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(en) Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, Border police revenge nonviolent demonstrators returning to the village.

Date Fri, 12 Jan 2007 21:13:48 +0200

The 103d Friday joint demonstration against the separation fence and occupation seemed to be as usual till the last of it. As usual we started at noon the long march from the center of the village to the route of the separation fence - Palestinians from the village and from the region, Internationals from various countries, Israelis from the anarchists against the wall initiative, and media workers from various networks (including European ones). We carried banner, flags and placard and chanted all the way to the route of the separation fence on the west of the village - cutting more than half its land on its other side. On the way, just when we passed the last houses of the village, we had a kind of warning. We seen there as usual the border police provocative team at the fringe of the village, baiting the village youth for engaging them with stone throwing, so they will respond with shooting and claim to the media that there was violence in the Bil'in Friday demo. (In the past, before the stone throwing youth got into the habit, the Israeli state forces needed to send under cover personal to start the stone throwing.) When photographers and few people approached them as usual, they got a surprise response of tear gas and shock grenades.

Any way, we continued marching to the route of the separation fence and found the gate to it blocked as usual with armored cars and soldiers - fortified with razor wire spools.

As usual, the low intensity confrontation started: verbal confrontation, climbing on the heavy gate, efforts to beautify the armored cars with our materials, approaching to a few centimeters distance from soldiers...

In a way, the response of the soldiers was even milder than ever. They even failed to throw shock grenades on the comrades puling away the razor wire spools.

And so the confrontation continued till five of the unruly youth decided to put end to our nonviolent demonstration. They threw from behind our backs stones on the soldiers, which usually take it as excuse to disperse the demonstration... but not this time. The soldiers just shoot grenades on the "brave youth" and after they fled, let us regroup.

At that stage the soldiers open the gate and came to "manage us in person" but still in low intensity, even when we were not yielding. In one point we blocked the way of two armored cars with soldiers who were trying to drive to the village fringe - were the usual confrontation between the border police and the village stone throwing youth was taking place. It took the soldiers lot of physical efforts till the cars could pass. (We did sit in on the road holding each other, dearresting people the soldiers try to take...) During this confrontation two activist of Bil'in were arrested but released at the end of the demo and returned with us to the village.

When we were walking on the road - returning to the village - just at the fringe of the built area, we had a nasty surprise. In retaliating act to our interfering with their confrontation with the stone throwing kids two weeks ago, when we tried to drive them away from the not yet inhabited houses they were hiding in (which was shown on the TV news) they shoot at us huge amount of grenades of tear gas and shock grenades, and even shoot rubber coated bullets. Two Israelis and 5 of the village were mildly injured by the shooting.

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