The Israeli army and Border Police prevented Bil’in’s weekly Friday non-violent demonstration, by firing rubber bullets and sound grenades on protestors as they marched through the village on their way to the Apartheid wall.
Fourteen people from Bil’in, Israelis and internationals, have been injured, including an Israeli in critical condition who was shot on neck and just above his right ear with 3 rubber bullets at close range. He has had surgery at Tel Hashomer hospital to remove a rubber bullet that was lodged in his skull. Currently he is in a medical induced coma in moderate but stable condition, but has sustained brain damage of unknown severity. Today his condition is listed as stable but serious since the doctors do not know the extent of brain damage that has occured.
Another demonstrator from , has suffered a fractured skull and brain contusion after a soldier beat her with the butt of his gun. She is currently hospitalized in
Two villagers, El Haj Wa’el Fahene and Nimer Mustafa Abu Rahma were both shot with rubber bullets to their backs and legs.
Others less seriously injured were Internationals from the , , , , , 2 Israeli activists, and a journalist from
The demonstrators marched through the village carrying 5 fake bodies symbolizing an entire family killed by the Israeli army in order to protest their “New Style of Killing” in which the whole family is targetted. The border police and army were stationed along the route of the march that leads to the Apartheid Wall, where the demonstrations usually take place. The military began firing when the protestors were less than 50 meters away, immediately causing many injuries.
The violence began so early that the ambulance (usually present at the demonstrations in case of injuries) had not yet arrived. At first the Israeli army would not let the protestors evacuate the Israeli who was shot in the head, and was suffering from blood loss. Eventually the soldiers took him in an army ambulance to Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv.
The soldiers then chased after the protestors and beat them as they were retreating, causing more injuries. Soldiers detained Jonathon Pollack, a prominent Israeli supporter and later released him. The army claimed that it was an “illegal demonstration” despite the fact that the
It is likely that an official complaint will be made to the Israeli authorities about the violent behaviour of the soldiers.