Photo: Reuters
Protestors detained (Archive photo)
Photo: Reuters
Violent clashes in Bilin (Archive photo)
Photo: Haim Tzach

6 protestors, officer injured in fence protest

According to anti-fence demonstrators, police officers fired at them before they initiated any action; IDF officials say protestors tried to break through barricades, climb on Border Guard jeeps

Six protestors, two of them Israelis, were wounded Friday afternoon in clashes with security forces during an anti-fence demonstration at the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah.


A Border Guard officer was lightly wounded after demonstrators hurled stones at him.


Between 200 to 300 Palestinians, left-wing activists and international peace activists took part in the weekly demonstration against the separation fence at Bilin. IDF officials said that the soldiers began dispersing the protestors using crowd dispersal means after they violated a closed military zone order and rioted in the area.


According to the army, the protestors tried to break through a vehicle barricade set up by the Border Guard in an attempt to approach the separation fence and hid behind Palestinian ambulances. IDF officials added that no demonstrators were arrested.


The officials also claimed that the protestors hurled stones at the forces and tried to climb on Border Guard jeeps.


The injured officer received initial medical treatment on site and was later evacuated to hospital.


Yonatan Polak, one of the protestors, said that immediately when the demonstration began, before the protestors initiated any action, the police began attacking them with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.


When the protestors approached the fence and tried to break through two jeeps, he claimed, the officers began brutally beating and shooting at the demonstrators, and even chased them into the village.


Hadash Chairman, MK Mohammad Barakeh, also took part in the demonstration, along with several Palestinian parliament members and senior officials, including Dr. Mustaffa Barghouti and Seri Nusseibeh.


MK Barakeh said a police commander ordered policemen to "break their legs," referring to the protesters. "That's an illegal order which was recorded and filmed by Jewish protesters on the scene. With them, I intend on filing a complaint to the police against this order," he said.


Security officials rejected claims of police violence, accusing the protesters of hurling stones at Border Guard policemen and IDF soldiers who used stun and tear gas grenades to disperse the rioters.


Roee Nahmias, Ali Waked and Efrat Weiss contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 06.02.06, 15:03
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