Today's demonstration in Bil'in was joined by a large number of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Members of the Fatah party were also present.
The protesters walked together towards the Apartheid Wall, carrying posters of Yasser Arafat, in commemoration of the Fatah leader who passed away six years ago. Speeches were held by members of the Fatah movement, while Israeli soldiers were preparing to attack the peaceful demonstrators in the background.
The speakers were Sultan Abu Al Enanan from the Fatah movement, Kays Abu Leyla from the Executive Committee of PLO and the political office of the Democratic Front and Basel Monsur from the Popular Committee in Bil'in. They all promised to stay strong as Arafat would have wanted them to be and to fight the occupation together.
Even before the majority of the protesters were moving forward, the soldiers started firing tear gas from where they had taken position on the road leading to the village. Immediately the area was covered with tear gas, with canisters flying into the crowd from different directions. As a response a few youngsters threw stones to the Israeli soldiers, as a symbolic resistance to their violence. The soldiers moved into the field and continued to fire rounds of gas, and also chasing people back into the village. At one point live ammunition was fired, causing fear and the retreat of the protesters remaining in the area.
Also this Friday the tear gas canister sat fire to the ground several places, and was put out by some protesters before it spread. The demonstration lasted for about two hours.
The Popular Committee and the people of Bil'in thanks their international and Israeli supporters for standing side by side with them in their struggle against Israel's occupation.