Photostory: Bil’in, the art of shaking off

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You have reached an Electronic Intifada slide show. The Electronic Intifada (EI), found at, publishes news, commentary, analysis, and reference materials about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Palestinian perspective.

In January 2005 the people of the West Bank village of Bil’in began holding weekly demonstrations demanding access to their farmlands that had been cut off by the Israeli separation barrier. During that time of popular and nonviolent struggle the response by the Israeli army intensified and grew increasingly violent. Because of their resilience, the people of Bil’in’s struggle began to receive media coverage and support internationally. The separation barrier has stagnated the agriculturally-based economy in Bil’in and has become a symbol of Israeli oppression and colonization in the West Bank.

A few weeks ago the Israeli High Court finally followed through on its classification of the route of the wall as illegal and ordered the IDF and Israeli government to reroute the wall in Bil’in. Though only a little over half the stolen farmland will be given back it is still unclear when the decision will be enforced. In a speech given to demonstrators a few weeks ago after they heard the court’s decision, Popular Committee of Bil’in representative Basel Mansour stated that the villagers of Bil’in will continue to struggle until the occupation ends in total:

“And we will crush all of the machinations of the occupation, until we reach the ocean that knows no border — and on its safe shores, we will sing the song of freedom and peace, together — far from the injustices of the occupation, and its roadblocks and barriers.”

From May to July 2007 Adam Beach traveled throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel photographing various forms of nonviolent resistance against the occupation. Beach’s photos will be part of a documentary film project set to be released in the spring of 2008. He can be contacted at wagepeacebeach AT gmail DOT com.

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