US peace activist hurt in Bil'in protest

2,000 people hold demonstration to commemorate 3 years of struggle against W. Bank barrier.

Bilin fight 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Bilin fight 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Some 2,000 Palestinians and left-wing activists gathered in the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday to commemorate three years of their struggle against the security barrier in the area. According to the organizers of the demonstration, 10 people were wounded in clashes with security forces, including a US peace activist who was hit in the head by a rubber bullet and evacuated in moderate condition to a hospital in Ramallah. Among the demonstrators were Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghouti and Hadash Chairman Muhammad Barakei. Several of the protesters, including Barakei, were reportedly hurt after inhaling smoke from grenades which were thrown by the IDF troops and border policemen in order disperse the demonstration. Half a year ago, the High Court of Justice accepted the petitions by residents of the village, located north of Ramallah, and ordered the state to dismantle the security barrier in the area and put forward an alternative route in a reasonable time frame. However, the state is yet to issue its proposal and the barrier has not been torn down. Since the court ruling, Bil'in residents have accused IDF troops of making it even more difficult for them to reach their land on the other side of the fence and have therefore continued to protest. Since 2002, 11 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the weekly demonstrations.