The third conference on popular struggle started in the village of Bil’in Wednesday morning with the presence of a number of local and international officials and peace activists.The conference is organized by the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in the village of Bil’in for the third year in a row.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad spoke at the opening session followed by Louisa Morgantini, vice president of the European Parliament.

Fayyad called on the European Union not to upgrade relations with Israel until it adheres to its peace process obligations.

The EU should not accede to Israel’s request ‘until after Israel implements all of its commitments, especially those related to halting all settlement activities and other violations of human rights in Palestine,’ Fayyad said.

He stressed that the Israeli settlement policy is one of the major impediments for peace.
‘We say to all parties that peace and settlements are two parallel lines that will never meet,’ he added.

At least 300 Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis attended the three-day conference. The 2007 conference which attracted at least 400 participants, was focused on Israeli-Palestinian joint struggle.

The conference is expected to end on Friday with a presentation of the history of nonviolent struggle in the village, followed by a press conference and the weekly demonstration against the wall.

In February, the village of Bil’in marked the third anniversary of its weekly nonviolent struggle against the wall, which was partially successful when the Israeli court ruled in June 2007 to reroute the wall in a manner that would save almost 50 percent of the confiscated land.