As on every Friday for the last 20 months, the villagers of Bil’in,
supported by international and Israeli activists, marched from the
village mosque after prayers to the Israeli annexation wall, which has
stolen around half of the village’s agricultural land.
Israeli forces didn’t manage to prevent the marchers from getting to the gate in
the Wall. The Israeli Army declared the area a Closed Military Zone and
banned the villagers accessing their land on the other side of the
Wall. At the gate the villagers chanted resistance slogans, saying,
"Our demand for justice won’t be suppressed."
As some villagers attempted to climb onto the gate, soldiers hauled them off onto the other side. Two villagers, Ayad and Iyad Burnat, were detained by the soldiers.
Not deterred by the intense midday heat and their empty stomachs (as Muslims, they are fasting throughout the day every day during this holy month of Ramadan), many villagers decided to continue the protest by marching down the slope along the wall. They were immediately attacked by Israeli forces firing multiple rounds of tear gas. Around 20 protesters suffered from the effects of the gas and were forced to disperse into the olive groves where they watched as the Israeli Army turned their attention to children in the olive groves on the opposite side of the road. Snipers took up positions and started firing rubber bullets at children in the groves, who responded by throwing stones.
The Israeli troops then prepared to invade the village itself, but villagers blocked the road with rocks, and the village youth successfully managed to prevent soldiers from the world’s fourth largest army from invading their town, armed only with the stones they could find on the ground.
*this article was sourced from information provided by the International Solidarity movement, whose members participated in the day's protest.