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(en) Israel-Palestine, Jerusalem-Bil'in, Media, Palestinian children protest against the fence

Date Wed, 15 Jun 2005 08:51:43 +0300


Demonstration held in front of Supreme Court in Jerusalem
to protest land expropriation in framework of security
fence construction work. Dozens of Palestinian children were
brought Tuesday to stage a protest against the West Bank security
fence in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. They were
accompanied by few adults from the village and 30 Israelis from
Gush Shalom [Peace Block] and Anarchists Against The Wall.
Demonstrators held signs with the slogans in Hebrew, Arabic,
and English: "Enough with the fence", "Enough with the robbery of
the lands of Bil'in", "Supreme court of Justice protect war crimes".

The protest came after the IDF prohibited the adult residents
of the Palestinian village Bil’in to enter Israel for a
demonstration.

The court is set to decide on the residents’ petition
against the building of the separation fence between
Palestinian territories and Israel over their land.

"These children are the first ones to be directly hurt
by this fence", said Akram Khatib, one of the adults that
were allowed to accompany the kids. "We were hoping the
children will awaken the compassion of the Israeli judicial
system, but I am afraid the decision has already been
made."

An argument later ensued between police and Israeli and
international activists that accompanied the young
protesters when the kids waved Palestinian flags. One
international activist was arrested.

‘They’re taking our land to build settlements’

In their petition, Bil’in residents claimed that if the
separation fence is built they would lose over half of their
land. The residents depend on the crops that they grow on
this land, they said, and the loss will undermine their
livelihood and honor. It therefore violates their personal
liberties and their freedom to work, they claimed.

According to Khatib, the fence creates an additional
problem.

"They are not taking our land just to build the fence. They
are building settlements behind it. They are building five
or six-floor buildings to use for settlements."

Bil’in, like other villages in the area, has been
characterized lately by repeated clashes between
protesters and security forces. The residents said they
want to draw attention to their suffering and recruit as
many Israeli and international peace activists as possible.

Over the weekend the children demonstrators in Bil’in used
a new weapon to protest against the fence. They threw balloons
full of chicken excrement in the direction of security forces.

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