Bil’in takes down gate of the Apartheid Wall – June 24, 2011 – video

by Haitham Al Katib | June 25, 2011

Bil’in takes down gate of the Apartheid Wall, implementing international law

After the Israeli army began work to dismantle the Apartheid Wall earlier this week (see below for more), the villagers together with local, international and Israeli supporters as well as local politicians, took down the gate of the wall, neither trusting, nor willing to leave it to the Zionist authorities to implement international law and do justice.

 

 

Around 500 protestors marched to the Apartheid Wall, waving flags, and calling for the demolition of the wall, for freedom and justice in chants. In spite of the decision of even the Israeli Supreme Court, that ruled that the route of the Wall in Bil’in was illegal, the army began shooting tear gas at the protesters even before most made it to the Wall.

Immediately, villagers destroyed the gate of the Wall with a tractor. The army chose to respond by shooting life ammunition at the tractor’s wheels, just barely missing the driver, and shooting several volleys of tear gas canisters directly at the tractor, at protestors, and at journalists, leaving one journalist injured at her arm.

Simultaneously, the army began once again to shower the protestors and the tractor with a chemical liquid that protestors have termed “shit” or “skunk” because it smells in fact like shit and sticks to people’s clothes and other surfaces for days.

The protesters were prepared, however. A small group wearing plastic overalls and protective gear stayed right in front of the army, getting showered by the liquid, and raised their hands in signs of victory. Seeing that the protesters weren’t dispersing from their own soil, the army began targeting them directly with several rounds of tear gas.
One protestor crossed the gate and approached the army, insisting on the illegality of the wall and the legitimacy of the villagers to dismantle it. The army threatened to shoot him from less than a meter’s distance and sprayed him with the “shit” directly in the face.

In spite of the immense repression and violence through the army, the protestors kept coming back and chanting, as they have done every week for over six years, determined to destroy the wall that illegally annexes 60% of their walls.

All in all, six demonstrators sustained injuries and many others suffered from tear gas inhalation. Today’s demonstration took place without Ibrahim Burnat, who was beaten and arrested two days ago while collecting empty tear gas canisters near the Wall. He is currently held at the military prison at Ofer militarybase.

 

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