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Bil'in Protest Last Friday

This gas mask and telephoto camera belong to an associated press journalist hit by a tear gas canister, at last Friday's demonstration against the separation Wall (Bil'in, Palestine). He suffered only minor injury, as did a man from the village who was hit in the leg only moments later by one of the next canisters. He is Palestinian-American and reports in both Israel and Palestine.

Palestinians and Israeli's carried this sign together condemning the separation Wall. Upon reaching the site of the portion of the Wall in Bil'in, Palestinians and Israeli's together carried the sign directly in front of the soldiers in an act of solidarity and resistance.

In the photo above, soldiers prepare to launch tear gas canisters and sound grenades, aimed directly at the protesters with the sign on the 'front line.' According to associated press journalists present, this is contrary to at least one standing military orders which prohibit firing these projectiles directly at people. The military response to this nonviolent protest was about 15 soldiers and at least two army jeeps at any given time during the afternoon. There were about 50 protesters total this week, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals.

At least two tear gas canisters hit protesters during the demonstration, and other canisters and 'sound grenades' landed within feet--sometimes inches--of the protesters holding the sign.

The two photos above show the results of two of the canisters that landed on or close to the protesters. You can just barely see the three 'front line' protesters in these photos, behind the clouds of tear gas.

It was heartening that Bil'in remains steadfast in it's resolve to oppose the Wall.

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