Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad participated Friday at an anti-security fence protest staged in the village of Bilin, west of the city of Ramallah. Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh was also present.
Palestinian sources said that the protesters brought a bulldozer to the site in order to dismantle the fence, and were actually successful in removing part of it. Live ammunition was reportedly fired toward the bulldozer's wheels and teargas grenades were hurled at the protesters. The driver of the bulldozer fleed the area and escaped arrest.
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Some 200 protesters rallied at Bilin and some reportedly rioted and stoned IDF forces present at the scene.
Military forces were attempting to disperse the protesters by using crowd-control measures.
Speaking to the crowd, Fayyad said "this is something that is inevitable. It's not over by any stretch of the imagination – this is just the beginning, but it's a good beginning. It took a long time.
"Four years since the High Court ruling, which at long last started to be implemented. It's not the end of the road, but it’s the beginning and it encourages us and our people here in Bilin and elsewhere," he said, adding that "it underscores the immense power of nonviolence.
"This occupation has to end, not only because its oppressive to us Palestinians but because its corrosive to Israelis. That's what this event represents to us. That's what it signifies – it has huge significance," Fayyad said.
On Wednesday, the military began taking down parts of the fence around the village.
The length of fence set to be removed from Bilin is 2.7km long. The new route of the fence, which is set to replace the existing one, is 3.2km long. It stands to be mostly a concrete wall, due to the proximity to Modiin Elite and fears of gunfire from the Palestinian side at Israel.
The anti-fence protests in Bilin date back seven years. The area has become a hotspot for clashes between Palestinians and security forces.
Elior Levy is Ynet's Palestinian affairs correspondent
Yair Altman contributed to this report
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