Bilin 5 Years Against The Wall 19-2-2010 By Haitham Al Katib
Mass Demo Bil’in: Five Years of Resistance Commemorated
February 19th 2010
Today Bil’in commemorated the fifth anniversary of popular demonstrations against the settlements and the Apartheid Wall. Israel’s occupation has confiscated over 50% of Bil’in’s land. Only last week the construction work to reroute the Wall began, nearly two and a half years after the High Court of Justice ordered the Wall to be moved. Approximately 30% of land will be returned to the village. This victory strengthens Bil’in’s resistance and counterbalances the hardships the Israeli Occupation Army has inflicted upon the village. Throughout the past five years, Bil’in’s non-violent demonstrations have met with severe army violence, injuring over 1,200 people and killing one person. Another 85 villagers have been arrested for organizing or merely taking part in the demonstrations. The Israeli Occupation Army terrorizes the entire village, entering Bil’in at night, often using sound bombs and tear gas. It not only deprives villagers of their sleep but also prevents children from having a normal, peaceful home life.
Today’s mass demonstration counted over 3000 activists who supported Bil’in’s resistance and encouraged the villagers to continue its struggle. Among them were Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad and Remy Pagany, the mayor of Geneva. Other politicians were present to show support, such as members of the Legislative Council and Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The massive crowd of demonstrators held banners, Palestinian flags and chanted slogans, accompanied by drums and dancing clowns while marching towards the Apartheid Wall. Altogether they called for national unity and resistance against Israel’s occupation.
Upon arrival at the Wall, the Israeli Occupation Forces seemed to be absent, which was an open invitation for the demonstrators to cross the gate towards the Palestinian land. The crowd started tearing down the Wall, allowing some of the protesters to get access to the military outpost. Suddenly, the crowd was attacked with spraying skunk water, a chemical smelling like sewage water. Afterwards vast amounts of tear gas canisters, both plastic and aluminium, were fired and sound bombs were shot. Dozens of people suffered from tear gas inhalation and at least ten people were directly injured by the canisters.
A photo book by Haitham al Khatib
This photo book is the first in a series of books celebrating different aspects of Life in Palestine. Haitham showcases a number of his best children’s photographs taken over the past few years. It’s a slim paperback photo-
Special introductory price: £5.50 GBP (rising to £6.50 on the second printing)
Children in Palestine do not have access to playgrounds and fun spaces. Their stunted childhood is spent within the confined environment of their village.
Regular incursions by the Israeli military into the villages further restricts safe space for children to play and live their lives.
In this book Haitham has beautifully captured images of children in Bil’in, at play in and around the orchards and the relatively safe areas in the village.
Having lost his beloved son Karme to cancer two years ago, Haitham decided to set up a charity to help provide cancer support services in Palestine, in Karme’s memory. All profits from the sale of this book go to this noble cause.
Palestine | Children of Bil’in, by Haitham al Khatib
A5 landscape, width 21cm x height 14.8cm
Paperback, 48 pages, colour photos
Go on, buy one or two copies for your friends too!
PALESTINE: Through My Lens
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As some of you know I am working on my first photo book – PALESTINE: Through My Lens.
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