Yesterday, marking the ninth anniversary of the assassination by Israel of the leader Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, four demonstrators were wounded at a protest in Bilâin. At the protest, organized by the Popular Committee against the Wall and the Settlements in Bil`in, was Martin Linton, president of the Association Friends of Palestine and member of the British Labor Party. Other participants included leaders and members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, many residents of Bil`in, and dozens of international solidarity activists.
***image2***During the protest the demonstrators raised Palestinian flags, pictures of the assassinated fighter Abu Ali Mustafa and of the imprisoned grassroots activist Abdullah Abu Rahma. Demonstrators chanted slogans condemning the policies of occupation, settlements, and the home demolitions in Jerusalem. They called for halting the policy of deportation from Jerusalem and the arrest campaigns, for the release of all the detainees, in particular for detainees of the popular resistance, and for the end to the siege on Gaza.
As the protest headed towards the Wall, the Occupation Forces closed the gates in front of the demonstrators to prevent their way to the isolated land behind the Wall. The IOF surprised the demonstrators by chasing them from three directions resulting in wounding four people: Ashraf al-Khatib (27 years old) by a rubber bullet in his foot who was taken to Palestinian Medical Centre in Ramallah, Basem Hamad (30 years old) by a gas canister on his foot, the press photographer Haytham al-Khatib (34 years old) by a gas canister on his back, Rani Barnat (28 years old) by a heavy gas inhalation. In addition dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
The Popular Campaign against the Wall and the Settlements in Bil`in praised the decision of the Norwegian Government to boycott two of the largest Israeli companies, `Africa-Israel` and `Danya Cebus`, because of their activities in the settlements. This decision is a great success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS) and it is an example for other countries to follow Norway in the boycott of companies involved in settlement construction.