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News :: Human Rights : International
Protester Injured in Bil’in During Weekly Non-Violent Demonstration
23 Jan 2010
This Friday, the 22nd of January, 30 to 40 Palestinian, Israeli, and other international protesters marched through the West Bank village of Bil'in to the Israeli built separation barrier, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice. Per usual, the demonstration was dispersed by tear gas projectiles and concussion grenades shortly after the marchers arrived at the gate.
At least one Palestinian protester was injured and many other demonstrators were treated for varying degrees of tear gas inhalation. As of Friday evening, there have been no reported of injuries from the Israeli army.

After the midday prayer, Palestinians and internationals assembled outside in the village of Bil'in and proceeded to march to the barrier while chanting pro-Palestine slogans and waving Palestinian and Fatah flags. Tear gas and concussion grenades were initially employed to disperse the protesters, but roughly thirty minutes into the demonstration Israeli soldiers crossed the barrier line into the village and attempted to chase and detain Palestinian protesters. No arrests were reported.

Several Palestinian youths wearing keffiyehs to cover their heads threw rocks and shouted insults at the Israeli soldiers. International demonstrators recorded and photographed the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces invaded the village in response to the clashes with the demonstrators and eventually fell back across the separation wall over an hour after the protest began.

This week's demonstration in Bil'in marks a continued escalation of repressive tactics employed by the Israeli military. 2010 has seen a dramatic increase in night raids, arrests, and harassment directed towards the organizers of the Popular Committee resistance in the West Bank.

2-Dear all,

For those who don’t know yet, Jared Malsin was deported to New York by the Israeli authorities on Wednesday. Apologies for not updating you earlier, things were a bit crazy, and after it finally happened I got some much-needed sleep!

For Ma’an’s summary of what happened to Jared, with links to our earlier press releases etc., please see http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=253864. For Jared’s own initial reactions when we were finally able to reach him, please see http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=255690. There’s now even more coverage on the web, though much of it contains inaccuracies or is problematic. For samples of some of the more accurate/balanced coverage, see this Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/20/AR201001, this Reuters article http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60J1WW20100120, and this blog entry on the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mya-guarnieri/jewish-american-editor-de_b_.

We at Ma’an remain deeply grateful for all the public and private support we have received during Jared’s incarceration. For a summary of statements of support by international media NGOs/associations, see http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=254583. We also still have several questions about this case, including Jared’s treatment by the Israeli authorities while in detention, and their demand that he sign a statement without his lawyer being present on Tuesday afternoon in order to leave, which seems to have been used by the Israeli authorities to have the legal case dropped (which is not what Jared intended). It is clear that, at a minimum, Israeli authorities gave Jared misleading information about what he was signing. We are continuing in our efforts to find out exactly what happened and see whether there is any way to reopen the legal case against Jared’s deportation.

The wider issue of the near-impossibility for internationals working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) to obtain work visas from the Israeli government also remains unresolved, which means that there are many others (including some at Ma’an, and many at other reputable organizations in the OPT) who could find themselves in Jared’s situation in the future. As Amira Hass recently reported in Ha’aretz (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1143854.html), a new Israeli policy is making it much more difficult even for those with recognized international NGOs like Oxfam, Save the Children, and MSF to get work visas. We at Ma’an will continue to investigate possible ways to resolve this situation, and obviously, to report on the issue

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