BIL’IN: Palestinian villagers protest land seizure 4Sep09 September 5, 2009
Aljazeera – 4 September 2009
Hundreds of Palestinian villagers have made a short but symbolic march to the separation wall that Israel has built on their land, a non-violent protests that they regularly undertake.
Equally, the protesters, marching from the village of Bilin, are regularly met with a violent response from the Israeli army.
“The village of Bilin is literally on the frontline of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land and the construction of its separation barrier,” Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reporting from the village, said.
“Later today the villagers of Bilin will protest the fact that not only they, but also five neighbouring villages, have lost their land which has been seized to build an Israeli settlement.
“This huge settlement will result in 40,000 Jewish settlers living on occupied land here in the West Bank and as Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu is planning to give the go ahead for even more of these settlement homes to be built,” she said.
Netanyahu is set to approve plans to build hundreds of new homes on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, before considering US demands for a construction freeze.
Bil’in demo 04.09.09-
At today’s weekly demonstration, two protesters were hit by tear gas canisters, which caused them minor skin burns. One person suffered from severe respiratory problems when being caught in heavy gas. No medical treatment was needed, however.
As the demonstrators reached the wall, the Israeli occupation forces watched passively at first. Then, some time into the gathering, multiple tear gas reached the crowd to disperse it. The protesters remained in the front lines spite of it, claiming their rights, and challenging the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli military occupation.
Some of the demonstrators tried to open the inner gate and then walked toward the Wall with Palestinian flags. They addressed the soldiers from there and attached one of the flags at the Wall. Five soldiers stormed through the door in the Wall in an attempt to arrest anyone at the Wall while tear gas clouded the area. They retreated without making any arrests.
The demonstration ended without any further incident.
Bil’in night invasion 05.09.09
Around 2:30am, the Israeli occupation forces invaded Bil’in again. They raided two houses but no arrests were made.
They raided the house where Hamza Burnat (age 16) lives and attempted to arrest him, but he was not at home at the time. They also raided the house where Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen (age 21) lives but could not find him either. And house of Mohamed Ahmed Yaseen.
During the raid at both houses, Palestinian and international activists challenged the soldiers standing guard outside. They were told that they were in a “closed military area,” were not allowed to film, and that they had to go home. Since the photographer, Hamde Abu Rahma, who showed his Press ID, continued to take photos, the soldiers pointed the guns at him and chased after him at some point.
After intense arguing on both sides, the soldiers eventually retreated having not succeeded in arresting the wanted men. As the leaving Jeeps were surrounded by Palestinian and international activists, the soldiers threw several sound bombs to disperse them. The Jeeps then exited the village, driving towards the Apartheid Wall without any victims.
Thank you for you continued support,
Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
co-founder of Friends of Freedom and Justice – Bilin