Palestinian flags, and chanted slogans calling for national unity among the Palestinians and the political factions.
The residents appealed the factions and political figures to unite in order to counter Israel’s policy of land grab, isolation of the occupied territories, and settlement expansion, and called on the armed factions in Gaza to end all sorts of internal clashes.
Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Waleed Assaf, Qais Abdul-Karim, and Moheeb Awwad, in addition to Ali Amer, in charge of the Palestinian Ministry for Wall Affairs, and several other officials attended the protest.
Upon arriving to the construction site of the Wall, Waleed Assaf, head of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements at PLC spoke to the crowd, and called for the continuation of the peaceful struggle against the Wall and occupation, and called on the residents, political factions, to renounce any acts of internal conflict.
PLC member Qais Abdul-Karim, called on the residents to actively participate in the peaceful protests against the Wall and the Israeli settlements.
Shai Pollack, an Israeli peace activist, attempted to talk to the soldiers in Hebrew, and demanded them to “leave the Palestinian land, and let the Palestinians live on their orchards”, the soldiers responded with violence.
Israeli soldiers ordered the demonstrators to leave the area, then fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at them. Some Palestinian youth responded by throwing stones at the soldiers.
One Australian peace and one Danish peace activists were injured by the Israeli army, and were transferred to Tal Hashomer Israeli hospital. Also, Jamal Al Aroury, a local reporter working with the Associated Press, was injured in his hand.
A medical source at Sheikh Zayid Hospital in Ramallah said that Jamal Al Aroury suffered fractures in the figures of his right arm.
Resident Ashraf Mohammad Jamal was injured after a gas canister fired by the army hit him in the head, and resident Wajdi Shawkat Al Khateeb was injured in his hand, the source stated; at least seven residents suffered minor injuries and were treated by medics on the scene.
Earlier on Friday, soldiers continually present in the Wall construction area, and near the caravan, detained dozens of residents for several hours in an attempt to bar them from reaching the caravan.
Its is worth mentioning that he Israeli High Court of Justice is slated to issue a ruling on the route of the Annexation Wall in Bil’in area on Sunday.
Currently, dozens of activists and local residents are stationed at a caravan they installed behind the Wall in protest to Israel land grab policy.