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During a violent riot today in Bil’in, rioters continued to hurl rocks at security forces and damage the security fence. Approximately 70 rioters participated. In addition, another violent riot occurred simultaneously in Hebron in which four Border Policemen were injured and one Border Policewoman was lightly injured after being assaulted by a female rioter. The rioter was subsequently arrested.

Protesters are free to partake in non-violent demonstrations and express their opinions as they wish. However when violence is used against people and property, security forces are forced to respond with riot dispersal means. Last year alone, 47 IDF (Zahal) soldiers and Border Policemen were injured by rock hurling during these protests, many requiring hospital treatment.

Every Friday, violent and illegal riots take place in the West Bank villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin protesting the path of the security fence. The Israeli High Court ruled that the course of the fence should be altered, and currently work is underway for the new fence. When the new security fence is completed, the one adjacent to Bil’in will be removed. Despite this, demonstrators continue to riot. While some demonstrators are peaceful, many use violence, hurling rocks or firebombs at security forces (IDF (Zahal) soldiers and Border Policemen), resulting in hundreds of injuries. Security forces respond with riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the violent gatherings.

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