16:31 , 03.09.07
Protestors, officers injured in anti-fence rally
Weekly Bilin protest against security fence features intense clashes Friday, injuring two officers and several protestors, one an Israeli anarchist leader
At least 14 protestors and two officers were injured during violent protests against the security fence near Bilin, Friday afternoon. Some of the injured protestors are Israeli citizens, including known anarchist Jonathan Pollack.
An IDF officer, whose leg appears to have been broken, was wounded during an altercation with protestors. A border guard police officer was injured, also in the leg, from rocks thrown during the rally.
Pollack, a leader of Anarchists Against the Fence, told Ynet that a soldier had aimed a stun grenade at his legs and injured him. He also said that a soldier had hit another protestor in the head with the butt of his gun, knocking him unconscious.
A protestor by the name of Kobi added: "We marched towards the fence and sat on the ground. Police and soldiers immediately began to shoot brutally with stun grenades and rubber bullets."
He explained that crowd dispersal was undertaken by a unit of soldiers who had not been present at previous protests (which have taken place in the village every Friday for the past two years) and described the troops as unusually violent.
The IDF had a slightly different story, reporting that the forces had responded with crowd dispersal gear when the protest this Friday became particularly severe, causing the injury of an IDF officer. As mentioned, a border guard police officer was also injured.
The Bilin area calmed down after about an hour. Shortly afterwards, there were a number of similar clashes between IDF forces and Palestinians, during riots near Kalandia and Bitania, north of Jerusalem.
In one such incident, Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at IDF forces north-east of Ramallah. Palestinians also opened fire at an Israeli civilian vehicle during a violent riot near the Kalandia refugee camp. There were no ensuing casualties or damages in either incident.
Ali Waked contributed this report