Israelis shoot up protesters’ bulldozer at Bil’in wall– as Fayyad participates in demo

From Jonathan Pollak of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in Bil’in:

Hundreds of protesters led by a bulldozer marched on the Wall in Bil’in today after the Israeli army began dismantling it earlier this week.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli member of Knesset Mohammed Barakah participated in the demonstration. Israeli soldiers open fire at a Palestinian protester driving a bulldozer at the site of the Wall in Bil’in today, shattering one of the vehicle’s windows and pancturing two of its tires.

At the time of the shooting, the bulldozer was dismantling the gate in the section of the Wall that is being relocated by the army these days.

The 500 protesters, among them Fayyad and Israeli MK Barakah, marched from the village’s mosque towards the Wall. On arrival to the gate, and as the bulldozer advanced at the gate, the protesters were attacked with rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas and foul-smelling water shot by a water-cannon. Two people were lightly injured.

At a demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, also today, the army attacked a group of children dressed as clown who were running kites inside the village. In Deir Qaddis, the Nili settlement’s security guard shot live fire at protesters who flew the Palestinian flag from one of the houses being built in the new neighborhood of the settlement.

Background: The Bil’in Popular Committee declared today as the last day of the old path of the Barrier on village’s lands, and the beginning of the struggle against the new path. On Tuesday morning this week, army bulldozers began work to dismantle the Wall in Bil’in. As early as 2007, after two years of weekly protests in the village and following a petition filed by the residents, Israeli high court declared the path of the Barrier illegal. The court ruled that the route was not devised according to security standards, but rather for the purpose of settlement expansion. Despite the high court’s ruling four more years of struggle had to elapse for the army to begin dismantlement.

During these years two people were killed in the course of the weekly protests and many others injured. Yet even according to the new path, sanctioned by the high court, 435 acres of village land will remain on the “Israeli” side of the Barrier. On September 4th, 2007, the high court ordered the state to come up with an alternative path for the existing Barrier in Bil’in within a reasonable period of time. Despite the ruling, many months elapsed and no new plan was offered.

On the May 29th, 2008, the residents of Bil’in filed a petition to hold the state in contempt of the court due to this delay. In response to the petition, the state offered an alternative path. However, the plan failed to comply with the high court’s ruling as the proffered path left a large area designed for settlement expansion on the “Israeli” side of the Barrier. The only difference between the two paths being that the latter offered to award 40 acres of land back to the residents. A second petition claiming the alternative path not in accordance with court ruling was then filed.

On August 3rd, 2008, the court declared that the first alternative path indeed fails to adhere to the ruling. The court ordered the state to come up with another alternative path. On September 16th, 2008, the state offered a second alternative path. This path also left a large area designed for settlement expansion on the “Israeli” side, offering to return a100 acres of village land to the residents. A lawyer for the residents asked that the state be held in contempt of the court for violating a court ruling for the second time. On December 15th, 2008, the high court ruled that the second alternative path was not in accordance with the original court ruling.

In April 2009 the state offered a third alternative path which left most of the area destined for settlement expansion on the “Palestian” side of the Barrier, thereby returning to the village 150 acres of 490 acres annexed by the original path.

About Jonathan Pollak

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 13 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. patm says:

    “The Bil’in Popular Committee declared today as the last day of the old path of the Barrier on village’s lands, and the beginning of the struggle against the new path.”

    490 acres annexed for the Apartheid wall; 150 acres now returned.

    The math isn’t hard to do. The Bil’in villagers and their many supporters still have what could be a long and difficult struggle ahead of them. Their weekly non-violent protests have been an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to thousands of others around the world.

  2. mig says:

    “On December 15th, 2008, the high court ruled that the second alternative path was not in accordance with the original court ruling.”

