Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm back in Bil'in. I missed the demonstration, but showed up in time to edit the report, here it is!

Dozens teargassed in weekly demonstration in Bil'in:

Palestinians and international and Israel activists marched this week in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, and in celebration of the olive harvest.

Demonstrators were fired at with tear gas in the weekly march organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil'in, which was attended by dozens of Palestinians and international and Israeli peace activists.
The march began from the center of the village after Friday prayers, and headed to the land that was liberated in June with the removal of the separation fence. Participants raised Palestinian flags and banners with images of Palestinian prisoners. They chanted patriotic slogans calling for the departure of the occupation, the destruction of the Apartheid wall, and freedom and rights for Palestinian prisoners.
After arriving at the Abu Lemon protected area adjacent to the wall, demonstrators tried to access an olive tree standing between the barbed wire fence and the wall in order to harvest its olives and show solidarity with the farmers of Bil'in. In response, occupation forces stationed behind the concrete wall fired tear gas toward the participants, asphyxiating many of them and preventing them from accessing the tree. Participants then threw stones over the wall. The heat of the gas canisters ignited fires on the lands adjacent to the wall, but the demonstrators were able to control and extinguish the fire.