At the weekly anti-Wall protest in Bil’in village today, around 75
villagers, internationals and Israelis tried to march to the site of
the illegal Wall construction on village land, but were stopped by
soldiers at the edge of the village. As the demonstrators tried to
march to the village's olive groves, the soldiers started firing tear
gas and rubber bullets, forcing the peaceful protesters back into the
The protest was attacked without provocation, and was unable to reach the olive groves belonging to the villagers, despite the fact that an Israeli High Court ruling last August determined that the weekly protests in Bil'in were allowed to take place on village land.
Soldiers then invaded the village and detained Mohammed Katib, a member of the Popular Resistance Committee against the Wall, for no apparent reason. Katib was held for over an hour before being released. Soldiers made several attacks in the village itself, firing multiple tear gas cannisters and rubber bullets at villagers.
The injured were identified as Adib Abu Rahme, who was hit with a rubber bullet in the stomach, Nasser Abu Rahme, hit by a rubber bullet in the arm, and Sharar Mansour, hit by a rubber bullet in the leg. The three were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Several homes on the edge of the village were hit by gas bombs and concussion grenades, damaging the homes.
Bil'in has been a focal point for non-violent protest against the Israeli Annexation Wall as the villagers have organized protests every Friday for nearly two years. Though Israeli courts have several times ruled in the villagers' favor (rulings that are extremely unusual for Israeli courts), the expansion of the nearby Israeli settlement has continued, taking more and more of the village land and annexing it for the walled-in, Jewish-only Israeli settlement. The settlement is one of over 150 Israeli colonies in the Palestinian West Bank, comprised of over 450,000 Israeli citizens who have illegally moved onto stolen Palestinian land since 1967 – 350,000 of whom have moved there since 1993.