Bil'in Remembers Berlin

On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, two hundred internationals traveled from the US, UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Belgium to join the weekly peaceful demonstration in Bil'in.

Each Friday, Palestinians from the village of Bil'in are joined by hundreds of internationals and Israelis protesting the apartheid wall which annexes Palestinian land.

Iyad Bornat, Head of the Popular Committee, said "the twelve metre polystyrene wall", which was made and carried by the residents of Bil'in, "was carried from the mosque in the centre of the village and placed on the other side of the fence, with the hope that the Israeli soldiers would remove it."

As demonstrators chanted 'We want peace, without occupation, without settlements, without the wall', four soldiers entered the no mans land between the double fence and dismantled the polystyrene wall which displayed the message "Berlin 1989, Palestine ?".

Victorious cheers from protestors were met by a bombardment of tear gas and sound bombs fired by Israeli soldiers from a military vehicle.

Local boys known as 'shabab' got close to the fence and flying the Palestinian flag were able to remove an equal amount of fence with a set of bolt cutters.

A choir of twelve traveled from Belgium to act in support of the Palestinians in this region. Undeterred by the tear gas and holding an EU flag their songs echoed through the olive tree landscape.

Thirty representatives from the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign were also present.

Singers from Belgium.
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

'Tear down the wall', 'We want peace', 'Ich bin Bil'iner' were amongst the many slogans and chants
'From Rafah to Jenin we will not give in' ; 'No matter how tall, the wall must fall'.

Iyad Bornat, from the the Popular Committee, what was your idea behind the homemade wall?
We are here palestinians and internationals. We want peace.
Without occupation. Without settlement. Without wall.
Shame on you
The Wall is Fascist, The wall is criminal.

Thank you for you continued support,

Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
co-founder of Friends of Freedom and Justice - Bilin