19 February 2011 | Bethlehem Solidarity
A Palestinian protestor, Hamza Burnat, was shot at close range in his leg and abdomen with rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. He is currently in the hospital awaiting surgery.
Six years have passed since residents of Bil’in, together with their Israeli and international supporters, started demonstrating regularly against the Wall and the confiscation of more than half their land by it. It has been more than three years since the Israeli High Court ruled that the path of the Wall must be changed as soon as possible, and the people of Bil’in have waited long enough.
Hundreds turned out to mark the sixth anniversary of Bil’in’s struggle and have resisted an usually large group of Israeli Occupation Force soldiers for several hours. In chants and slogans, protestors demanded an end to the military occupations, the dismantling of illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall, and called for Palestinian unity. IOF have attacked protestors with the “skunk” water, with sound grenades, rubber bullets, 0.21 live ammunition, and a heavy use of tear gas. Nonetheless, protestors stood in the invading army’s way and managed to stop them from entering the village. At one point, activists stood together to resist the occupation’s attempt to arrest villagers. At the end of the demonstration, however, one Israeli activist was arrested and accused of stone-throwing. Several other protestors sustained injuries.