Contextual Content

Palestinians tear segregation barrier

During the weekly protest in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, thousands of
activists assembled to celebrate five years of non-violent resistance. This
form
of popular struggle has spread to many other Palestinian villages and
areas in
East Jerusalem. The protests are made to show opposition to the
confiscation
of roughly half of the village’s land by the Israeli Jewish-only settlement
colony
of Modi’in Illit. In 2007, after the village protested every Friday for almost
three years,
the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the barrier does not serve a security
purpose and ordered it rerouted. The Israeli army however, did not start
to
reroute the barrier until last week and informed the village that it will only
return
364 (or 60%) of its 575 taken acres. During this week’s protest the army
fired
dozens of tear gas canisters, shock grenades, and sprayed the crowd with
liquid smelling like sewer and feces.

bilin0220

Story Transcript

LIA TARACHANSKY, PRODUCER, TRNN: On Friday, Palestinian activists from the village of Bil’in succeeded in tearing down a section of the segregation wall. The village marked five years of weekly protests against the Israeli fence that separates them from lands confiscated for the expansion of the Modi’in Illit settlement. Thousands of activists from the Palestinian territories, Israel, and various other countries came to show their support for the march. Before the weekly march to the fence started, in a rare appearance, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spoke in support of the popular resistance and later welcomed the protesters in English.

SALAM FAYYAD, PRIME MINISTER, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY: Once again, thank you so very much for being with us here today from all over the world, including Israel. You’re most welcome. We are really grateful to you, not just for appearing here today, but also for all that you have done over the years, week in and week out, taking part in these non-violent, peaceful expressions of protestation and demonstration, certainly against the wall and against the Israeli settlement enterprise, but also, positively speaking, in support of our relentless effort, our right�our right�to live on our own land as free people, in a country of our own. That is what this enterprise is about, really.

TARACHANSKY: The weekly protests celebrated a success in 2007, when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in their favor. Modi’in Illit is a Jewish-only colony situated just on the other side of the Green Line that marks the 1967 borders. Its expansion confiscates 575 acres, or roughly half of the village’s lands, including hundreds of acres from neighboring villages, in the hopes that final-status negotiations would reroute the Green Line to include settlements adjacent to it. The three-judge panel, headed by Chief Justice Dorit Beinish, unanimously accepted the village’s appeal and ruled that the fence did not serve a security purpose. The protests continued because the Army did not begin laying down the tracks for rerouting the fence until last week. During the weekly protests, soldiers shot one man to death and injured dozens, in their attempt to disperse the crowds using rubber and live ammunition. On Friday’s demonstration, the army sprayed the protesters with liquid made to smell like feces and sewage, and fired dozens of tear gas canisters, and shock grenades. The village was informed by the military that only 60 percent of the lands taken from them will be returned when the fence will finally be rerouted. The organizers vowed to continue protesting until their lands are fully returned.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee complete accuracy.