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2 injured in Bil'in, journalist injured in Al-Ma'sara protests

July 16, 2010 5:14 P.M. (Updated: July 17, 2010 11:05 A.M.)
Ramallah – Ma'an – Two residents of the West Bank village of Bil'in and an international journalist in Al'-Ma'sara village were injured on Friday, during weekly protests against Israel's separation wall.

In Bil'in, where the wall cuts off agricultural lands from farmers despite a High Court ruling mandating its removal, Israeli forces stationed on the western side of the wall responded to attempts by the villagers to access the lands using tear-gas canisters shot from high-velocity launchers and rubber-coated bullets.

A delegation from the French town of Saint Anne suffered from tear-gas inhalation as they participated alongside Bil'in residents. Also protesting were senior leaders from the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front.

Those injured were identified as Majd Burnat, 12, hit in the foot with a high-velocity tear-gas canister, and Mohammad Hamad, 18, also hit with a canister.

Meanwhile in Al-Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem, 60 Palestinian and international activists marched toward the village entrance demanding an end to construction of the wall.

Israeli forces responded by firing tear gas canisters and sound bombs.

At the protest, leaders of Al-Ma'sara’s popular committee against the wall spoke about their ongoing non-violent resistance, and commemorated the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, calling for an end to the arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, committee member Mahmoud Zawahreh said.

Zawahreh added that an international journalist was injured, and committee leader Marwan Fararja was detained and threatened by Israeli soldiers, but later released without charge.

The committee said the frequent night raids in Al-Ma’sara, arrests and threats would only strengthen the nonviolent movement.

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