MK among 10 hurt at anti-fence protest (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Arnon Regular 04/29/05)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
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MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) was among 10 left-wing activists and a
press photographer who were lightly injured yesterday when security
forces dispersed a demonstration against the separation fence close
to the West Bank village on Bil´in.
Bil´in, which is located north of the Jerusalem-Modi´in highway, has
been the site of daily demonstrations against the fence by
Palestinians and Israeli leftists. Hundreds of dunams of village
land, located in the West Bank, were confiscated for use in
construction of the fence.
Police officers and Israel Defense Forces troops at the site clashed
with the hundreds of protesters who attended the anti-fence rally.
The security forces fired rubber bullets and sprayed tear gas to
disperse the crowd. During the clashes, which also included fist-
fights, an Associated Press photographer was lightly hurt,
apparently by a stun grenade thrown by police officers.
According to the demonstrators, at one point a stun grenade also
went off near Barakeh´s leg. He was treated by an ambulance crew at
During the clashes, undercover security forces mingled with the
demonstrators and began to throw stones at the soldiers and police,
demonstrators said. The undercover security forces had provoked the
police and soldiers into opening fire with rubber bullets and tear
gas. The demonstrators said they had not thrown stones at the
soldiers and police.
Barakeh added that the protest had been calm and that the security
forces had unnecessarily used excessive force in an effort to
disperse the crowd. He said he had identified himself to the
commander of the forces and that while talking with him, the stun
grenade had been thrown.
Later in the day, Barakeh sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem
Mazuz, Military Advocate General Avihai Mandelblit and the head of
the Justice Ministry´s police investigations department, Herzl
Shviro, demanding that a criminal investigation be opened against
those responsible for the firing of the stun grenade.
Military sources charged that Barakeh and the commander of the
forces at the scene had not exchanged words; the sources added that
the undercover forces had only started throwing stones after
Palestinian youths had adopted such tactics. "Stone-throwing by the
undercover forces is part of the way in which they operate in such
instances," the sources said. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz. 04/29/05)
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