The march in Bil’in. (All photos: Hamde Abu Rahme)
In the week after the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahma by Israeli military forces, Bil’in village has continued the struggle of resistance against the occupation.
At today’s demonstration, three persons were wounded, in addition to dozens of more cases of people choking on tear gas. The Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in organized today’s demonstration. The march began after Friday prayers from the center of the village, towards the site of the wall.
Representatives from Bil’in as well as hundreds of Palestinians from around the West Bank participated in today’s march. Today’s demonstration was led by feminist and women’s organizations. In addition, dozens of international activists and hundreds of Israelis participated in the demonstration, chanting slogans calling for national unity, ending the occupation, and destroying the wall. Participants raised Palestinian flags and banners of the various factions, calling for liberation and national unity.
When demonstrators reached the site of the wall, they were met with a shower of tear gas and sound bombs, rubber bullets, and the use of wastewater contaminated with chemicals. Iyad Bernat, the Chairman of the People’s Committee was injured, and Mustafa Shawkat and Miss Ahmed Abu Rahma were rendered unconscious by tear gas. Dozens of people suffered from teargas inhalation, which was used intensively, and many more suffered from the use of waste water by the Israeli army.
Demonstrators managed to destroy some parts of the apartheid wall, and others attempted to stop the occupation forces when they attempted to advance towards the village. Palestinian youth threw stones at the soldiers in an effort to stop them, but were forced to retreat, where they continued confrontations with Israeli soldiers for the next several hours.
The occupation forces closed the entrances of Bil’in since dawn this morning and prevented many international, Israeli and Palestinians from reaching the village and participating in the demonstration. However, many participants took alternative routes through the mountains and managed to get past the Israeli closure.