In Bilâin, six people were detained and one injured during a march in which activists carried a coffin symbolizing the Palestinians’ loss of land and the impossibility for deceased Palestinan refugees and exiles to be buried in their homeland. In Niâlin, young people continued to battle the ongoing theft of their land.
***image2***Protesters set out toward the Wall carrying Palestinian flags and calling for national unity against the Israeli occupation and confiscation of their land. They stated their rejection of the new military orders meant to close the village and thus prevent activists from joining their weekly protests. Today’s demonstrators, including Palestinians and international supporters, marched from the Bil’in mosque towards the Wall. Halfway along the route, the march was joined by additional demonstrators: several men dressed entirely in black, carrying a coffin with a man inside. The grim scene symbolized the Palestinians’ loss of land during the Nakba and their inability to return to these lands. Most importantly, the coffin symbolized the fact that Palestinian refugees are not allowed to bury their deceased loved ones on their native soil.
When the protest reached the wall, they found an Israeli army unit stationed behind a concrete block. The gate that leads to the confiscated land was already closed and barbed wire was in place in front of it. The army fired teargas which caused fire in the olive groves. One resident was shot by a teargas canister and he was transferred to Ramallah for medical treatment. Six demonstrators were arrested: three from Bil’in – Ashraf Abu Rahmah, 28 years old, Abed Al-fatah Burnat, 53 years old and Haitham Alkhateeb, 34 years old; and three activists – two Israelis and one international supporter.
The Israeli occupation authority released Hamzah Burnat (16 years old) who spent 8 and a half months in Reyonim prison because of his participation in the weekly protests. As well, Ofer court declared yesterday a 10 month sentence on Ibrahim Burnat and a 2000 shekel fine for his participation in the protests.
***image3***Some 100 residents of Ni’lin participated in this weekâs march against the Apartheid Wall. They carried Palestinian flags and banners declaring their opposition to the occupation and its policies towards the village. Two days before the demonstration, the Israeli army had raided the village once again and arrested the young man, Said Atallah Amira.
The organizers of the march again changed the route of the protest and the area where it would reach the Wall. Once arrived, the youth closed the gate of the Wall in order to prevent soldiers from crossing to attack and arrest people. The youth then threw stones from behind the concrete Wall erected by the Israeli military against the protests. That area of the Wall isolates the village from the road, which only settlers and military vehicles are allowed to use. They also threw stones against the electronic sensors on the Wall that are placed there to observe and control Palestinians’ movements.
Soon afterwards, military jeeps appeared on the spot and fired large amounts of teargas. When the protest moved towards the gate in the Apartheid Wall, the occupation forces fired tear gas directly at the people, targeting as many of the youth as possible. One of the teargas canisters caught fire in the olive groves and a fire broke out on the settlement side of the wall, burning some trees. The military then moved to put out the fire to ensure it would not spread to the rest of the land near the settlement that has been built on land stolen from Ni’lin.