***image3***Two demonstrators were severely injured and several others suffered from breathing problems due to tear gas and a camera man from the Arab news channel, Al-Arabiya, was arrested in the weekly march against the Apartheid Wall in the village of Bil’in. This highlights the continued violent response by the Israeli military to prevent the people of Bilâin from exercising their right to protest against a Wall which has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice.
At this weekâs march, people at the front of the march, were carryied a five meter long key as a banner, representing the Palestinian right of return, while three people from the village dressed up as âHandalaâ, a little boy which appears in all drawings of Naji al-Ali, the famous Palestinian cartoonist who was assassinated in 1987.
These symbols featured in the march as a visual call for the implementation of the right of refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were ousted in 1948, and to which they still hold the keys and the âtabuâ, the ownership deeds. These symbols are a promise to continue to maintain the Palestinian identity and to uphold the Palestinian national principles of the struggle.
***image2***The participants in the march waved Palestinian flags and carryed the poster of the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba. The poster shows the cactus â a symbol of patience and quotes a line in one of Marcel Khalifeâs songs on Ayoub, the prophet famous for his patience: âAyoubâs cry fills the sky … donât teach me the lesson twice!â
The demonstrators marched through the village calling for national unity and confirming the necessity to uphold the Palestinian national principles. They chanted slogans against the occupation, the Wall and the settlements. They denounced the ongoing Nakba â the contination of the suffering and the âcatastropheâ of the Palestinian people. This manifests itself in the latest aggressions against the Palestinian people in Gaza, the Wall and settlements, the demolition of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem and its judaization, and finally the constant threat against the Palestinian people to kill, capture and displace them.
The march then headed towards the Wall, where the Israeli occupation forces were stationed behind concrete blocks behind the Wall and cordoned off the gate in the Wall with razor wire. When the protestors still tried to cross to the land behind the Wall owned by the people of Bilâin, the military fired stun grenades, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at them and chased after the protesters until the edge of the village.
Mohamed Ahmed Hamad (18 years) and Ashraf Abu Rahma (28 years) were both injured in their legs by a gas canisters shot at them. A cameraman for Al Arabiya television channel, Alaa Abu Al-Saud (25 year) was arrested. The correspondent for Palestine TV, Haroon Amayreh, and dozens of others suffered from breathing problems because of the tear gas. Further the tear gas shot in large quantities burst into flames and burned agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Mohammed Abu Rashid.
On the other hand, during the week the Israeli occupation authorities released the prisoner Abdul Fattah Burnat (53), and the journalist Haitham Al-Khatib (34) from Ofer detention centera following a five day detention for participating in the weekly demonstration last Friday.
Also, Israeli settlers burned last Tuesday a large piece of Bil’inâs land located behind the Wall. Although the Israeli army came to the area, they did not do anything against the settlers who carried out this crime with impunity.