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(en) Israel-Palestine, Truth from the land of Israel as told by Anarchists Against The Wall people - Saffa, Billin, Deir Ballut Tel Aviv.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 25 Mar 2005 22:27:25 +0100 (CET)

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Billin 22-3-05: facts you aught to know by kobi snitz
Today's demonstration was marked by yesterdays events.
First of all, at the demonstration yesterday, a young boy was hit by a
rubber bullet and lost his eye. While waiting for today's demonstration
to begin, 'I', one of the organizers commented, "you see, people don't
come out today, when the kid lost his eye that was it for them".
The other news came last night. It turns out that someone uprooted
olive trees from the village lands and loaded them onto a truck. The
truck was marked with the writing "Bika'a Bulldozers" but the order
came from somewhere in the murky legal construct that is the civil
administration that is the army that is the settlers' councils that is
the state of Israel. With the help of the women from Machsom
Watch, the head of the village council together with the land owner
tried to file a complaint at the police station. The police refused to
accept the complaint on the grounds that the uprooted trees will be
returned. The representative of the civil administration protested the
return of the trees "how do i know it is even his land ?" At today's
demonstration, a village representative asked Oren Tibi, the border
policeman in command, to pass and go examine the uprooted trees
from the day before. After some consultation the request was
refused. The usual legal device used to separate people from their
land and from their right to demonstrate is the issuing of a "closed
military zone". Today the police did not even bother with this
pretext but simply announced that people will not be going
anywhere. With his version of diplomacy, Oren Tibi explained to
the villagers that they should have coordinated in advance so that
they would have permission to go to their lands. Since military
closed zones are not announced in advance and since one was not
even declared this time the implication is that the villagers must by
default seek permission in advance from unspecified authority every
time they wish to go to their fields.

What had everyone in billin talking today was the news of a house
being burnt by a shock grenade thrown by the border police on the
previous day. In a surprising move, the border police spokesperson
responded to questions about the incident saying that the the
grenade was thrown from a distance and so any damage done was
unintentional. Less surprisingly, it turns out that his version is pure
fiction. Witnesses and photos show a border police reaching and
opening a window in order to throw the grenade into the house.
When asked about the grenade from the day before, Oren Tibi who
coammanded the troops who burnt the house told the people on
whose land he was standing that "you aught to know that when you
come down here and throw stones we will respond".

A large demonstration is planned for Friday 25/03/05
See pictures at:


Saffa, Billin, Deir Ballut March 24-25 2005 by kobi snitz

Pictures at:

Saffa March 24

A crowd of about 100 villagers with several Israeli anarchists and 2005
international peace activists managed to outwit the border police
troop under the command of Oren Tibi.

The demonstrators walked around Tibi's troops who were running
up the hill when the demonstrators were already at the bulldozers.
The Bulldozer operator fled before a well placed rock smashed the
machine's windshield. A brave shabab was dancing on the
abandoned Bulldozer with a Palestinian flag as the security guards
arrived. These guards are employed by the private contractors and
are armed with nothing but uzis, they are considered so
unpredictable and dangerous that it was almost a relief when the
Border Police arrived. The joy at seeing the Border Police faded
quickly as they attacked the crowed with shock grenades, tear gas
(some of which blew back in their faces) and rubber bullets. An
Israeli woman was grabbed by the police but the village women
who were present in a sizable contingent grabbed her back and
released her from their clutches. However, Two Israelis anarchists
were arrested nevertheless.

The demonstration at Saffa was front page news on Palestinian
dailies in their March 25 edition and aired on Al-Jazeera on the
evening of the 24th. When video footage of the same demonstration
was presented to a producer at Israel channel 10 he rejected it
without taking his feet off his desk. This producer and others like
him maintain the perception in Israel that the situation is peaceful
and improving. For a more meaningful political discussion than that
available on channel 10, one can go to Saffa. In an open air political
salon held under an olive tree after the demonstration on the 24th
the conversation ranged from support for a bi national state to
Silvan Shalom turning down the peace offer from the Arab summit
before it was even made, to the corruption of Muammar Khaddafi.
Several points were made over and over again as they have been
repeated to this writer in many places in Palestine:
1) Israeli construction in Palestine is an act of aggression.
2) How can they be expected to have any faith in Israeli talk of
peace after 50 years of pushing Palestinians off their lands ?
3) They will accept a peace that allows them to live decently but
when offers of peace are turned down those who believe in peace
made to look foolish.
4) Why is the genuine Israeli peace camp so small.

