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(en) Palestine-Israel, Army failed in efforts to prevent the joint Friday demo in Bil'in

Date Fri, 02 Sep 2005 23:08:01 +0300

Soldiers have launched a siege on Bil'in this Friday noon in a futile effort
to prevent the joint Israeli-Palestinian Friday demonstration on going for
the last few months. The army declared the whole Bil'in village a closed military
zone for Israelis, blocked all the roads leading to Bil'in to prevent the Israeli
anarchists against the wall and others from arriving to participate in the joint
demo. In addition, they invaded the main street of the village throwing shock
grenades, firing tear gas rubber bullets and attempting to impose a curfew on
residents. mainly near the Mosque where the demonstrations are started. As direct result from the invasion, a
protracted battle started between the invading soldiers and stone throwing
villagers (mostly young ones).

About 12 o'clock when we were nearing the Bil'in - 50 Israelis from Jerusalem
and Tel Aviv, we were warned about the army block. Thus, we left the cabs
and started to find our round about way among the olive orchards and the
rocks of the step hill.

When we finally arrived in the village we were warned that the main street
is dense with soldiers waiting for us... So we went between houses passing
through the "war zone" with the tear gas clouds till we arrived in our
safe house - where the international activists stay near the center of

There we confronted the soldiers who were shooting tear gas and shock
grenades mainly, who found that our addition to the stone throwers
- who responded in kind to the tear gas and shock grenades of the army,
was too much for them and they gradually left the main street.

Though a bit late, and after two hours of confrontation with the army,
we started the Friday demonstration as usually, marching to the end of
the village, on the road leading to the fence building site.

When we arrived there, we sat down... but the soldier soon started
to push us roughly with their hands back to the village...
As we were resisting, they used plenty of tear gas and shock grenades
and even some shooting, and detained 14 of us including Mohammed - member
of the village comity against the fence, whom they often detain or
even arrest in our demos.

At the end of the confrontation some of the local activists, the
internationals and the Israelis who were not detained regrouped to
the safe house to a meeting and discussions.

As usual during discussion and waiting for the release of most of
the detainees, the comrades responsible to media prepared the material
for the main TV channels evening news. (Announcements about the Friday
struggle in Bil'in was broadcasted during the afternoon by the main radio
station. A short video clip Including a picture of the demonstration
was already screened in the channel one friday evening news...)

During the confrontation 12 of us were injured - most not seriously by
rubber bullets. Two were taken to hospital. (One soldier too was hit hard
in his leg by a stone and was carried away by his mates...)

12 of the detainees were released as usual after few hours, and as
usual two were arrested and taken to the Pisgat Zeev police station...

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