During the weekly non-violent demonstration in Bil’in Friday afternoon, one demonstrator was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital with moderate injuries, after a rubber coated bullet shot at him from a short distance lodged itself in his knee.This week’s demonstration in Bil’in commemorated the 9th anniversary to the assassination of PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa by a missile shot into his home by Israel. A large PFLP delegation as well as some fifty Israeli and international activists joined the people of Bil’in.
Demonstrators also denounced the recent conviction of Abdallah Abu Rahmah on charges of incitement ond organizing illegal demonstrations. Some protesters wore masks of Abdallah’s face, delivering the message that in imprisoning Abu Rahmah, Israel only strengthens the spirit of resistance he represents.
Demonstrators had only a few minutes to protest before the weekly unprovoked salvo of tear-gas began. The continuous firing of tear-gas forced most of the demonstrators to retreat, leaving only a small number of youth, photographers, and a few older protesters who preferred risking arrest over running into the thick clouds of gas.
When the soldiers saw that these last few demonstrators couldn’t be scared away, they invaded the village, chasing after the youth. The demonstrators were pushed further back by the gas, far from the area designated as a closed military zone. Following the invasion, limited confrontations began as local youth attempted to hold back the army from entering the village.
The soldiers escalated the violence and added the use of rubber-coated bullets to their arsenal. Just before the soldiers finally retreated, one youth was hit with a rubber bullet that lodged itself inside his knee. He was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital suffering moderate wounds.