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February 22, 2010
Weekly W. Bank protest in Bil’in celebrates 5th anniversary

Every Friday since 2005, Palestinian protesters rally in the West Bank town of Bil’in against the barrier erected by the Israeli government that effectively cuts off Palestinians there from their agricultural land.

Last Friday, the fifth anniversary of the Bil’in demonstrations, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and former Prime Minister Nabil Shaath joined 1,000 marchers from the West Bank, Israel and abroad.

The protests concern the 420-mile barrier, which Israel began constructing in 2002 — partitioning the West Bank from the rest of the country. About 10 percent of the barrier is 25-foot tall concrete sections, and the other 90 percent is mostly electronic fencing.

Israel claims the barrier is necessary to protect its citizens from Palestinian terrorism, while Palestinians call it an illegal land grab.

In the town of Bil’in, the wall has split apart the olive grove landholdings of villagers.

But this year, the Israeli military has begun to move part of the wall near the town, in compliance with a 2007 Israeli Supreme Court decision. However, local villagers claim the new route will only return one-third of their land.

Heather Sharp reported for the BBC from Bil’in:

Some of the remainder [of the land] had previously been designated Israeli state land and allocated for the expansion of a Jewish settlement. Mahmoud Samarra, 64, says he will get only a tiny fraction of his 93 dunums (23 acres) of land back. He points over the hill beyond the coils of barbed wire and the towering mesh of the fence. “It was like paradise,” he says, describing how he planted olive trees with his children and watched them grow over 17 years.

The protests continue, buoyed by the decision of the Supreme Court. Bil’in residents want to maintain media attention on their situation, even as another weekly protest in nearby Ni’in — which sprung up in 2008 — competes for the spotlight.

A joint Palestinian-Israeli activist organization, The Alternative Information Center, quoted Mohammed Khatib, one of the protest leaders:

The Israeli court had already ruled two years ago that the Wall here should be rerouted, but it is our struggle, not their court, that forces the Army to implement this decision now.

The International Court of Justice in the Hague ruled that the Wall should be dismantled in its entirety, and not just partially like the Israeli court had ordered. Today the demonstrators made an important step towards the implementation of this decision.

The protests often turn violent. Israel blames demonstrators who throw rocks at its soldiers, and Palestinians point to the belligerence of the Israeli army toward the protesters — including night-time raids on the houses of suspected participants.

Israeli military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich explains why the protests deteriorate into violence:

Those rocks they’re throwing can kill people…damage costing hundreds of thousands of shekels has been done to the fence and 77 Israeli soldiers have been injured in the past two years.

They go to the fence and tear it down, then we have no choice but to show up and defend the fence. And then they start throwing rocks. describes the violence from the Palestinian perspective:

Over its five years of protest, Bil’in has seen a sharp increase in violence and repression, with regular night raids targeting protest organizers, thousands injured by riot-dispersal equipment alongside real bullets, and the death of a Palestinian man last year after a tear-gas canister was shot at him from a high-velocity gun. Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahmeh was 29 years old when he was killed.

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Israel never wanted to build a wall or fence. Only when there was suicide bombings at pizza houses, cafes,weddings… killing women and children, barbarically loaded with nails to do irreparable damage to civilians did they get built. Now the murderers can’t get through. The world quickly forgets-but needs to be reminded.


The Jewish propensity not to marry outside their tribe began early on. Moses had some bad kids with his Midianite wife. Even later on, the son of an Arab convert to Judaism, Herod, usurped the Davidian dynasty throne installed by the Romans as a puppet king for their occupation. Despite all the amazing construction King Herod developed, he was never accepted by the people. He was a usurper and puppet collaborator of the Roman occupation. And so, the reticence of Jews to allow non-Jews to join the tribe was based on a long string of problems. Converts brought with them foreign ideas and idols. SO while “conversion” to Judaism is possible, it is not welcomed. The prospective “convert” has to prove his or her sincerity and ability to undergo the surffering to a very high level of scrutiny. The ability to suffer is highly valued, because it’s just part of Jewish reality.


To #7, brea: We, Jews are surviving for more than 4000 years in spite of all hate and precision of anti-semtes like you, and your cry ”DUMP THEM IMMEDIAQTELY”, just make me laugh.


WHEN RELIGION.. & REASON..CLASH..[wheather be radical or tyrannnical ]..loose it’s HUMAMANITY & TOLERANTS..CIVILIZATION START TO CRUMBLE..IN TIME…! ISRAELI’S ..gotta do what-ya ..gotta do !…To keep safe !!


Can science help fight inter-racial hatred? Can somebody get the United Nations to fund a project of this kind? Of course, the idea needs to be refined.


Good Point! It wasn’t till mosaic law .. that Jews had to marry Jews. Moses married a Midianite, a relative, but not an Israelite.


If you do genetic testing, some Jews are bound to share more of the same genes with some Palestinians, than with some other Jews— not all, but some. You can derive that from careful calculations.


Step 2: Find Tony Blair an assistant who is half Jewish half Palestinian. AH: find the guy named Abraham, who has all their genes.


Here’s a fresh idea: the British failed to create a Palestinian state alongside with Israel when they pulled out from that region years ago. Tell Tony Blair to fix it, since he has nothing more worthwhile to do right now, and has a good track record in Ireland. Give him some extra power from the EU; endow him with blessings and support from America. Leave Obama the time he needs to spend on the homeless and jobless in America.


It is tough being near that wall or fence if you are a Jew. You can and do get shot, snipers are sitting on the Palestin side of the wall or fence shooting all the time. If your a Jew you have to walk carefully because of the land mines that are toss onto their side. Then it is the IEDs. It is not safe to be a Jew in Irsael. It seems to me that the tables should turn on the terrorists, maybe they should be the ones to walk in fear.
Maybe not?


I complain on #7 comment that incite bloodshed and killing Jews around the world.


Yeah, so meanwhile, where are the attacks now?
The Fence works and the palestinians know it…and it bothers them they cant get through to killing Jews !
Its nothing like apartheid becuase the palestinians are caucasians like most Israelis, so that arguement holds no water !
Just like historys’ biggest sore losers, they lost land in a war and now theyve got to accept that !


am so sick to death (no pun intended) of the israel zionist agenda. the world literally can’t afford these people. DUMP THEM IMMEDIAQTELY!!


To Chuckles (#2): The real apartheid is the one imposed by Arab lands: Jews and other minorities treated for 1400 years as 3rd class citizens.

Even now, “moderate” Jordan’s Civil Law no. 6 prohibits any Jew from being a citizen.

And Arab lands discriminate left right and center against women and minorities, and never get held to account.

It seems World Focus (now the PBS mouthpiece for Al Jazeera English) is blind to any thuggery from those funding its patron broadcasting service.


China built the great wall to stop barbarian attacks. Israel should be allowed to at least stop suicide attackers walking straight into its land.


Why no fuss over Saudi Arabia’s wall along it border?

Why no fuss over the barriers along other borders?

Israel is the only country castigated for even trying to stop terrorism.


Yet another biased World Focus report.

There would b no barrier/ fence if not for the waves of suicide attacks that hit Israeli cities from the West Bank.

Israel has every right to defend itself


it’s not much different from the struggle in South Africa over apartheid. It will take some time before the wall will be torn down.


Same-o, same-o

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