Protest represion

Peaceful protests and non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation have existed since the beginning of the Zionist colonisation movement but have seen a new phase since the construction of the wall and the Israeli settlements in the occupied territory. We could consider the village of Bil’in as a paradigmatic example of these struggles against the wall. The lands of Bil’in village began to be annexed in the 1980s by a nearby illegal Jewish settlement. In 2005, the Wall began to be built directly through the lands of Bil’in’s Palestinian farmers. Since 2005, Bil’in has organised weekly direct actions and demonstrations, gaining the attention of the international community with its creativity and perseverance.Thanks to the popular mobilization and legal struggle undertaken by Bil’in inhabitants, in 2007, the Israeli High Court ruled that the route of the Wall be moved back.

A number of direct actions have been organized, including the blocking of Apartheid Road 443 and other roads, an action protest in Rami Levi supermarket in line with the call to Boycott products that support the Occupation, and cutting off apartheid separation fence in several locations. These actions aim to reclaim the right to use settler-only roads, challenge Occupation and segregation policies and disrupt the lives of settlers. In 2021, 45 cases of settler violence have been documented by B’Tselem, from vandalization of trees and other properties to physical assaults resulting in Palestinian casualties or farmers being driven out and barred from their lands. The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) was born from the anti-Wall and anti-Settlement popular movement that started in the early 2000’s in different villages throughout the West Bank as a common platform acting as a steering body for all the grassroots local popular committees 12.

But the Palestinians are also persecuted by their own authorities. The Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank have launched a chilling campaign of repression cracking down on peaceful protests with unlawful force, targeting journalists, civil society activists, and lawyers with arbitrary arrests and torturing detainees 13.