Pesach at Bil'in: From Slavery to Liberty
21 April 2005
Pesach at Bil'in: From Slavery to Liberty -
from separation to partnership Passover demonstration,
jointly with the people of Bil'in
against the construction of the wall & new settlements on their land next Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 10.00 am
Gush Shalom, as part of the Coalition Against the Wall, invites you to join the inhabitants of Bil'in Village for a non-violent protest demonstration against the confiscation of more than half the village lands (about 2300 dunams) through the construction of the Separation Fence and the settlements.
Together with the people of Bil'in we will plant olive trees along the route of the fence, and cry out against the settlement extension, the building of the fence and the damage to any chance of coexistence.
Already now, intensive construction work is going on in the area between the the route of the fence and the Green Line, so as to extend the settlements of of Kiryat Sefer (Modi'in Illit), Matityahu Mizrah and Menorah. Indeed, the route of the fence was drawn up precisely in order to accommodate the planned settlement extension and separate the people of Bil'in from their land.
The village of Bil'in has some 1500 inhabitants, who until the outbreak of the second intifada found their living mainly from work in Israel. Now, the unemployment rate in the village is extremely high, and the main remaining livelihood, agriculture, is in serious threat. Since the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of the Bil'in inhabitants and the new route of the fence was approved by the government, the village launched a campaign of non-violent protest against the fence.
Nearly every day, the men and women of Bil'in march towards the site of the fence, attempting to block the work of the bulldozers which uproot their olive trees and separate them from their land. Like in the neighbouring village of Budrus, the army is using a lot of violence in an effort to put down the villagers' non-violent struggle.
Among other things the troops are invading the village during both day and night hours, shooting "rubber" bullets (which are actually metal with a thin coating of rubber), entering houses, arresting and beating up people. Dozens of inhabitants were wounded from the shooting of rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters - all of them "non-lethal riot control means" which can cause serious damage when fired at close range (at Bil'in they often are).
In one case, a Bil'in house caught fire from a "sound bomb" thrown into it by Border Guards. On Wednesday, April 27, the people of Bil'in invite all who believe in justice, equality and amity to join them and together offer a real alternative to the government of Israel's policy of annexation and dispossession.
Transportation ( please notify in advance the contact
Haifa: Solel Boneh at 8.00 am (Yana 050-8575729)
Tel-Aviv: Arlozorov Railway Station (El-Al Terminal) at 9.00 am (Shelly 054-457989)
Jerusalem: Liberty Bell Park (Gan Ha'Paamon) parking lot at 9.15 am (Eli 054-5718758)
http://www.gush-shalom.org/arabic/index.html (selected articles in Arabic)
http://www.gush-shalom.org/russian/ (Russian site started with flash presentation)