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Bil'in 5 August 2005

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   The apartheid snake kills us

"Official" Report, in Indymedia-Israel. (Click there for pictures).

Yair Gil's rendering of the same event

Haaretz, 8 August 2005: The Occupation Army keeps lying

Haaretz, 9 August 2005: On the new weapons tested in Bil'in

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The message of our joint Palestinian-Israeli-International demonstration

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'Inquilab Zindabad!' (Long live revolution)...   An intense, passionate voice ... of young patriot Bhagat Singh.

India is still under British rule...  In his teens, Bhagat Singh witnessed the brutal massacre of hundreds of innocent people at the Jalianwala Bagh. ... Singh goes into hiding as the Brits decide to pass an act of ordinance that allows them to arrest and shoot at sight.

... Bhagat Singh gave a provoking speech in the court of law, bringing to notice the atrocities of the foreign government to everyone.  On 23 March 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged to death. Next

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(Dutch:)

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The demonstration: I stood right on the dividing line between the army and the demonstrators. I can testify that the army dispersed the peaceful demonstration violently, using tear gas and forcibly detaining some of us. The violence was neither provoked nor reciprocated.

What really goes on? The "aim" of the demonstrators is to reach the construction site of the Apartheid Wall, which is well within the village territory, basically to claim ownership. This is Friday afternoon. No construction work takes place (nothing to stop), nor is there anything on site that can be disturbed;the project is at the infrastructure stage.
The "aim" of the army is to show who is the boss by stopping the demonstration within the village itself.
A standoff develops. The army "declares" Bil'in to be "closed military area", making the presence of anybody but the residents illegal. They instruct us to disperse within fifteen minutes. We don't, so they let us stay for another ten minutes. What they hope for is some show of "violence". A stone thrown whould be great. Some harsh words could do as well.
In the meantime, some of our spokespeople address the demonstrators and the army (both sides use megaphones), basically telling the soldiers that we are here at the invitation of the village residents, whereas they are illegal, disinvited, unwelcome tresspassers, that should leave. The soldiers are also being reminded of their mothers and girlfriends waiting at home. They are being asked to question the validity of what they do, whose interests they serve, and to consider what they will one day have to answer their (still unborn) children.
The speeches start in Arabic, continue in English, and finally switch to Hebrew. It is at this stage that the officers get very nervous. Now the soldiers can understand the message. This needs to be stopped.
The tear gas and stun granades are being shot into the crowd, which is chased into the village, with anybody within reach being "detained".
 

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A Palestinian speaker addressing the soldiers:"Please leave in peace"

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Some of us

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Some of the others

Let their mothers be proud ...
 
 ...תדע כל אם עבריה 

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בן כסיל תוגת אמו

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(בן כסיל תוגת אמו  (משלי, י, א

The tear-gas gun, with a six(?) cartridge magazine

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The army loses its temper

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I am detained, and am taken to the police post by the  Apartheid Wall construction site - the first time I was allowed to reach it.

Comic relief: The major who detains me threatens to submit
a complaint to the Commission of Higher Education.

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The apartheid wall will be built here

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Under detention, all 17 of us were guarded by a single soldier, who took the opportunity to deliver an upbeat Zionist sermon under the shade of the olive tree. We listened patiently until he informed us: "Hitler would have been proud of you." At this point, I pulled out my notebook and wrote down this pearl of wisdom, and this helped to cut him short.

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The good news: All the people detained this time were either Israelis or "Internationals", i.e., privileged people who are always being released within a couple of hours.
Palestinians, who enjoy no human rights, can be detained for months at a time, with all kinds of fabricated charges.