Bil’in: protest commemorates activist in the popular resistance
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Bil’in: protest commemorates activist in the popular resistance

The march, which included a number of international activists, was organized by the Bi’lin popular committee against the Wall and included in particular the participation of cadres and members of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front as the protest was dedicated to the memory of Khaled al-Azzeh. Al-Azzeh was a member of the Popular Struggle Front politburo and part of the popular committee against the Wall and the settlements in Bethlehem. He was killed in a car accident 40 days ago.

Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags, pictures reflecting the pride of resistance against Israeli Occupation, and signs donning slogans condemning the policies of occupation, settlement expansion, and the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. The march also demanded an end to the policy of deportation and arrests and called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners, an end to the siege on the Gaza Strip, and wider participation in the movement to boycott all Israeli products. The protest also called for national unity and the need to transcend internal differences to create a resounding Palestinian resistance to Israeli Occupation and its apartheid regime.

The march moved towards the Wall where the Israeli Occupation Forces were stationed behind the concrete blocks of the barrier. When the demonstrators tried to breach the razor wire in front of the Wall’s gate in order to reach the annexed lands of the village behind the Wall, the Occupation Forces fired sound bombs, tear gas, and rubber coated bullets to suppress the march. As a result, several protestors were wounded, including Magd Bernat (12 years-old), who sustained an injury to his foot from a tear gas canister, and Muhammad Hamed (18 years-old), who also sustained an injury to his foot from a tear gas canister. Moreover, many people also suffered from the inhalation of tear gas the Occupation Forces drowned the area in to disperse the crowd.

The demonstration also called for harsher consequences for the soldiers involved in the attack of Ashraf Abu Rahma, who was bound and blindfolded when an Israeli soldier shot him in the leg in the village of Ni’lin (Ramallah District). On Thursday July 15th, an Israeli Court in Tel Aviv issued a ruling convicting the Israeli soldier with nothing more than “unbecoming behavior and misusing his weapon”. The Bi’lin popular committee instead demands the maximum penalty for all soldiers involved in this attack and others of its kind. Israeli Lt. Col. Omri Burberg was filmed while holding Abu Rahma and giving an order to Staff Sgt. Leonardo Korea to fire a rubber-coated bullet at the leg of Abu Rahma (27 years-old). The attack took place two years ago on July 7th, 2008 after Israeli Occupation Forces accused Abu Rahma of “disrupting the peace” before they bound, blindfolded, and shot him at close range.