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Israel suppresses weekly Bilin march

Israeli forces broke up the protests at the village of Bilin in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah 16 December 2016 [Ma'an]
Israeli forces broke up the protests at the village of Bilin in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah 16 December 2016 [Ma'an]

Israeli forces yesterday suppressed a weekly march in the village of Bilin in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, as dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and Israeli forces briefly held an Australian solidarity protester.

The march, which was organised by the popular committee against the separation wall, set off after Friday prayers, as protesters marched through the village, chanting slogans calling for Palestinians to support Jerusalem, urging for the immediate release of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah, and the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the illegal Amona settler outpost.

Locals and a group of international and Israeli supporters all took part in the march, with protesters raising Palestinian flags and a picture of former Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein, who was killed by Israeli forces in the area two years ago.

Israeli forces dispersed the march by throwing tear gas bombs at the crowd as protesters approached the gate of Israel's Separation Wall in the western part of the village. Dozens of protesters suffered tear gas inhalation, while an Australian solidarity demonstrator was briefly held by Israeli forces.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports on the incident.

Bilin is one of the most active Palestinian villages in peaceful organized opposition against Israeli policies, as residents have protested every Friday for 11 consecutive years, and have often been met with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades from Israeli forces.

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