***image2***Clashes ensued for several hours in Bili’n on Friday June 24th as Occupation Forces attacked Palestinians confronting the Apartheid Wall with an array of sound bombs, rubber bullets and tear gas. Later a section of the Wall path foundations – built by Occupation Forces over the last week – was destroyed as Palestinians continued their resistance to the Occupation and the Apartheid Wall.
Several hundred villagers from Bili’n gathered at 1 pm and marched to the east of the village where the Apartheid Wall is currently being constructed. Occupation Forces closed off the road leading to the village’s confiscated lands with layers of barbed wire. Protestors dismantled the roadblock and marched towards their lands where around 6 Occupation bulldozers are uprooting the land for the Wall on a daily basis.
As Palestinians moved towards their lands Occupation Forces unleashed a torrent of sound bombs and fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators.
Clashes ensued for several hours as Occupation Forces beat demonstrators back and peppered the village with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets. Palestinians responded with stones vowing to continue their defiance of the Occupation’s Wall which will steal the village’s land for the expansion of the settlements.
***image7***After the clashes ended Occupation Forces withdrew and bulldozers came to the end of their days work. A section of the Wall path holding the foundations for the concrete slabs of the Wall was then destroyed as Palestinians continued in their resistance. Intricate foundations of the Wall were dismantled and torn apart as Palestinians made it clear that they would implement the International Court of Justice decision to tear down the Wall with their own hands.
- Biliân villagers stage mock prison show on confiscated lands
***image5***A few days earlier, in the early hours of Wednesday June 22nd, Biliân villagers constructed a mock prison on their confiscated lands to symbolize the imprisonment faced by communities and villagers across Palestine. Work on the Apartheid Wall was brought to a halt as Occupation Forces spent several hours firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protestors.
Biliân villagers had prepared the prison over several days. Gathering at 6 am in the morning, villagers evaded Occupation Forces and the jeeps they use to monitor the construction site on a 24 hour basis. They erected the mock prison on the confiscated lands currently being destroyed for the footprint of the Apartheid Wall. Ten people with a goat were locked into the prison to symbolize the impact and effects Palestinian families and their communities face from the onslaught of the Occupation which is turning Palestine into series of miserable and disparate Bantustan prisons.
In total 80 villagers participated in the event and were attacked by Occupation Forces who raced to the area and fired an array of rubber bullets and tear gas in a brutal attempt to disperse protestors. During the attack, Riphi Al-Khateeb, a 20 year old male villager, was injured by a rubber bullet in the leg. Villager Abed Al-Fatah was arrested, for halting the work of the Occupation bulldozers.
While Occupation Forces chased the villagers, a military bulldozer was used to destroy the jail. Villagers hoped that one day bulldozers âwill be deployed to tear down the Apartheid Wall and the prisons which hold more than 8000 Palestiniansâ. The event comes as part of a series of activities organized by the villagers of Biliân which has kept focus on the Apartheid Wall – part of the ongoing Zionist project to expel the Palestinian people from their lands.
Uprooting and leveling of the land in Biliân began in February 2005. The Occupation has confiscated over 2500 dunums of the villageâs land for the Wall and for the expansion of the Zionist colonies. Over 200 olive trees have been uprooted and over 100 villagers injured in continual resistance. Land to be used for the expansion of Modâin Illit and Mattityahu settlements provide the agricultural products and pastoral land on which the villageâs 1600 population are dependant.