BIL’IN: Palestine’s own national football team protest at the Wall 12Jun10 June 13, 2010

Demonstrators in Bili’in today formed their own Palestine national football team, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right to be an independent nation. The players, together with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, marched to the annexation barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was constructed and a game was begun. Several footballs were kicked over the fence onto land once owned by the village. Israeli soldiers responded to this entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of tear gas at the participants. They then came through the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom were soon released. Two – one Palestinian and one international – remain in detention at the time of writing.

The tear gas canisters fired also caused large fires on the dry ground around the olive trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the groups of villagers attempting to put out the flames.

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