    ++++ Yup, and so the story goes. Israel high court makes decision, which nobody follows. Quite funny legal system in Israel….i wonder why they bother to keep up such a court anyway. Ah, silly me, when palestinians are involved somehow in this circus it goes just like this…

  3. asherpat says:

    Can one claim that demonstrating with a bulldozer is “peaceful protest”?

    • Bumblebye says:

      The villagers went to work on their OWN land to remove an obstacle placed on it by Israelis. What is not peaceful about doing the removal work for Israel that it should be doing itself? Why, I believe it shows tremendous cooperation! And immense good will!

  4. Hostage says:

    Can one claim that demonstrating with a bulldozer is “peaceful protest”?

    Are you suggesting that the hordes of demonstrators who tore down the Berlin Wall with jack hammers, sledge hammers, and bulldozers were not engaged in peaceful activities?

    For several years after the world court and Israeli High Court declared the wall in Bil’in illegal the border guards continued to gas, maim, and kill non-violent demonstrators there. Can one suggest that Israel’s security officials have always been the root cause of their own insecurity?

    • asherpat says:

      Hostage, your post is so ripe for fisking, OMG, let’s begin.

      “Are you suggesting that the hordes of demonstrators who tore down the Berlin Wall with jack hammers, sledge hammers, and bulldozers were not engaged in peaceful activities?” Your analogy is irrelevant but no, “demolition” is NOT a peaceful activity, regardless of justification. Furthermore, they have done so WITHOUT endangering the East German troops, unlike in the case of a bulldozer.

      “For several years after the world court and Israeli High Court declared the wall in Bil’in illegal…” – so you accept that Israel is a country where the judicial is independent and fair? Let me anwer that – “No, only when it suits me”…

      “…the border guards continued to gas, maim, and kill non-violent demonstrators there. ” This is disingenuos – there are many instances when demonstrators use violence, if you deny that – u are not telling the truth.

      “Can one suggest that Israel’s security officials have always been the root cause of their own insecurity?” No, the root of Israel’s insecurity is the conflict between Israel and Muslim Arabs, which unfortunately is not solveable.

      I await your un-fisking, Hostage, only please do it using logic and facts, not innuendoes and easily demolished statements.

      • Hostage says:

        Your analogy is irrelevant

        No, I’m discussing two unwanted and illegal walls and the groups of ordinary people who took it upon themselves to tear them down.

        Furthermore, they have done so WITHOUT endangering the East German troops, unlike in the case of a bulldozer.

        Citation? There’s no evidence in your post that shows East German troops were not in any danger or that Israelis were endangered by a bulldozer attempting to take down a portion of the Bil’in wall.

        – there are many instances when demonstrators use violence, if you deny that – u are not telling the truth.

        Explain that to the judge. But we’ve all seen videos here in which nothing short of murder or negligent homicide occurred. About one hundred East German border guards and former East German officials were eventually put on trial for murder or manslaughter.

        – so you accept that Israel is a country where the judicial is independent and fair? Let me anwer that – “No, only when it suits me”…

        Your desperation is showing. Please let us know when the HCJ orders the removal of Modi’in Ilit settlement, the return of the land it has already built upon, and that the wall be routed around all of Bil’in’s lands.

        The jurists in Israel that have authorized or approved of indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings, home demolitions, land confiscations, collective punishments, and the implementation of an apartheid regime in the occupied territories are no better than the jurists in U.S. v. Josef Altstötter, et al. The World Court advised that both the Wall and the “associated administrative regime” are illegal. That regime includes the military and civilian courts of Israel. The Court stated that with the exception of Israeli citizens, Israel was systematically violating the basic human rights of the inhabitants of the Occupied Territories. The Court cited illegal interference by the government of Israel with the Palestinian’s national right to self-determination, land confiscations, house demolitions, the creation of isolated enclaves, and restrictions on movement and access to adequate supplies of water, food, education, health care, work, and an adequate standard of living. The Court also noted that Palestinians had been displaced in violation of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention. I’m sure there are good and decent Israeli jurists, but the Israel judicial system has facilitated all of those crimes against the Palestinian people.

