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Army attacks Bil'in demonstrators with gas, waste water; arrests Israeli activists

Aug. 22, 2008 7:39 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 22, 2008 7:39 P.M.)
Bil'in - Ma'an - Dozens of demonstrators choked on tear gas Friday as Israeli soldiers attacked a peaceful demonstration in the village of Bil'in west of Ramallah.

After the Friday prayers, residents of Bili'n joined by international peace activists rallied in the center of town then took to the streets carrying Palestinian flags and banners with slogans printed on them denouncing the construction of the separation wall, land confiscation, settlement expansion, the siege of the cities and killing of civilians. They also chanted slogans calling for national unity.

The demonstrators marched to the sire of the construction of the separation wall and tried to pass through to their lands on the other side. They managed to reach to the site of the wall, but were stopped by soldiers throwing sound and gas bombs, and firing rubber coated metal bullets.

The soldiers also showered the demonstrators with waste water and chemicals. Dozens vomited after being soaked by the polluted water.

The Israeli army detained dozens of Israeli peace activists participating in the march and prevented them from reaching the village where they were chased into the nearby fields.

Also on Friday a group of Israeli settlers attacked for the third time the house built by the Popular Committee Against the Wall three years ago. They ransacked its contents and then set fire to it. The settlement near Bil'in is looking to expand and settlers are trying to drive residents out of the village by constant harassment.

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