Hundreds of people participated in a demonstration Friday afternoon marking four years to the struggle against the separation fence in Bilin. When the protestors approached the fence, Border Guard officers used various means to disperse the crowd, including tear gas.
A number of protestors sustained smoke inhalation injuries.
Among the near 500 person group of protestors were Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Palestinian members of parliament, including Mustafa Barghouti, and Arab Knesset members, including Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh.
After Fayyad left the site, the protestors approached the fence. The security forces responded by firing tear gas grenades. According to the security forces, Palestinians, left-wing activists and foreign activists participated in the protest, and some of them threw stones at the forces.
In addition, some 100 Palestinian protestors are demonstrating near Ramallah against the separation fence and throwing stones at Israeli security forces on the site. The security forces are using various methods to break up the protest. No injuries have been reported.
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Thursday notified Hadash Chairman Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh that he is considering issuing an indictment against him that will include three criminal charges for alleged disturbances during protest demonstrations in recent years.
One of the charges refers to a demonstration held in the village of Bilin on April 28, 2008 when MK Barakeh allegedly attacked a soldier in the Masada Brigade while the soldier was leading an arrested protestor to the police patrol car. In this incident, Barakeh may stand trial for assaulting a military official.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report