Three protesters were injured and 13 arrested when Israeli troops forcibly suppressed weekly anti-wall protest marches in several locations across the West Bank.In Bil’in, a village in the central West Bank near Ramallah, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs at advancing protesters, injuring Mohammed Burnat, 20, Ibrahim Burnat, 38, and Ahmed Abu Rahma, 16. Dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Villagers were joined by international and Israeli peace activists as they marched toward land confiscated by Israel to build the wall, chanting slogans in support of Palestinian unity and an end to the four-year-long division between Fatah and Hamas.
This week, a delegation from the Arab Youth Media Forum accompanied the protesters and discussed, prior to the protest, the experience of Bil’in villagers with non-violent protest and the role of international supporters.
The nearby village of Ni’lin held a similar protest on Friday. Villagers and their supporters marched up to the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their land. Israeli troops used tear gas and sound bombs to force people back. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere in al-Nabi Saleh, also in the central West Bank, Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest against the wall and arrested 13 protesters, 11 internationals and two locals. Among those arrested was cameraman Bilal al-Tamimi, 45, who works for the Israeli human rights group B’tselem.
Soldiers attacked protesters with tear gas as soon as they left the village, then stormed the village and imposed a curfew. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, a photographer from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center was arrested during the weekly protest against illegal Jewish settlements. The photographer, Noor Karameh, was covering the clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers that erupted after the protest.
In al-Ma’sara, a village south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, Israeli troops suppressed a protest against illegal settlement activity and the wall. According to Muhammad Barijiya, the local director of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, said the protest began outside the al-Zawahira school and went toward the building site of the wall.
Protesters were joined by British students and students from the al-Najah University in Nablus, raising Palestinian flags, chanting in support of Palestinian unity, and demanding the international community break its silence about Israeli human rights abuses.