June 23, 2010
By Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Last Friday, members from Independent Jewish Voices were invited by the Bil’in Popular Committee to join their protest. Every Friday for the last six years, the Popular Committee of Bil’in, Palestine, has organized creative protests against the encroaching occupation of their land by the nearby settlers and Israeli Defense Forces. This week’s protest theme was the Israeli diamond trade. Diamond trading counts for up to 1/3rd of the Israeli economy.
Outside of Bil’in is a Jewish settlement. The setters with assistance from the IDF (Israeli army) are taking over Palestinian land, houses and olive trees. Bilin recently won a court ruling to move back the Israeli separation wall closer to the settlement ( which has still not been implimented).
The Israeli soldiers first fired tear-gas shells in a high arc over the heads of the protesters at the gate into the crowd 200 yards behind. Fleeing protesters should face the direction of fire, watching out for incoming tear-gas canisters which can be deadly if struck on the head.
Then the soldiers chase after the protesters from several directions. The soldiers are not wearing gas masks. Their seniors probably have not informed them about the dangerous long term effects of inhaling the toxic tear gas.
Hot tear-gas canisters ignite the dry grass of the olive tree groves.
Bil’in residents must extinguish the fires to save the olive trees.
One tear gas canister can burn a large swath of land on a dry summer day.
Iyad Burnat, an organizer with the Bil’in Popular Committee hugs his daughter Mayar
after the demonstration is completed and everyone is safe. All in all, a relatively safe protest – only a handful of people were choked by the tear gas. No one was shot, hit by a projectile or a baton or arrested. However, nightly raids on the village by the soldiers continue to target activists and residents for arrests.
For more popular resistance information: Click on
Bil’in Popular Committee E-mail: email@example.com
Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org