Bil’in: Three injured, and scores suffered gas inhalation at the weekly demonstration

May 30th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine

International Middle East Media Center report by Katherine Orwell, May 29th, 2009.

    Photo: ActiveStills. Protest against the Israeli apartheid wall in West Bank.

Residents of Bil’in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah marched on Friday after midday prayer in the weekly protest. They were joined by international and Israelis activists.

Demonstrators marched through the village towards the wall waving Palestinian flags, to protest the theft and destruction of around 60 percent of the village lands.

A delegation from the general union of women committees participated in the demonstration. They were joined by a member of the Palestinian Parliament Qais Abu Laila, and the minister of social affairs Majida Al-Masri.

As the protestors arrived at the wall, they were greeted by a barrage of sound bombs, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets from the Israeli soldiers. The protestors demanded the soldiers to stop this strategy since the demonstration, involving internationals, was peaceful and nonviolent.

The soldiers, however, continued to fire upon the protestors, injuring three Palestinians: the minister of social affairs Majeda el Masri, AP camera man Abed Khabesa and local farmer Rani Burnat. In response, Palestinian demonstrators threw balloons filled with animal dung to counter the Israeli military’s use of poisonous gas.

For the people of Bil’in this week’s demonstration marked the 40th day commemoration of the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, a man from the village that was killed when a teargas grenade was shot at him, during another non-violent demonstration against the wall.

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