        No, the root of Israel’s insecurity is the conflict between Israel and Muslim Arabs, which unfortunately is not solveable.

        The State of Israel has persecuted the Christian Arabs of Bethlehem and elsewhere in the occupied territories with the Wall on a completely non-discriminatory basis. Israel has walled-off thousands of dunams of their land too. The Foreign Minister of Israel once described Israel’s desire for Arab territory, devoid of the Arab residents and the “security psychosis” that resulted from being in range of Arab weapons. But there will never be any part of Israel that isn’t within range of Arab weapons – with or without the wall in Bil’in or Bethlehem.

        • asherpat says:

          Hostage: “No, I’m discussing two unwanted and illegal walls and the groups of ordinary people who took it upon themselves to tear them down.”

          AP:
          1. In what way was the Berlin Wall “illegal”?
          2. The seasoned provocateurs that protest in Bil’in are not “ordinary people”, in fact, they are sometimes professionals and u may know them by name, is Polack an “ordinary” person, for example? These are the same activist from both sides (from the Israeli side, these are delusional anarchists, naïve left wing activists, etc) every week.

          Hostage: Citation? There’s no evidence in your post that shows East German troops were not in any danger or that Israelis were endangered by a bulldozer attempting to take down a portion of the Bil’in wall.
          AP: This one is a peach, Hostage. Hammer and Bulldozer…perhaps you mean that there was a danger of a concrete chippings flying into the eyes of the East Germans stationed only a few tens of meters from the hammer-wielding provocateurs? Or on the other side, you can give a “citation” to show that if Israeli troops will stand in the way of a moving bulldozer, no real harm will come to them, but then, perhaps we shud have a chat about Rachel Corrie’s incident? I wonder if you will have the same logical arguments.

          Hostage: Explain that [ie there are many instances when demonstrators use violence, if you deny that – u are not telling the truth] to the judge.
          AP: Say what? link to youtube.com ; link to youtube.com (look from 1:35). Pls don’t try to excuse urself that this is an Israeli video, watch it and tell me that u maintain that there are “no violent demonstrators” in Bil’in. Pls state this.

          Hostage: But we’ve all seen videos here in which nothing short of murder or negligent homicide occurred.
          AP: Can you point to a clear “murder” footage?

          AP (previous post): – so you accept that Israel is a country where the judicial is independent and fair? Let me anwer that – “No, only when it suits me” Hostage “unfisking”:…Your desperation is showing.
          AP: No, it is ur desperation showing. I quoted YOU, a clear quote that implies that Israeli High Court is a fair and independent judiciary, and indeed, YOU said that it ordered to move the fence. But since I caught your quote, u backtrack and try to deflect the argument in “desperation”.

          AP: You mention the “World Court”. Perhaps you can show me ONE court in Arab countries that is really free and not intimidated by the rulers? So this World Court is a meaningless institution that is similar to the UN General Assembly – a majority-voting assembly where the majority of members are undemocratic…

          Hostage: The State of Israel has persecuted the Christian Arabs of Bethlehem and elsewhere in the occupied territories with the Wall on a completely non-discriminatory basis.

          AP: Perhaps you want to read the following, it’s from the BBC, hardly a “hasbara” bull-horn (link to bbc.co.uk) where the Archbishop of Canterbury (himself, a liberal who is no friend of West, bizarrely) claims that “Christians…in Bethlehem…were now a “marginalised minority”. Or perhaps you can claim that what he meant was that it was Israel’s persecutions?

          And finally, you use the term “the wall in Bilin”. Since there is no wall in Bil’in (it is a fence), please agree with me that this is a mistake and what you meant was “the fence in Bilin”, otherwise, you are a liar, Hostage.

