Activists appeal order sealing security barrier areas

Anarchists Against the Wall rep tells 'Post' move an attempt to stop Friday demonstrations in Ni’lin and Bil’in.

March 15, 2010 13:56
2 minute read.
A Palestinian holds a green Islamic flag as he run

niilin protester 190. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Activists have asked the Military Advocate-General’s Office to cancel an IDF order issued on Monday that declares the area around the West Bank security barrier, near the Palestinian villages of Ni’lin and Bil’in, a closed military zone until August, off limits to nonresidents of the villages.

“This is a cynical use of the [army’s] power and authority to quash and further infringe on the already volatile right of protest in the occupied territory,” Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak of Anarchists Against the Wall said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

He told The Jerusalem Post he believed the IDF order was an attempt to stop the Friday demonstrations in those villages against the barrier.

Tel Aviv attorney Gaby Lasky, who represents the activists, said the army’s order was illegal because it was “encompassing” and because of the extended time period.

It infringes on the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of demonstration, she said.

The IDF said in response: “Violent and illegal riots take place in the area of Ni’lin and Bil’in on a weekly basis, during which members of the security forces are wounded and heavy damage is caused to the security fence and to public property.

“In an effort to prevent the inciters of these riots from reaching the area in which the riots take place, three weeks ago, OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi signed an order designating the area between the fence and the villages of Ni’lin and Bil’in as a closed military zone,” the army said.


“The order applies to Israeli, Palestinian and foreign nationals who are not residents of the villages, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Fridays, and will remain in effect for six months. It should be noted that the order does not apply to residents of the village, who will continue to be free to move about as they please,” the IDF said.

With the help of Israeli and foreign activists, Palestinian have been demonstrating in Bil’in since 2005 and in Ni’lin since 2008.

Pollak said the demonstrations were largely peaceful and that the army had fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at the demonstrators and in some cases live ammunition.

Five demonstrators in Ni’lin and one in Bil’in have been killed by IDF fire, either live ammunition, a tear gas canister or rubber bullets, according to Pollak. He added that hundreds have been injured, and in Ni’lin 40 people were hit by live ammunition.

The villages of Ni’lin and Bil’in, located near Modi’in Illit, learned of the closure before dawn on Monday, when soldiers entered the village and posted notices.

Protests will take place as usual this Friday, Pollak said, as “Palestinians do not recognize the legitimacy of the decree or the authority of the commander to issue such a decree.”

Palestinians object to the barrier that cuts them off from agricultural land. Israeli is building it to prevent suicide bombings.

In February, as the result of a court case, the IDF began rerouting 1,700 meters of the barrier, to return 650 dunams (65 hectares) of land to the farmers in Bil’in. Roughly 1,300 dunams of private farmland remains on the “Israeli side” of the barrier.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town