In the weekly protest against the Israeli Annexation Wall, held today
in the village of Bil'in, a group of villagers, internationals and
Israelis gathered in the village after noon prayers to march down to
the site of the Israeli annexation Wall construction in the village.
This week's protest focused on Palestinian internal unity, and called
on factions to end the internal divisions.
There were about 250 participants in today's march, including about 50 Israelis and internationals.
According to Abdullah Abu Rahme, a local organizer with the Popular Committee Against the Wall, once the march reached the gate in the Wall, Israeli soldiers hidden in the bushes began to fire tear gas and rubber-coated bullets into the crowd, injuring two Palestinians. As the Israeli army began their assault on the peaceful protest, some of the protesters began to retreat to the village, but the other part continued on toward the Wall. About fifteen people managed to cross the Wall in the area where construction is not completed, but they were fired at by Israeli soldiers stationed there, and retreated back.
"After the march, the army invaded the village and fired concussion grenades and teargas. Lately, they have been invading the village every Friday after our weekly protest", said Abu Rahme. He continued, "This is a clear attempt by the Israeli military to stifle our right to non-violently protest the unjust Israeli annexation Wall that is being built on our land." As of this report, the Israeli military is still in the village, occupying a number of houses and using those homes as sniper-posts.
The two people who were injured were taken to Sheikh Zaid hospital. One was injured from a rubber-coated bullet in the arm, and the other had been hit in the chest by a rubber-coated bullet.
The protests in Bil'in have taken place each Friday for the last two years, with villagers maintaining a commitment to resist the construction of the Wall on their village land using non-violent means.