        • Hostage says:

          you use the term “the wall in Bilin”. Since there is no wall in Bil’in (it is a fence), please agree with me that this is a mistake and what you meant was “the fence in Bilin”, otherwise, you are a liar,

          There wasn’t a literal “Iron Curtain” either. The “Berlin Wall” was also composed, in part, by fences. On August 13, 1961, the SED began erecting barbed wire to seal off the border all around West Berlin. “Shock workers” from East Germany and Russia sealed off the border with a barrier of barbed wire and light fencing that eventually became “a complex series of wall, fortified fences, gun positions and watchtowers.” The General Assembly and World Court considered using the terms “fence” and “barrier” for Israel’s complex construction, but chose instead to use the term “wall”. See para 67 of the ICJ judgment

          In what way was the Berlin Wall “illegal”?

          Are you living in a bubble? For the same reason that the wall around the Warsaw Ghetto was illegal – it violated customary international laws regarding freedom of movement. The JPost recently reported that Germany has agreed to make payments to Moroccan Jews whose freedom of movement was curtailed during WWII by the Axis powers. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explains that everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

          Hammer and Bulldozer…perhaps you mean

          I mean that the new wall is already in place and everyone knows that there is no reason for Israeli border guards to be in Bil’in using live ammunition to guard the old illegal structure. The East German border guards operated under verbal “shoot to kill” orders. Nobody knew how they would react to the demolition. West German police always had orders to shoot the East German border guards if it became necessary. Rachael Corrie was trying to prevent a home demolition. The same year that she died, the World Court took-up the case of the illegal Israeli regime in the occupied territories – including Israel’s use of illegal house demolitions.

          Can you point to a clear “murder” footage?

          Surely. In similar German and ECHR cases the Courts have held that enforcement of wall and buffer zone regimes is not an excuse for the use of lethal force and that shooting unarmed civilians, returning refugees, or preventing medical help from reaching them are not valid acts of state.

          Here are some videos of cases where a prosecutor could easily obtain first or second degree murder or manslaughter convictions in many other countries:
          *Shooting unarmed civilians in the Golan buffer zone
          *The Shooting of Bassem Abu Rahmah
          *Shooting unarmed demonstrators and people hanging flags
          *The killing of Huda Hawarjeh

          The residents of Bil’in are ordinary people. If you’d like to discuss “seasoned provocateurs” then the leaders who advocate the settlers price tag operations are very well known. In the last video above, one of the soldiers was asked what he was doing, and responded “purification”. Israeli and Israeli-American religious officials routinely make comments that satisfy the necessary elements of the crime of incitement to commit genocide, e.g. Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents; IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be ‘damned’; and Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war

          I quoted YOU, a clear quote that implies that Israeli High Court is a fair and independent judiciary

          Nothing I said implied that the reprobate apartheid judicial system of the state of Israeli is fair or independent, only that it had ruled that the route of the wall in this particular case was illegal by its own dubious legal standards. The new route is still illegal in accordance with the applicable international law, since it deviates from the Green Line and interferes with the freedom of movement of the lawful inhabitants of the Palestinian territory. FYI, the Israeli judicial system has been complicit in facilitating the illegal settlement enterprise, war crimes, and crimes against humanity while performing judicial reviews of legislation; in ordering evictions, deportations, house demolitions; and in condoning targeted killings, mistreatment of prisoners, & etc. See for example “The Legacy of Justice Aharon Barak: A Critical Review”, by Nimer Sultany, 48 Harv. Int’l L.J. Online 83 (2007) link to harvardilj.org and Uri Weiss, Apartheid at the Israeli High Court

          Pls don’t try to excuse urself that this is an Israeli video,

          What’s your point? The IDF has made plenty of arrests in Bil’in. My point is that the IDF doesn’t use live ammo or lethal force on stone throwing Jewish settlers. For example, in Hebron the IDF killed two young unarmed stone throwing Palestinians, but Israeli authorities do not arrest settlers who stone Palestinian children walking home from school. Here are some other examples: IDF fears battle as extremist settler violence escalates; Six West Bank Jews arrested during demolition of makeshift structures in Ramat Migron, IDF Video : Settlers Throwing Stones at IDF Troops – Nablus

          The World Council of Churches, which includes the Church of England has endorsed “A Palestinian Christian call to end the occupation” (aka “The Kairos Palestine Document”).