March 25th. Deir Ballut and Billin

On the 25th, two more demonstrations were held against the
construction of the wall. One in Deir Ballut and one in Billin. At the
demonstration in Deir Ballut about 150 villagers together with
international and Israeli activists marched towards the bulldozers
and were met at the exit from the village by army troops. Very
quickly one of the Israeli anarchists was detained by some high
ranking officer who also threatened to break his legs. To the
Palestinians, the army did more than threaten. Five were hurt, three
from rubber bullets and 2 from gas inhalation including an old
woman who was inside her house. After praying on the land the
speakers addressed the crowed and spoke of their Israeli comrade
which has been detained by the army. Responding to this call and
risking far more than the consequence of the arrest to the Israeli
activist the young men of the village marched towards the group of
5-8 soldiers guarding their comrade and retrieved him.

The demonstration in Billin on the same day featured an
appearance by Mustafa Barghouthi as well as about 100 villagers,
international and Israeli activists. The night before the army raided
the village at 2 am entering homes and looking for young men to
arrest. A contact at Machsom Watch reported that an army officer
told her that the army intends to break the village. So it was that the
Border Police did not wait for the demonstration to even leave the
village and simply started shooting tear gas and shock grenades as
soon as the demonstration started. One man was injured by a
rubber bullet, one of the Israeli anarchists was injured by a tear gas
canister and another checked into hospital in Ramallah after
suffering from breathing difficulties caused by tar gas.

Trial of anti-wall activists April 4, at 8:30, 1 Weitzmann
Street, Judge Tzion Kapach - by Nimrod

The accused: Roi, Nimrod Kerrett and Ariel.
[I (Nimrod) am only writing first names of other since I haven't
discussed this with them].
On the 21st of december, a peace activist called Itai got a rubber
bullet in his eye (note: this is not the famous Gil Na'amati incident,
Itai's case drew much less media attention). Here is a photo taken a
few days after the incident:
He was the guy asking the army with a megaphone to stop shooting
peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, as seen on the video here:
A few hours later, there was a demonstration in Tel Aviv (at the
good old "demonstration square" across the street from the ministry
of defense). Since this was the second Israeli activist being
wounded by Israeli soldiers in a short period, people were quite
agitated. One of the slogans I remember from the demonstration
was: "First Gil, now Itai, when is MY turn?"

After a while, people started blocking the road, yet the situation
never got NEAR the levels of violence you've seen lately in the
pre-meditated blockades organized by the right wing (burning tires
and all). It just happened (natural under such circumstances), and
after a while there was a negotiation with the police and it was
decided to march somewhere else escorted by lots of police cars. At
the junction of Ibn Gvirol and Dizengoff, a few hundreds of meters
from the initial location, something happened. Whatever it was, the
indictment starts like this:

"1. On 23rd or March 2004, around 21:00, dozens of people have
GATHERED AT THE JUNCTION of Ibn Gvirol and Dizengoff in
order to demonstrate AGAINST GOVERNMENT POLICY"
Already a BLATANT LIE. We got there escorted with lots of police
cars (which is something the police MUST have noticed), AFTER
some negotiation that apparently didn't work out, AFTER a
demonstration against the fact that A FRIEND OF MINE GOT
shouting. It still infuriates me :)
The rest of the indictement is just as fictional (as might be proven
in court, but who knows). I (Nimrod) wasn't at the spot when it all
started (I went to buy water for me and others).
All I can say is that when I got back, some of the people were
arguing with the police in Ibn Gvirol Street. Before I even
understood what was happening, I was strangled from behind (I
never even saw my attacker, but I assume the criminal must have
been a policeman since he wasn't arrested :). I've almost fainted,
before policemen started to help Mr X drag me towards a police car.
During that "trip" someone (Mr Y?) punched me in the eye. This
time I could see the faces of the people holding my legs and from
their indifferent response to the punch I got, I assume Mr Y is also
a policeman.

Ariel, friend and Abu-Kabir "room mate", told me that he stayed on
the sidewalk (i.e. couldn't be even remotely suspected of "blocking
the road in order to disturb the peace and terrorize the public" as
we're all being accused of). He says he clearly told his friends he
was leaving the place because he had something important to do
the next day and couldn't be allowed to be arrested.
Having said that, he got dragged by a policemen to the road in order
to be arrested for being there. All in one smooth move. A group of
minors were also detained overnight at the minor section of Abu
Kabir. I understand that their trial has already started.

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made" --
Otto von Bismarck But if you're still curious, come see the circus.
I'll be there (I HAVE to. It's the LAW ;) Peace, Nimrod

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