25 September 2009
Over 35 Israelis and 10 internationals joined local Palestinians for the weekly Friday demonstration against Israeli land theft and ongoing oppression in Bil'in.
The demonstration was relatively small and quiet, with the few kids who fight Occupation with stones keeping away from the non violent demonstrators and getting gassed.
The fence gate was pulled open quite quickly by protesters, who entered the area between the fences as a symbolic assertion of Palestinian ownership of the land stolen by means of the fence. A couple rounds of gas pushed most demonstrators away. During the last round soldiers crossed over and arrested two Israeli demonstrators as well as Haithem Khatib, the courageous video journalist responsible for the documentation of the recent nightly military raids on the village.
After an hour or so the commanding officer crossed over, and told the few demonstrators waiting for the release of their friends that the detainees were handed over to the Police and security services for investigation. He explained that demonstrators can demonstrate as long as they wish, but they cannot cross the fence line. We were all impressed by his enlightened attitude. Not.