Saturday, August 08, 2020

17 June 2011 Bilíin protest

By IYAS ABU RAHMAH - June 19, 2011
Section: [Main News] [Features]
Tags: [Israeli army] [Settlers] [settlement construction]

Bil’in- Rammallah : In the latest demonstration in Bil’in against the Jewish-only colonies and the Apartheid Wall that illegally annexes 60% of the village’s land, the local protesters and their international and Israeli supporters were accompanied by a group of acting students from the Freedom Theatre in Jenin.

As usual on Fridays, the protesters marched towards the Wall, waving the Palestinian flag, kuffiyas, and images of the village’s martyrs and prisoners, and chanting  against the occupation and for a free Palestine. Also like every Friday for the past weeks, the army immediately started showering the protesters with a green liquid that the activists have termed “skunk” or “shit” because it pretty much smells like shit and doesn’t come off any surface for days. In defiance, a few young man from the village stayed right in front of the soldiers, raising their hands in signs of victory and waving flags while getting showered with the liquid for most of 30 mins.

Later, the shabab reported that the occupation army purposefully aimed the powerful stream of the skunk at the stones on the ground, which in turn hit their legs. Simultaneously, the  army kept throwing tear gas grenades, and shooting volleys of tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and rubber coated steel bullets from three sides at the protesters to the extend that all protesters suffered breathing difficulties or asthma-like attacks and  burning  sensations on their skin.

Nonetheless, the demonstration continued, and the students from the freedom theatre performed  a scene right in front of the soldiers, who came up to the gate to stare stupidly, unsure what  to do, apparently due to the presence of  several journalists. As soon as the performance turned into more chants against the  illegal colonization of Palestine, the army resumed their shooting, and while at it, shot far into the fields, setting fire to olive trees and crops.

As the protesters went into the fields carrying branches of olive trees to put out the rapidly spreading fires and despite of calls to the soldiers, which were no more than 10m away, to desist, the army again shot steel bullets and tear gas canisters straight at the activists, who were trapped between the fences and hills of the village. When the protesters finally put out all fires and left, the soldiers shot yet more rounds of tear gas into the now empty field in one more show of their idiotic and yet criminal conduct.

26 year old actor Rabiya Turkmen and Issa Abu Rahma (42) sustained minor hand injuries from tear gas grenades and  the 11 year old Mousa Yasin sustained a minor eye-injury from an ash-like substance from a tear gas canister. Several protesters could just about avoid getting shot. At least one olive tree could not be saved.

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