***image2***Large demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall in the village of Bilâin marked the 38th anniversary of Al Naksa – the Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967. Around a thousand protesters from villages throughout the district, and Bilâin itself, gathered on land that is being confiscated and destroyed for the construction of the Wall. The demonstration culminated in clashes and confrontations with the Occupation Forces, as people expressed their steadfast determination to resist the Apartheid Wall.
The demonstration began with a mass public prayer on the village land. The prayers were led by Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, Chief Islamic Judge for Palestine, who urged the villagers to be strong and resolute in the defence of their lands and their resistance to the Occupation.
Once the prayers were finished, large numbers of Occupation Forces attacked demonstrators with metal-covered wooden batons, rubber bullets and tear gas. Villagers responded by physically confronting the Occupation Forces and throwing stones.
Ten protesters were injured by the Occupation Forces. Dozens more suffered from inhalation of the large amount of tear gas which was fired at the demonstrators.
The dayâs demonstration was organized by the Local Popular Committees, in coordination with the National Campaign to Resist the Apartheid Wall, to express support for the continued resistance of the Apartheid Wall by the people of Bilâin in recent months. Occupation bulldozers entered the village in February and have since met with intense daily resistance from the villagers. If completed, the Wall will steal more than half of Bilâinâs lands.
The Popular Committees have announced a nationwide programme of community activities against the Wall to mark Al Naksa and the occupation of the rest of Palestine. The demonstration in Bilâin was the first in a series of events throughout the West Bank that will continue until June 10th.