Palestine mourns the first martyrs to be killed during a demonstration against the Apartheid Wall. In a single day Occupation forces killed three men in Biddu village, who were attempting to protect their lands from destruction and annexation by the Wall, currently being built in southwest Ramallah and northwest Jerusalem. Israelâs shoot-to-kill policy comes on the heels of Israel’s claims of “dismantlment,” and “adjustment” of the Wall’s path, along with the completion of Oral Arguments in the case against the Wall at the ICJ in The Hague.
***image3***For the second day in a row villagers southwest of Ramallah demonstrated against the construction of the Wall on their land. In Biddu village today’s demonstrations started as the bulldozers began work at 7:00am. According to villagers reports, almost as soon as the demonstrations began Occupation forces began using tear gas in an attempt to disperse villagers, and shortly thereafter soldiers disguised as Palestinians infiltrated the demonstration as it approached an area where the bulldozers were working and arrested 3 villagers. During the arrests the undercover soldiers opened fire with live ammunition killing two Palestinians: Zakariya Salem-30 years old- from the nearby village of Beit Ijza, and Mohammad Rayan- 27 years old- from Beit Duqu, and critically injuring a third man, Mohammad Badwan- 21 years old- from Biddu who was shot in the head. An elderly man, Abed Arahman Abed, 70 years old, died a short time later in hospital from a heart-attack induced by inhaling gas. In addition to these deaths there were reports of more than 70 other injuries, some severe. Many were struck by rubber bullets, some in the face, including a 70 year old man âMohammad Hmeidan- who sustained a serious eye injury.
Construction on the Wall started yesterday in Biddu, in an area where the village intersects with the villages of Beit Duqu and Beit Ijza. The Wall will confiscate hundreds of dunums from the three villages, while isolating thousands more dunums behind it. In Biddu alone 500 dunums will be confiscated for the Wall, which passes within close proximity to many village homes, encircling and isolating them from the rest of the village. Some 3500 dunums of the villageâs lands, and more than 25,000 trees will be uprooted by the Wallâs path.
Confrontations continued today in Beit Surik where the Occupation forces again tried to clear the way for the Wallâs path. For the second day villagers stood in front of the bulldozers in an attempt to prevent them from destroying their lands, and for the second day Occupation forces used tear gas in an attempt to disperse the demonstrators. Palestinians responded by throwing stones at the soldiers, and the bulldozers, which retreated a short distance but continued working.
As reported in a previous news item Occupation forces have been dividing the construction teams up to confuse villagers and ensure that any protests are split into smaller groups across multiple locations. In addition soldiers completely surround the construction sites preventing villagers from reaching the bulldozers.