(Photo: Brady Ng / Palestine Monitor)
BILIN, West Bank — The international struggle against oppression reached a remarkable high point on February 19th across Occupied Palestine, with large-scale demonstrations involving thousands of activists against the Israeli Occupation, including a number from the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall. Five years of sustained direct action protest at Bilin village were a focus of the gathering.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, spoke to the demonstrators, praising the work of activists for peace and social justice: “Non-violent protests in Bil’in, Ni’lin, Nebi Salah, Al-Masara, Sheikh Jarrah represent the Palestinian commitment to principles of non-violence. Palestinians living in areas threatened by the Israeli separation Wall should be empowered to resist the theft of their land.”
The Israeli military assaulted the numerous demonstrators at the Separation Fence — Palestinians, Israelis, internationals — with sound bombs, rubber bullets, tear gas and extremely foul-smelling chemically treated water fired from a water cannon. Dozens of demonstrators were treated for severe teargas inhalation. Two Palestinian protestors were injured, one shot in the leg with a tear gas canister [rifle-propelled], the other shot in the stomach with a rubber bullet.