Hundreds of Palestinian residents of Bil'in village, near the West Bank
city of Ramallah, and dozens of Israeli and international peace
activists held their weekly protest in Bil'in Friday, pleading with the
assembled Israeli military force to allow them to harvest their olives.
Israeli soldiers used excessive violence against the protesters and
injured 16.

After Friday prayers, hundreds of residents and activists marched towards the construction site of the Wall  on Bil'in village land, carrying ladders and harvest materials in an attempt pick their olive trees isolated behind the Wall.

The Israeli army was already deployed in the area from the early morning hours, and barred the residents from reaching their orchards.

Some of the ladders carried by the protesters  had Palestinian flags on top of them.

Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, told the IMEMC that these ladders symbolize the “bridges of unity among the Palestinian factions, and are the means to overcome the Wall separating the residents from their orchards”.

Abu Rahma added that the protesters chanted slogans calling for unity, and an end to Palestinian internal clashes.

Israeli Knesset members Mohammad Baraka and Dov Hanin from the Hadash Party also participated in the protest, along with the village residents and Israeli and international peace activists.

Abu Rahma also said that as the protesters reached the construction site of the Wall, soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets, and rounds of live ammunition. At least 10 residents and 6 peace activists were injured.

A 14-year old child was injured by fragments of a live round in his neck, and underwent surgery in Ramallah Hospital.

Several Israeli peace activists were arrested.  Protesters were beaten with truncheons and even an ambulance was targeted with tear gas, according to eyewitnesses.

Abu Rahma added that the wife of Abdul-Fattah Bornat, a resident of the village, her two daughters Hadeel and Sereen, and her son Mohammad, were among the injured.  At least four Israeli peace activists were taken prisoner by the army.

Abu Rahma also said that soldiers attacked him and his family while they were attempting to reach their isolated orchards to pick their olives.

After the protest, soldiers invaded the entrances of the village and deployed between the houses.

Abu Rahma revealed that Israeli authorities released on Friday Imad Bornat, from Kafer Nima village, taken prisoner three weeks ago during a Friday protest in Bil'in.  He had to pay 15,00 Israeli Shekels (about $4,000 USD) fine, and is currently  under house arrest in Kafer Ni'ma village near Ramallah.