Human rights groups decry military closure of Bil'in, Nil'in

"The state is failing in its duty to allow and respect the residents' right to protest."

March 18, 2010 03:16
2 minute read.
Human rights groups decry military closure of Bil'in, Nil'in

nilin cool . (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 uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights on Wednesday blasted the IDF for issuing an order declaring the open area between the West Bank security barrier and the Palestinian villages of Nil’in and Bil’in a closed military zone on Fridays.

Residents of the villages, along with Israeli and foreign supporters, hold protests each Friday against the route of the barrier which cuts the villagers off from their farmland on the “Israeli” side. The protests in Bil’in have been held weekly for the past five years.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

According to the new order, Israelis, foreigners and Palestinians who do not live in the village will not be able to enter the protest area from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays until August 17. The order is due to come into effect Thursday.

ACRI attorney Limor Yehuda said that “the military commander’s order will keep out Israeli and international protesters, precisely those who are recognized as having a moderating influence in the field. That raises questions about what are the reasons behind the order.

“If the establishment of the barrier on their land was not enough of a violation of the villagers’ human rights, in its latest act the state is failing in its duty to allow and respect the right of the residents to protest against the illegal acts being perpetrated against them.”

Yesh Din legal adviser Michael Sfard said “the popular protest in Bil’in has become a symbol of the joint struggle of Palestinians and Israelis against the injustice and land robbery caused by the route of the security barrier.”

Earlier this month, Haaretz reported that the army was compiling a list of cars belonging to Israeli activists who routinely take part in the protests in Nil’in and Bil’in, including the names of the owners, and the make and the color of the vehicles. The army has also raided the villages at night and arrested protest leaders.

In a statement issued last month, marking the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the protests in Bil’in, ACRI charged that from the very beginning, security forces took harsh measures and, sometimes, used exaggerated force to stop the protests.

“In 2009, there was an escalation in the efforts of the security forces to repress the protest in Bil’in,” ACRI wrote. “Since June 2009, we have been witness to an unprecedented wave of arrests and interrogations of local residents of Bil’in, among whom number the organizers of the demonstrations against the barrier. About 37 activists have been arrested since June 2009, and some have been remanded in custody until the end of the proceedings.

“These arrests show that it is not a matter of “regular” law enforcement acts but preemptive operations aimed at repressing the popular and legitimate protest taking place in the village.”

Related Content

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