Today marked the 11th Anniversary of peaceful, non-violent resistance and demonstrations in Bil’in, Palestine. Many attended today’s demonstration and peaceful protest in Bil’in; Palestinian families, men, women and children, international and Israeli activists against the Occupation of Palestine; Jew, Muslim and Christian all in solidarity with Palestine, protesting peacefully and demonstrating in unity.
However, today’s event was met with aggressive and brutal assault by IOF who bombarded the peaceful crowd of people with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Reports at the time of writing… five people were injured and many others were affected with respiratory difficulties from inhaling the tear gas.
The resistance movement in Bil’in specifically, is as strong today as it was 11 years ago. This speaks to the resilient spirit and will for freedom that all a Palestinians crave and fight for daily. The weekly peaceful, non-violent demonstrations against the Occupation of their land and country is forever determined, with many supporters standing with the Palestinian people on the ground in Palestine and internationally. The Palestinian people are undeterred by the aggressive and hostile counter efforts of IOF making their presence at these demonstrations known and felt, smelled and tasted. Still, the Palestinians resist to exist and nothing will change this as they fight for their freedom.
My partner and co-author, Haitham Khatib was there as always, faithfully filming and taking photographs. The IOF’s presence was forceful and the use of tear gas excessive. Here Haitham is helping his friend and colleague, a cameraman with Palestine TV who had been shot directly at with a tear gas bomb. This is how Occupation meets peaceful demonstration – with hostility and barbaric means. Even with masks and face coverings the intense tear gas permeates through, burning eyes, skin and lungs. Haitham was joined with two of his long time friends and colleagues that have come every year without fail to cover these events, to continue to document and report on the ongoing resistance and hostilities.
Ali dar Ali
Shmikh al Jagoop
There is added importance to today’s demonstration and that is the need to gather to encourage and to strengthen, to hold on to hope that an end to occupation, an end to apartheid, and an end to the genocide committed daily by the IOF Soldiers and illegal Zionist settlers will soon become things of the past.
11 Years of Resistance and still Palestine will resist ever determined, ever hopeful.
Palestine will be free!