Pictures From Bil´in – A Flying Carpet Institute Report

20 02 2010

Pictures from Bil´in´s 5th anniversary of weekly demonstrations against the Wall -A Flying Carpet Institute Report

The FCI was in the village of Bil´in yesterday to witness the 5th anniversary of the protests against Israel´s Separation Wall in the West Bank. Three thousand people attended the event according to Maan News Agency, including Palestinian caretaker prime minister Salam Fayyad, other members of government, as well as many individuals and groups from Israel including, among others, Anarchists Against The Wall (AATW), Gush Shalom, Maavak, Machsom Watch and Rabbis For Human Rights. The event also coincided with the anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). After the speeches given by Salam Fayyad and other dignitaries, a march commenced towards the fence. There was a strong media presence along the march with camera crews from Al Jazeera, BBC Persian, German, Spanish and Turkish state broadcasters among others. A group of Palestinians and international solidarity activists managed to tear down a part of the fence, symbolically liberating an abandoned building on the other side of the fence. It was at this time that a white water cannon truck appeared on the scene, spraying large quantities of a foul-smelling liquid known as „skunk“ to disperse the protesters. Soon after, a barrage of sound bombs and tear gas were fired towards the crowd which included many parents with their children, forcing the bulk of the demonstration to retreat. The protest continued on for about an hour.

Palestinian villagers see the fence as an instrument of confiscating land for the expansion of nearby settlements, and have held weekly Friday demonstrations since 2005 to protest the course of the barrier. The demonstrations are often unpredictable and violent. Bassem Abu Rahman, a local protester, was killed last year after he was hit in the head by high speed gas canister fired by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Israeli participants at the demonstration

Salam Fayyad addressing the rally

Marching to the fence

Palestinian and international demonstrators manage to tear part of the fence

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