Thursday 23 June 2011


Wall near the Ramallah-area village of Bil’in (photo: Hamda Abu Rahmeh)

The weekly walk in Bil'in takes a new turn today. I await anxiously to report events when I receive them. This is possibly a historic day for the people. See how that filthy thing slithers around all the land, even if it were straight it would be bad enough, but as it appears now, the intent is so very obvious.  ~ to steal the best and leave the worst. Let us pray that today things begin to change somewhat ~ for the better. May the blood of the Abu Rameh's not have been shed in vain.

23 June 2011
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

After nearly six years of weekly protests, Israel’s army began dismantling the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in this week. Protesters will march to the Wall at 12.30 p.m. on Friday 24 June, implementing their right to access their lands.

The Bil’in Popular Committee has declared Friday 24 June to be the last day of the old path of the Wall on village lands, and the beginning of the struggle against the new path.  A mass demonstration will march on the Wall to dismantle it and access the lands sequestered behind it.

On Tuesday morning this week, army bulldozers began work to dismantle the Wall in Bil’in. As early as 2007, after two years of weekly protests in the village and following a court petition filed by the residents, the Israeli High Court declared the path of the Wall illegal.

The court ruled that the route was not devised according to security standards, but rather for the purpose of settlement expansion.

Despite the High Court’s ruling, four more years of struggle had to elapse for the army to begin dismantlement. During these years two people were killed in the course of the weekly protests and many others injured.

Yet even according to the new path, sanctioned by the High Court, 435 acres of village land will remain on the “Israeli” side of the Wall.

On 4 September 2007, the High Court ordered the state to come up with an alternative path for the existing Wall in Bil’in within a reasonable period of time. Despite the ruling, many months elapsed and no new plan was offered.
On 29 May 2008, the residents of Bil’in filed a petition to hold the state in contempt of the court due to this 

delay. In response to the petition, the state offered an alternative path. However, the plan failed to comply with the High Court’s ruling as the proffered path left a large area designed for settlement expansion on the “Israeli” side of the Wall. The only difference between the two paths being that the latter offered to award 40 acres of land back to the residents.

A second petition claiming the alternative path not in accordance with court ruling was then filed. On August 3rd, 2008, the court declared that the first alternative path indeed fails to adhere to the ruling. The court ordered the state to come up with another alternative path.

On September 16th, 2008, the state offered a second alternative path. This path also left a large area designed for settlement expansion on the “Israeli” side, offering to return 100 acres of village land to the residents. A lawyer for the residents asked that the state be held in contempt of the court for violating a court ruling for the second time.

On December 15th, 2008, the high court ruled that the second alternative path was not in accordance with the original court ruling.

In April 2009 the state offered a third alternative path which left most of the area destined for settlement expansion on the “Palestinian” side of the Wall, thereby returning to the village 150 acres of 490 acres annexed by the original path.

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