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Israel trying to crush nonviolence

The latest is the arrest of Bil'in leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah.

Here is a message from ISM about what people can do:

Attempts to criminalize the leadership of non-violent protests were curbed in the past with the help of an outpouring of support from people committed to justice from all over the world.

1. Please protest by contacting your political representatives, as well as your consuls and ambassadors to Israel (http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Israel) to demand that Israel stops targeting non-violent popular resistance and release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and all Bil’in prisoners.

2. Organise demonstrations outside of Israeli embassies in your countries in condemnation of Israel’s ongoing arrest campaign against non-violent activists and in solidarity with those who remain in Israel’s prisons (All demonstrations can be coordinated through palreports@gmail.com for media support work).

3. The Popular Committee of Bil’in is in desperate need for funds in order to pay legal fees both for the trial in Montréal and for representing the arrested protesters in the military courts and bail. Please donate to the Bil’in legal fund through PayPal. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation in the US or Canada contact: bilinlegal@gmail.com. To make a donation please click here.


Following initial construction of Israel’s wall on Bil’in’s lands in March 2005, residents organized almost daily direct actions and demonstrations against the theft of their lands. Garnering the attention of the international community with their creativity and perseverance, Bil’in has become a symbol for Palestinian popular resistance. Almost five years later, Bil’in continues to have weekly Friday protests.

Located 12 kilometers west of Ramallah and 4 km east of the Green Line, Bil’in is an agricultural village spanning 4,000 dunams (988 acres) with approximately 1,800 residents.

While construction of and opposition to the Wall and began in 2005, the majority of land had been expropriated from Bil’in earlier.

Starting in the early 1980’s, and more significantly in 1991, approximately 56% of Bil'in's agricultural land was declared ‘State Land’ for the construction of the settlement bloc, Modi'in Illit (http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files_eng/05/140/084/n25/05084140.n25.pdf). Modi'in Illit currently holds the largest settler population of any settlement bloc, with over 42,000 residents and plans to achieve a population of 150,000 (http://www.btselem.org/Download/200512_Under_the_Guise_of_Security_Eng.pdf).

In addition to grassroots organizing, Bil’in has held annual conferences on popular resistance since 2006; providing a forum for activists, academics, and leaders to discuss strategies for the unarmed struggle against the Occupation (http://www.bilin-village.org/english/conferences/).

Bil’in embraced legal measures against Israel as part of its multi-lateral resistance to the theft of their livelihoods. The village first turned to the courts in the fall of 2005. Two years after they initiated legal proceedings, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that due to illegal construction in part of Modi'in Illit, unfinished housing could not be completed and that the route of the Wall be moved several hundred meters west, returning 25% of Bil’in’s lands to the village. To date, the high court ruling has not been implemented and construction continues.

In July 2008, Bil’in commenced legal proceedings before the Superior Court of Quebec against Green Park International Inc and Green Mount International Inc for their involvement in constructing, marketing and selling residential units in the Mattityahu East section of Modi’in Illit.

In an effort to stop the popular resistance in Bil’in, Israeli authorities intimidate demonstrators with physical violence and arrests.

Israeli armed forces have used sound and shock grenades, water cannons, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas grenades, tear-gas canisters, high velocity tear-gas projectiles, 0.22 caliber live ammunition and live ammunition against protesters.

On 17 April 2009, Bassem Abu Rahma was shot with a high-velocity tear gas projectile in the chest by Israeli forces and subsequently died from his wounds at a Ramallah hospital (http://palsolidarity.org/2009/04/6185).

Out of the 78 residents who have been arrested in connection to demonstrations against the Wall, 31 were arrested after the beginning of a night raid campaign on 23 June 2009. Israeli armed forces have been regularly invading homes and forcefully searching for demonstration participants, targeting the leaders of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, as well as teenage boys accused of throwing stones at the Wall.

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 09:42AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off

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