Israeli settlers and army started to expand illegal settlement on Bil’in land

News from residents of Bil’in
Monday May 26, 2008
Israeli settlers under the protection of the Israeli army started on Monday morning to install homes on lands that belong to villagers from Bil’in, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. See video.
Iyad Burnat, of the local committee against the wall and settlement construction, said that villagers noticed the construction since early morning on Monday. Villagers tried to reach their land in order to stop the settlers but Israeli troops prevented them from crossing the wall.
A group of men from the village were staying over night in there land managed to come close to the trucks installing the mobile homes of the settlers and stopped them by standing infornt of them, Burnat stated. He added that the men will continue to block the trucks way in an attempt to stop the destruction of the villagers lands.
In 2007 the villagers of Bil’in won an Israeli high court of Justice decision to remove the Israeli wall that separates the village from its land and move it away. The Israeli army refused to comply with the order for “security reasons.”
The court ruling also forbids the settlers from expanding the settlement of Mitetyaho Mizrah which is built on the village land. Today settlers came and installed six mobile homes on the villagers’ land in a clear sign that they are going to expand their settlement, Burnat said.
Burnat demanded more involvement form the Palestinian Authority and he asked for the freeze of negotiations with Israel since Israel refuses to respect any agreements with the Palestinians.
Last November the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks were revived by the U.S on the basis of the Road Map peace plan. According to the Road Map plan Israel must stop all settlement activity in the West Bank.
The villagers of Bil’in have been conducting weekly nonviolent protests against the Israeli wall and settlements for a little over three years. Burnat told IMEMC that the villagers of Bil’in will continue their resistance and the legal work in the Israeli court system.
For more information:
The Bilin Friends of freedom and Justice -society
Tel: 972 547 847 942

An earlier communication reported more injuries as villagers and supporters made their weekly protests.
Three injured during the weekly protest of Bil’in
Friday May 23, 2008 17:34
Villagers from Bil’in, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, supported by international and Israeli peace activists conducted their weekly nonviolent protest, on Friday midday, against the illegal Israeli wall built on the village’s land.Protesters carried banners demanding the removal of the Israeli wall and settlements. As is the case each week the protests started after the mid-day Friday prayers were finished in the local mosque, villagers from Bil’in, along with Israeli and international peace activists, marched towards the location of the Wall which is separating the village from its land.
Immediately after the protest reached the gate of the Wall, soldiers showered the protestors with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Three protesters were injured by the Israeli army fire.
Those injured were identified as Iyad Burnat, from the friends of Bil’in Society, Ibraheem Burnat, a local activist and Mohamed Abu Sayad.
A group from the Palestinian Veterans Society joined the people of Bil’in in their weekly protest.
A smaller protest took place in the village of Um Salamunah near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Local sources told IMEMC that a group of 70 villagers, internationals and Israelis protested the settlers’ road, which is located near the village. Israeli soldiers attacked the civilian protesters. No injures were reported, but Israeli police arrested 10 Israeli activists and released them after a short time.

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