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Savage Attack On Peaceful Palestinian-Israeli Demo

Savage attack on peaceful Palestinian-Israeli demo against the wall in Bili'in

[Over the past few hours this news service has received several reports about events at the Palestinian village of Bili'in. They are disturbing indeed. The use of agents provocateurs (apparently captured by Israeli TV stations) by the authorities to provoke a bloody confrontation is something that ought to be condemned by all who care about civil liberties, whether they support the aim of the demonstration or not,

Professor Avraham Oz of Haifa University summarised the events this way:

"While extreme religious zealots are rioting against the building of a new Israeli motorway, because they think its route collides with some ancient Jewish graves (were those Muslim ones, none would protest); and while the settlers are gathering masses of demonstrators to proclaim civil disobedience against Sharon's disengagement plan, where does the Israeli police reveal its genuine creativity? A fairly modest joint Jewish-Arab demonstration against the bulldozers building the evil wall is infiltrated by undercover soldiers clad as Arabs; At a certain point the undercover provocateurs start throwing rocks at the police; the police answers by throwing tear-gas at the demonstrators. The rest is anything but silence: several demonstrators, including MK Mohammad Barake are injured, other arrested. The police has brought back law and order to my country."

The most comprehensive report is from Gush Shalom. It is included below. Gush Shalom (pronounced like Bush Sharon), the Israeli Peace Bloc has included the URLs for various Israeli media reports below. -Sol Salbe]

**********

Quote:

The cameras succeeded in proving a shocking fact: the stones which were thrown at the security forces and served as pretext for their savage behaviour, were thrown by undercover members of the special unit disguised as Arabs (called Mista'aravim "Arabised"). They mingled with the demonstrators and threw big rocks at the soldiers. When they were exposed, they turned on the nearest demonstrators and arrested four - two Palestinians and two Israelis.

[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

Bili'in, April 28

On the invitation of Bili'in village, west of Ramallah, Gush Shalom participated today (Thursday, 28.4.05) in a demonstration against the Separation Fence which is being built on the land of the village. The fence, which almost touches the houses of the village, separates the village from most of its land, on which the ultra-orthodox settlement of Kiryat Sefer will be enlarged even more. This settlement is built wholly on land taken from the adjoining Palestinian villages.

Together with Gush Shalom, "Anarchists Against the Wall", "Ta'ayush" and the Women's Coalition for Peace" took part.

All the participants - about 1000 Palestinians and 200 Israelis - undertook in advance to avoid all violence. However, before the demo could reach the site of the fence, it was savagely attacked by the security forces, which bombarded it with tear gas bombs without the slightest provocation.

Many of the demonstrators succeeded in going around the chain of soldiers, but clashed further on with a second chain and were attacked with tear gas. The first section of the demo, which included the Palestinian minister Fares Kadura [A supporter of the Geneva Accord], presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti, Uri Avnery and Knesset members Barakeh, Dahamshe and Sakhalka, got to within 50 meters of the bulldozers, when they were viciously attacked. A tear gas bomb was thrown between the feet of MK Barakeh from a distance of less than a meter. Barakeh was slightly wounded. A soldier pushed Avnery violently and threw him down.

Only then the reason for this violence became clear: for the first time, a special unit of the Prison Service, called Masada, was put into action, using new means of riot control, such as specially painful plastic bullets covered with salt, pepper bombs and more. Several demonstrators, both Israeli and Palestinian, were wounded.

The cameras succeeded in proving a shocking fact: the stones which were thrown at the security forces and served as pretext for their savage behaviour, were thrown by undercover members of the special unit disguised as Arabs (called Mista'aravim "Arabised"). They mingled with the demonstrators and threw big rocks at the soldiers. When they were exposed, they turned on the nearest demonstrators and arrested four - two Palestinians and two Israelis.

The clashed lasted for four hours, and the demonstrators agreed to withdraw only after they were promised that the arrested men would be released.

(A video film of the demonstration will be shown on the Gush Shalom website immediately after the completion of the editing work.)

See also:

MK Barakeh hurt by stun grenade at anti-separation fence rally http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/570137.html

We were in Bili'in today at the big demonstration against the fence http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=2262

Hebrew original: http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=2258

Ma'ariv (Hebrew): Undercover police "demonstrating" against the fence http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART/927/720.html


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