Bil’in’s example: between suffering and resistance


Since February 2005, Bil’in has resisted against the Israeli occupation and the construction of the Wall. From the beginning, the village committee chose non-violent actions, which endowed Bil’in inhabitants with the image of pacific resistants. Numerous Palestinian and Israeli organizations, but also organizations from the entire world, have taken up the cause for this village. On a daily basis, Bil’in inhabitants need Israeli and international activists on the ground. Organizations from many countries are setting up “civil missions” in Palestine.

For more information please visit Bil’in’s village website.

A Palestinian village struggling to exist

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

By annexing close to 60% of Bil’in land for Israeli settlements and the construction of Israel’s separation wall, the state of Israel is strangling the village. Every day it destroys a bit more, creating an open air prison for Bil’in’s inhabitants.

Supported by Israeli and international activists, Bil’in residents peacefully demonstrate every Friday in front of the “work-site of shame”. And every Friday the Israeli army responds with violence, both physically and psychologically.

Bil’in residents have continued to withstand these injustices despite the frequent night raids of Israeli soldiers in the town followed by an increasing number of arrests of inhabitants and of activists. But now, the army has toughened the oppression by systematically arresting members of the Bil’in committee in charge of organizing the non-violent resistance actions. The aim of the arrests is to discourage Bil’in residents and reduce their resistance to the occupation.

Bil’in, an example of the injustice inflicted on Palestine

It is important to realize that what is going on in Bil’in is emblematic of the situation in all of Palestine:

  • The occupation of Palestine by the Israeli armed forces was condemned by United Nations’ Resolution 242, and by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • The colonization of Palestinian lands, whether dubbed legal or illegal by Israel, was also condemned by UN Resolutions 242 and 338.
  • The construction of the Wall and annexation of lands to be converted into military zones are also condemned by the UN and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • According to the UN, the presence of armed forces on a foreign territory, which the village of Bil’in is experiencing, is an illicit situation punishable by an international military intervention (as in Kuwait in 1991), as well as being a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Armed repression during the demonstrations in Bil’in, equally prohibited by all international courts and bodies, is a violation of human rights, and is also prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • All forms of collective punishments are punishable, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are considered as war crimes by the UN.
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