The Jerusalem Post can hardly be described as pro-Palestinian, so an article on the behaviour of illegal settlers in Hebron (13/6/2008) criticising their lawlessness has to be taken seriously. First a group blocked the passage of a bus carrying a group who were visiting Hebron in support of the plight of Palestinians. The report labels them as “leftist” however a story is told of how two teenagers from the settlement had come into town to steal from the Palestinians. When they were caught the IDF came to their rescue. They then said that they had been abducted and their friend was missing, When a search failed to confirm this the boys were accused of making up the story. The settlers succeeded in preventing the visitors’ tour from proceeding.
Unsurprisingly Barack Obama has withdrawn the remark he made at the meeting with AIPAC that Jerusalem would never be divided. He acknowledged that what happened in that city would be the outcome of negotiations within a peace package.
This week’s news from Bil’in where the Israeli military protect settlers and take violent action against those protesting against the wall which cuts the community off from its land.
F.F.J. June 13 2008 – Today a young man from Bilin was shot with live rounds during the weekly Bilin Protest. Ibrahim Burnat who was shot in his right thigh was taken directly to Sheik Zaid Hospital in Ramallah and was described by doctors as being in critical condition. Ibrahim posed no threat to Israeli soldiers who shot him with live rounds simply for attempting to scale the Apartheid Wall as a symbolic gesture against the ongoing illegal occupation.
The protestors were shot with tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets, and finally live ammunition as the protest wound down. The Israeli peace activist Lee Lorian was injured with a rubber bullet in the chest and another more seriously injured from rubber coated steal bullets. In addition dozens were treated for tear gas inhalation.
Locals where joined by International activists this week to protest against the Apartheid Wall and the expansion of Israeli Settlements. The weekly protestors raised the Palestinian flag and slogans against the occupation. The signs demanded the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall, land confiscation, and the expansion of Israeli Settlements.
The protesters also demanded an end to Israel’s killing of unarmed Palestinian civilians, the closure of roads in the West Bank, and large scale imprisonment as a form of collective punishment.
Also earlier in the week, the Israel Occupation Army arrested Bil’in resident Ashraf Mohammed Al-Jamal Tafwik Al-Khatib. Ashraf was passing through one of the many checkpoints on his way to work in Jericho when he was arrested. No reason was given for his arrest. Ashraf was active in the weekly Bi’in peaceful protests and villagers believe this was the reason he was targeted in a continued effort by the army to silence the people of Bilin.
Thank you for you continued support,
Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
Head of Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Fax- (00972) (2) 2489129
Troops firing at protesters in Bil’in January, 2008