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(en) Palestine-Israel, Media, The joint struggle against the separation fence contine - Friday 10-03-06

Date Sun, 12 Mar 2006 11:14:45 +0200

The joined struggle of villages popular comities and the Israeli Anarchists Against
The Wall initiative continued this Friday with two demonstrations: The Abud village
was not included this Friday as there is in force a Highest Court stay - blocking
the work of the separation fence there for two weeks. The Bil'in traditiional
Friday regained the creative thema mood with a huge coffine. In Beit-Seera village
the struggle continued in spite of the harsh repression applied by the state forces
trying to prevent the devolopment of a second Bil'in style arena.
Following are Israeli Media on the injury of Matan Cohen* two weeks ago at the Beit-Seera
Friday demo [1], and a Bannoura-IMEMC report on last Friday's tween demos [2]:

[1] Injured anti-fence 'anarchist' speaks out - ynetnews.com

Matah Cohen* has sustained eye injuries while protesting the security
fence near Ramallah; Says: 'I feel like the blood of Left-wing activists
is cheap'

Meital Yasur Beit-Or

Matan Cohen, 17, from Tel Aviv, and a member of the "Anarchists
Against the Fence" organization, was injured while demonstrating
against the security fence near Ramallah.

"My feeling is that the blood of Left-wing activists and the
Palestinians is cheap," he said.

Cohen was shot by Border Police and injured in his eye, and has
been hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer Medical Center since Friday.

If bleeding does not stop within 24 hours, Cohen will undergo
surgery. In either case, doctors believe his eye has sustained
damage. In the best case, his visual range will be affected, and in the
worst case, he would lose complete vision in the eye. "Up until now I
can't see out of the eye, and they'll be able to see if there's damage
only in a few days. I'm worried about damage in my eye and I really
hope the bleeding stops," said Cohen.

Cohen sustained an injury to his eye (Photo: Yaron Brenner)

Members of the organization have begun documenting their
demonstrations due to past experiences with violence. "We have
recordings of
an army commander who said that he doesn't want the situation to
turn violent, and who tried to calm things down, saying not to shoot.
But a Border Police is also heard saying 'shoot everyone one of them
with a rubber bullet.' When I was shot I was standing with three
people, within around a 20 meter range from a Border Police force.
We said: 'Don't shoot, we are not threatening you and we are not
endangering you,' but they opened fire, and also directed it to the
head, violating all of their rules of engagement. I felt the impact in
the eye, and with the remainder of my strength, I managed to run
from them. My entire hand and head were filled with blood," said

'No connection to Amona'

Cohen says there is no connection between violence of soldiers
against Right-wing demonstrators in Amona and Left-wing
demonstrators: "In our demonstrations, they shoot live bullets in
order to kill. In Right-wing demonstrations, no gas or shock
grenades have ever been thrown. This is violence which is many
times larger. The feeling is our blood is cheap. But violence which
takes place when the life of a police officer is not under threat should
be condemned, it doesn't matter from which side it occurs."

Three soldiers and Border Police officers were injured by rocks
thrown at them. One police officer was taken to hospital.

According to police, two disturbances of the peace took place on
Friday in the Ramallah area, as part of protests against the
construction of the security fence. Hundreds of Palestinians,
Left-wing activists, and foreigners took part in the disturbances,
whom entered a closed military zone. Demonstrators threw rocks at
security forces, who responded with crowd dispersal means.

Cohen, who completed his high school studies, has been taking part
in protests against the route of the fence for three years, and says he
witnessed harsh violence on the part of soldiers and Police officers.
"The approach is that it's legitimate to fire at demonstrators, even
when they are nonviolent. The IDF and Border Police use live
ammunition, tear gas, and rubber bullets, and hundreds of people
have been injured in this period. In yesterday's demonstration
another 11 Palestinians were injured, one of them was even operated
on at a hospital in Ramallah," he said.

Residents, Israelis and International peace activists protest against
the annexation Wall Saed Bannoura-IMEMC & Agencies - Friday, 10 March 2006, 19:14

Several residents, Israeli and International peace activists and a
reporter were injured, on Friday afternoon, during protests against
the annexation Wall in the villages of Beit Seera and Bil'in, near the
West Bank city of Ramallah.
Soldiers attacked the peaceful processions in the two villages and
fired rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs at the protesters before
attacking them with batons.

The Maan News Agency reported that Abbas Al Momany, a local
reporter working with an international news agency was hospitalized
after suffering a rubber-coated bullet injury in his head.

Also, a medical source at the Red Crescent Society reported that four
residents identified as Abdul-Nasser Abu Rahma, 17, Mustafa Jamil
Abu Rahma, 13, Sameer Burnat, 33, and Rateb Abu Rahma, 40,
were among the protesters injured during the procession.

The source added that soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets at the
ambulance causing damage to its windows.

The protesters carried a symbolic 10-meter coffin wrapped with a
white cloth representing the villages strangled by the Wall.

"The deceased: residents of Bil'in and villages surrounded by the
Wall, Cause of death: The Annexation Wall, Time: 2006, Place;
Palestine”, was written on the coffin.

One of the protesters said that this coffin symbolizes the Palestinian
villages that are strangled by the Wall and the residents who became
isolated and unable to reach their orchards, their only source of

"We are here to resist, and continue our resistance against this Wall
that annexed 2300 Dunams of the orchards in Bil'in”, the
protester stated, “They annexed 60% of our orchards and
isolated them behind the Wall, they want to starve and isolate us in
our villages”.

He added that the protesters want to convey a message to the world
that settlements and the Wall are annexing the orchards, the only
source of livelihood of the residents.

David Nier, member of an Israeli movement against the Wall, said
that the Israelis who came to the protest with the residents, are here
to protest against the Wall that isolated the residents and made their
lives hard and bitter.

A Palestinian protester [Ranny], sitting on his wheelchair, said that he was
injured and paralyzed by the Israeli army during the first Intifada,
and that he came today to Bil'in to protest against the annexation
wall and the Israeli policy of land grab and apartheid.

"Each time I protest I inhale gas fired by the army”, he said,
“But I, as well as every Palestinian, am determined to protest
against Israel's policy of segregation”.

Meanwhile, an Israeli army source claimed that six soldiers were
mildly injured during the clashes.

Local, Israeli and International peace activists confirmed that troops
violently attacked the peaceful protesters and attempted to bar them
from reaching the construction site of the Wall.
* Matan Cohen is long time member of the Israeli Anarchists Aagainst
The Wall initiative who was on a speacking towr in Europe last Summer.
After his injury was all over the media he was also intreviewd in main
radio and TV channels.

** Rateb Abu-Rahma is a social work and psychology professor of
the Palestinian Bir Zeit university.
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