Several wounded as Salfit Villagers join demonstration in Bil’in
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Several wounded as Salfit Villagers join demonstration in Bil’in

***image2***Several villagers were left wounded as Occupation Forces attacked the village of Bili’n on Friday the 1st of July. Around 300 demonstrators marched to the lands stolen for the Apartheid Wall to be met be a brutal mixture of live ammunition, rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas. Clashes ensued for several hours as Palestinians responded to the Occupation violence with stones driving them out of the village.

Villagers gathered at 1 pm in the centre of Bil’in, and were joined by Palestinians who had traveled from Salfit district. Palestinians from the north of Salfit – in villagers also being devastated by the Apartheid Wall – came to voice their solidarity and encouragement in the demonstration which marched under the slogans “Apply the ICJ NOW!” and “Tear Down The Apartheid Wall”.

***image3***Bil’in has been under attack for several months as a result of the continuous resistance to the Apartheid Wall project by the villagers. Palestinians took a new route to their confiscated lands on Fridays’s demonstration evading Occupation Forces waiting for them on the northern side of the village. Tear gas canisters were fired at demonstrators across the stolen fields as Occupation Forces ran to protect their bulldozers destroying the agricultural lands.

Protestors chanted and made speeches before the Occupation unleashed a torrent of sound bombs and tear gas canisters. Several demonstrators were hit with rubber bullets as protestors were beaten back into the village. Palestinians responded with stones and engaged in clashes for several hours. There were several casualties as Occupation Forces deployed live ammunition and rubber bullets. However, overwhelmed by the Palestinian resistance – several hundred strong – the Occupation retreated from the village.

The demonstration ended with a solid belief – strengthened by the support from Salfit villagers – that Palestinians will continue to resist the Occupation from annexing their land. Over 2500 dunums of the village are being stolen for the expansion of the Zionist colonies of Mod’in Illit and Mattityahu. Yet, Palestinians have remained steadfast in their actions to defend their lands, livelihoods and communities. Last week part of the initial work for the Wall path in Bil’in was dismantled by Palestinians implementing the ICJ decision with their own hands.