Friday, following noon prayers in the West Bank village of Bil’in, near Ramallah, residents in addition to Israeli and international peace activists conducted their weakly peaceful protest against Israel’s annexation Wall on the orchards of the residents. Soldiers responded by executive violence, injured 24 protesters; one seriously, and detained 15, two of them remained in custody.
The protesters carried banners that said; “every Palestinian village that was destroyed and wiped out during the Nabka (in 1948) has a paralleled village isolated behind the annexation Wall”.
As the protesters attempted to cross the iron gate of the Wall, troops sealed it off barring them from crossing into the orchards that became isolated behind it. Later on, the protesters went to the wired-fence, placed carpets on the wires and crossed to the other side. The wired-fence is installed by the army in preparation to construct the concrete Wall in these sections.
After the protesters managed to cross to the other side, soldiers and under-cover forces of the Israeli army, violently attacked them and fired concussion grenades, gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets in addition to attacking and clubbing the protesters.
Twenty-four protesters were injured, 15 were detained, while two of the detained were arrested and taken to a nearby military camp. One of the arrestees is an Israeli peace activist, while the second is a local resident of the village identified as Abdul-Fattah Bornat.
Several journalists were also injured as a result of the military violence and excessive use of force, in addition to one resident who suffered a serious injury in his head.
Mohammad Al Khateeb, head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, informed the IMEMC that the soldiers had no excuse to start firing at the peaceful protest.
“They fired concussion grenades, gas bombs, and rubber-coated bullets without any reason”, Al Khateeb reported, “Only after the soldiers attacked us, some youth hurled stones at them”.
“We were present on our lands when they violently attacked us”, he added, “The Israeli High Court of Justice allowed us to reach our orchards isolated behind the Wall, but the troops aggressively attacked us and ignored even the ruling of their own court”.
23 non-violent protesters injured, 7 arrested at anti-Wall protest in Bil’in
Israeli military forces violently attacked a peaceful anti-Wall protest in the village of Bil’in on Friday afternoon, injuring 23, including a number of international and Israeli protesters. Seven Israeli and international protesters were arrested for crossing a razorwire barrier along the Wall construction site.
One international supporter broke her leg when an Israeli soldier pushed her onto a rock, and a Palestinian member of the International Solidarity Movement (a non-violent pro-Palestinian group) had his arm broken by Israeli soldiers.
Initial reports from the protest indicate that soldiers stormed the crowd, pushing and beating protesters and shooting rubber bullets indiscriminately at close range. At least four Palestinians were hospitalized, one with a serious head injury after being hit in the head at close range by a rubber bullet.
At last Friday’s weekly protest in Bil’in, two international supporters sustained serious head injuries when they were both hit in the head with rubber bullets at close range. Witnesses noted that soldiers appeared to be aiming for people’s heads.