The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 16.04.2010

In Bil’in, the army remembers Bassem Abu Rahmeh by escalating to rubber bullets and live ammunition. A big ceremony was held with Fatah and the Fatah Youth marching band:

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 09.04.2010

Haitam being kidnapped by the Israeli Army - Kfir BrigadeThis Friday’s demos were themed in respect to the Deir Yassin massacre. In Bil’in, the village committee and B’tselem photographer (who’s videos you often see here) and dear friend, Haitham Al-Khatib, was abducted near the end of the demonstration. Al-Khatib was returned home, battered and bruised, after over 24 hours in which he was unreachable.

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 19.3.2010

In spite of the latest Israeli army attempts to stop the demonstrations against the wall, about 50 Israelis and 25 internationals joined Bil’in residents in protest. After the demonstration was declared over, the army infiltrated the village and fired gas and shock grenades at the youth, protecting their village with stones.

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 12.3.2010

In Nebi Salah The soldiers were eager and waiting, within the village when the march had reached its outskirts. Under the cover of the clashes between the army and the village youth, some villagers managed to reach their natural spring, only to find settlers swimming in it. Soldiers who eventually got to the group politely ordered the settlers to leave, while attacking the demonstrators with tear-gas in order to push them back to the village. The two groups had regrouped back in the village, where Border Police officers shot at demonstrators from behind the stone terraces that crosshatch the fields between the village and the settlement. It took the army until seven in the evening to retreat:

The injured 14 year old boy, Ehab Barghouthi, has awaken from his coma, caused by a rubber coated bullet to his head, fired by an Israeli army Soldier.

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 5.3.2010

In the village of Nebi Salah, 14 year old Ehab Fadel Beir Ghouthi from Beit Rima was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head. He was taken to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and is currently in a coma.

Israeli army shoots live ammunition at Ni’lin village:

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5 Years for the Bil’in Struggle – The Myth of Toppling the Fence

Well over a 1500 people gathered at Bil’in last Friday for a very ceremonial demonstration. Many politicians were present, most notably Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and Remy Pagany, the mayor of Geneva. Drummers from both the Palestinian Scouts and the Israeli Anarchists came together, joined by the Israeli Clown Army group. All in all, very festive. The festivities were over after the marchers reached the fence and a truly spontaneous, collective act of elation and rage ensued:

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 12.2.2010

Bil’in makes big waves, locally and worldwide, with their reenactment of Avatar, creatively edited by popular committee members into this short:

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 5.2.2010

Israeli army hits hard against children and saplings in Nebi Salah:

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A visit from Oz

Along with a Youtube video [see below], the following short report appeared on the Ha’aretz website today:

Israel’s new immigration police has joined security forces in cracking down on foreign activists residing in the Palestinian West Bank, Haaretz has learned.

The Oz Unit participated last week in the attempted arrest of a number of activists in the West Bank town of Bil’in, and also in the raid that nabbed leading Palestinian militants Mohammed Hatib that same night. Two weeks ago, the unit took part in the arrest of a Czech activist in Ramallah…

An Israel Defense Forces officer can be seen ordering the activists to obey the unit’s instructions, explaining that immigration officials have every right to make such requests. The same officer then urges the immigration official to search for some default or problem in the detainee’s documents,

The IDF soldiers can later been seen forcefully detaining a few of the activists. When asked why the arrest was being carried out, the soldier said that the immigration official would explain everything.

So for some background on the ‘Oz’ unit, here are some links:

Established by a 2008 cabinet decision, the task force, which goes by the Hebrew name “Oz” (courage), is the enforcement body of the Population Authority that comes under the aegis of the Interior Ministry, and replaced the immigration police. The unit has 200 inspectors, who have policing powers only with regard to foreigners.

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