Bethlehem – Ma’an - Injuries were reported across the West Bank as Israeli soldiers responded to weekly non-violent anti-wall protests with tear gas, sound grenades and detentions on Friday.
Clashes erupted in Bil’in, where the wall cuts off agricultural lands from farmers despite a High Court ruling mandating its removal. This week’s rally commemorated the third anniversary of the killing of Ahmad Mousa, who was shot aged 10, and Yousef A’mirah, shot aged 18, during non-violent anti-wall protests in Ni’lin in 2008.
Villagers, joined by delegations from Spain, Germany and France, as well as US rapper M-1, from the group Dead Prez, and British rapper Lowkey, marched to the wall, and were met with tear gas grenades launched by Israeli soldiers.
One Israeli protester was hit by a tear-gas canister in his leg, while a British citizen was dragged several meters by a soldier, causing bruising and bleeding in his back, a report from the village committee said. Mohammad Al-Khatib, 18, was hit by a tear-gas canister in his shoulder.
The committee reported that two protesters were briefly detained. An army spokeswoman was not aware of any detentions in Bil'in.
In An-Nabi Salih, demonstrators protested recent settler and army attacks on the village. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the rally, hitting a 23-year-old British peace activist in her leg. Villagers reported that Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, raided homes and detained Walid Dief Allah, 13, from his uncle’s home. An Israeli activist was also detained, reports said.
In Irtas, near Bethlehem, a Greek delegation joined the weekly anti-wall rally, marching from the convent to the Wad Abu A’mirah area, which Israeli authorities have confiscated for construction of the wall.
The village’s popular committee spokesman, Awad Abu Suwei, said soldiers, supported by armored vehicles, have raided the village several times this week, filming and carrying out surveying work.