This afternoon's weekly peaceful protest in Bil'in village, in the West Bank, ended once again
with one demonstrator in the hospital after being shot by the Israeli
military. Jose, a member of a French solidarity group, was shot
in the wrist after the demonstration had dispersed.
Eyewitnesses reported that Jose was standing over 50 metres away from a group of stone-throwing youth, when he was directly hit with live ammunition. He is currently receiving treatment at Shiekh Zaid hospital in Ramallah.
Bil'in villagers had earlier been joined by international and Israeli supporters as they marched to the illegal apartheid wall, which has now annexed over 50% of lands owned by the village. At this time of the olive harvest, farmers from the village, accompanied by a throng of colourful protestors, marched to the gate in the fence and demanded to be allowed to access their olive groves. Despite being prevented from reaching their fields, and the soldier's heavy use of tear gas, the protest passed peacefully until soldiers attacked the group, shooting sound grenades, rubber bullets and live ammunition while facing resistance from the youths of the village.
Two children, Amjad and Amer, were hit in the shoulder by rubber bullets.
The protest was mainly non-violent, apart from some stones thrown by village children at the soldiers. Many of the internationals present at today's protest were part of an 'olive-picking solidarity campaign' organized by the International Solidarity Movement to provide a peaceful presence and witness for Palestinian farmers attempting to harvest their olives.
Many Palestinian farmers have been attacked by Israeli settlers in the past several weeks as the year's olive harvest has been underway. The settlers have thrown stones, beaten farmers, and fired live rounds at Palestinians attempting to harvest olives on their ancestral lands.