Wednesday, April 24
Latest News
  1. 11 Palestinians injured as Israeli settlers raid Joseph's Tomb
  2. Israeli settlers perform religious rituals near Hebron
  3. Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians across West Bank
  4. Istayeh urges Norway to pressure Israel to release full tax revenues
  5. Ishtayeh: US decisions are worse than 'Deal of the Century'
  6. ISIS claims responsibility for Easter bombings in Sri Lanka
  7. Israeli police commissioner, settlers raid Al-Aqsa compound
  8. Israel seals off Sabastiya as hundreds of settlers celebrate Passover
  9. Euro-Med reports Israeli violations against Palestinians in Jerusalem
  10. Israel to release Palestinian prisoner after 17 years

Israeli forces continue to target Bilin, 2 protesters shot

April 17, 2015 3:34 P.M. (Updated: April 18, 2015 10:55 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were shot, one with live fire, and up to 60 protesters suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces violently suppressed the Bilin weekly march on Friday.

Hundreds of Palestinians are reported to have taken part in the march against the separation wall, also marking Palestinian Prisoner's Day.

Israeli forces fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters as well as tear-gas canisters.

Ahmad Mohammad Mansour, 17, was shot in the chest with a live bullet and was taken to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, while Munther Ameera was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the lower extremities and treated on the scene.

Among those who suffered excessive tear gas inhalation were Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qarage, Minister of Agriculture Walid Assaf, lawmaker Mustafa al-Barghouthi, and Palestinian journalist Linda Shalash.

Al-Barghouthi said during the protest that the sacrifices of prisoners would not be wasted, and that Palestinians will continue their just struggle against Israel.

Bilin has long been one of the most active villages in organized opposition against the Israeli occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land.

This year marked the tenth consecutive year of weekly marches against the Israeli separation wall in Bilin, which was constructed on Palestinian land in 2005.

In response to the protests, the village has been a target of frequent raids and arrests by Israeli forces.

Last week Israeli forces raided Bilin before the demonstration and arrested Samir Mohammad Burnat, 40.

Israeli forces have entered the village every Friday in recent months, Bilin resident Jaber Abu Rahmeh told Ma'an last week.

"It brings me back to the past," sad Abu Rahmeh, referring to the period of heaviest clashes between Israeli forces and village residents in 2007-09 when Israeli forces entered the village nearly every day.

Abu Rahmeh's family has paid a heavy price for Israeli presence in the area, with two family members fatally injured during Bilin's non-violent marches.

Bassem Abu Rahmeh died after he was hit in the chest with a tear gas canister in 2009, and Jawaher Abu Rahmeh died from excessive tear gas inhalation in 2010.

The Abu Rahmeh family paid tribute to Bassem's grave on the way to the weekly demonstration on Friday, as April 17 marks 6 years since his death.

Still waiting for justice

Six years later, both Bilin residents and rights groups have yet to see proper measures taken within the Israeli legal system to investigate his death, and have their land remains sealed behind the separation wall.

"Abu Rahmeh was killed by shooting carried out by IDF soldiers that was negligent at best," attorneys Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man and Michael Sfard wrote in a petition against a court decision to close the case, according to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

"The case file of the investigation of the circumstances of his death has been wallowing for years under unpardonable foot-dragging by the investigative and prosecutorial authorities."

In response to the attorneys' argument that basic investigative acts have never been carried out in the six years since Abu Rahmeh's death, Justice Menny Mazuz determined April 1 that the State must submit its response to the petition by May 25.

Israel's military prosecutor general decided to close the investigation into his death in September 2013 for lack of evidence, despite the fact that three video segments filmed during the protest prove that Abu Rahmeh did not act violently and did not endanger the soldiers in any way, B'Tselem says.

Other soldiers in the same video can be seen firing tear-gas canisters directly at protesters in the presence of senior officers and in complete contravention of the open-fire regulations.

The army had decided to open an investigation into Abu Rahmeh's death in 2010 after a team of international experts found its forces had fired the tear gas in violation of regulations.

In 2011, the separation wall in Bilin was partially rerouted in response to international condemnation.

However, weekly demonstrations continue every Friday as the wall still cuts through village lands, separating residents from their property, and nearby settlements continue to grow at the village's expense.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015