          The Archbishop of Canterbury made it abundantly clear that the reason Palestinian Christians are being forced out of Palestine is because Muslim Arabs are being forced out of areas like Hebron by the Israeli occupation and into places like Bethlehem.

          So this World Court is a meaningless institution that is similar to the UN General Assembly – a majority-voting assembly where the majority of members are undemocratic…

          The respective rules of the ICJ and General Assembly allow each judge one vote and each country one vote. A Country that is a party to a dispute before the Court which does not have a judge of its nationality on the Bench may choose a person to sit as judge ad hoc in that specific case. Neither organ can adopt a decision that violates international law or the UN Charter. Those are both perfectly democratic institutions. In any event, Israel accepted the compromissory clause in UN Resolution 181(II) which placed religious and minority rights in Palestine under UN guarantee and granted the ICJ jurisdiction to settle any disputes in that connection.

          So far, your posts are based upon ad hominem and tu quoque fallacies. If you continue in that manner, then you really don’t deserve any serious follow-up responses.

        • asherpat says:

          Hostage, you sure know your Latin? I know too – how about “non-sequitur”?

          But if I “don’t deserve any serious follow-up responses”, why have you wasted a good hour of your time trying to refute my posts?

          But let’s summarise, then:
          It all began in one sentence by me (which probably DID “deserve any serious follow-up responses”). It was just that a protest with a bulldozer can not be considered by any sane person as “peaceful”, regardless of justification for such protest. Actually, it CAN be “peaceful” but only if the bulldozer’s engine is idle at the time…was it Hostage?

          You attacked this my argument, already disqualifying yourself as a fair-minded person. Before you steam, pls remember, I was NOT passing any judgement about the justification of such protest, just that it can not be considered peaceful.

          After a lot of steam, you moved the argument to the surreal, analogising the Barrier to “Iron Curtain”, etc.

          But most shameful is that you insist on telling an un-truth, which is all the more surreal , cos you DID agree with me that there is no wall IN Bil’in, but you insist on repeating this lie.

          The definition of a person who knowingly makes a wrong statement (and you agreed that there is no wall in Bil’in) is “liar”.
          No ad-hominems here (pls point to any misstatement of facts above), just a logical argumentation. And if you still find that my this post teu-qouqou, but, mutatis-mutandis (hey., I know Latin too) deserving an un-fisking, then pls address the points of THIS post, specifically, how is it not a lie to say something which is not true, over and over again?

        • Hostage says:

          After a lot of steam, you moved the argument to the surreal, analogising the Barrier to “Iron Curtain”, etc.

          But most shameful is that you insist on telling an un-truth, which is all the more surreal , cos you DID agree with me that there is no wall IN Bil’in, but you insist on repeating this lie.

          I never agreed with you that there is no wall in Bilin, I told you the so-called Berlin Wall was composed of a network of walls and fences and provided a link to an article which said the new concrete wall was already put in place before the old one was removed – and that it still violated international law. Here is another one which says that a concrete wall will be constructed in Bilin in place of the fence at the scene of weekly demonstrations. link to jpost.com

          Like most trolls, your skilz at fisking are still very sub-par.

  5. Lightbringer says:

    “No, I’m discussing two unwanted and illegal walls and the groups of ordinary people who took it upon themselves to tear them down.”

    Lovely.

    Does it necessarily requires zero knowledge of world history to became a “peace” activist?

    Berlin wall was 100% legal.
    It was dismantled only after Soviet leaders have agreed to do so.
    Before that people trying to cross it in either direction – or even coming near it – were shot on site.