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Bil'in: Palestinian Village Under Attack

August 7, 2009

Bil'in is a Palestinian village that is struggling to survive. It is fighting to safeguard its land, its olive trees, its resources... its liberty.

Since 2005, the people of Bil'in have been demonstrating non-violently against the building of settlements and the separation wall on their land. Villagers have led weekly protests with the active participation from both Israeli and international peace activists. Bil'in has become an internationally celebrated symbol of Palestinian popular non-violent resistance to the ongoing construction of the Israeli separation wall.

*The village of Bil'in has launched a historic lawsuit here in Canada against two Quebec-based companies, Green Park Interational and Green Mount International, both involved in constructing illegal Israeli-only settlements on the lands of the Palestinian village of Bil'in and breaking international law.*

In June 2009, Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Committee of Bil'in, traveled to Canada for the preliminary hearings and was interviewed by many media here and spoke to hundreds of people across Canada about the case alongside an Israeli lawyer representing the village of Bil'in, Emily

In the early hours last Monday August 3, Israeli soldiers raided several homes, arresting two Palestinian children and five adults including Mohammed Khatib who is being held without charges.

"Mohmmad Khatib and Adib Abu Rahme along with other leaders of the Palestinian popular struggle are being targeted because they mobilize Palestinians to resist non-violently," outlines Abdullah Abu Rahme, coordinator of Bil'in's popular committee, "the fact is that the Apartheid Wall and the settlements built on Palestinian land are illegal under international law. In the case of our village even the biased Israeli court declared the route illegal, yet Israel is prosecuting us as criminals because we struggle non-violently for our freedom."

At the present time Mohammed Khatib remains in Israeli custody although no charges have been brought against Khatib or the other Palestinians arrested, including the children.

Monday's night-time raid is another in a series of many that Israeli forces have carried out in Bil'in since June 2009, raids that commenced in tandem to the commencement of legal proceedings in Canada.

There will be a protest today in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto at 180 Bloor St. W. from 5 until 6pm.

For more information contact:
Abdullah Abu Rahme
(Bil'in, Palestine)
Popular Committee of Bil'in
Phone: 054-725-8210

Miriam Garfinkle
(Toronto, Canada)
Phone: 416-897-0008

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