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(en) Palestain-Israel, Bil'in 21-2-05:"this is what they wanted"

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:46:08 +0200 (IST)


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The army would not have anyone marching or getting near the work
site and as they said they would, they violently attacked the crowd
when it refused to retreat. At one point during the 6 hours long
confrontation, standing at a safe distance from the soldiers and wiping
tear gas from his eyes Hatib said "this is what they wanted".
Two months ago, at a demonstration in Bil'in Yasin Basman likened
the settlement expansion and wall construction around his home
village to a cancerous growth. Today, as he was watching the
bulldozers uproot olive trees he elaborated on the process. "First they
used ottoman law to take our land, then British law, Jordanian and
finally Israeli law. And when that fails they break their own laws. We
have a court decision returning almost all the expropriated land to us
but the army just ignores it"

Today's demonstration at Bil'in followed the familiar pattern set last
spring in Biddu. The border police wait for the demonstration at the
exit from the village and greet it with large amounts of tear gas as soon
they see it. Like the people of Biddu, the people of Bil'in responded
with stones and so it was for the rest of the day. Gas, stones, rubber
bullets gas and more stones.
The method of tear gas use is also familiar from last year, the border
police shot tear gas canisters horizontally and in the direction of
people. Two people were hit the head by the heavy canisters and
several others in other parts of their bodies. In total about 20 people
were hurt including an infant who suffered from gas inhalation when a
tear gas canister landed in the front yard of his house.

At several points the demonstrators regrouped, stopped the stone
throwing, and tried to march back towards the work site. At one point
it was even possible for Muhamad Hatib, the head of the local popular
committee against the apartheid wall to reach one of the officers and
talk to him but to no effect. The army would not have anyone
marching or getting near the work site and as they said they would,
they violently attacked the crowd when it refused to retreat.
At one point during the 6 hours long confrontation, standing at a safe
distance from the soldiers and wiping tear gas from his eyes Hatib said
"this is what they wanted".

The demonstrations in the last two days was supported by the ISM and
Israeli Anarchists who plan to return tomorrow for another
demonstration in Bi'lin and another at the neighboring village of Saffa.
One of the two Israelis arrested yesterday, Einat Podjarny was released
today after spending the night in jail. She was represented by Adv.
Gabi Lasky who argued in court today that since the arrest is for
violating a military order a civilian court can not hear the case and it
should be thrown out. Furthermore, Lasky contends that in that case
all such arrests would be false arrests since they can not lead to
charges being laid.


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