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Removing the Reason for Bil'in Protests

IDF begins razing security fence section that has been the focus of violent Arab demonstrations for six years. CNN's report is noteworthy.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/23/2011, 1:49 PM / Last Update: 6/23/2011, 1:55 PM

Flash 90

The IDF has begun to take down a part of the security fence not far from Ben Gurion International Airport that has been the focus of violent Arab demonstrations for six years.

The Supreme Court ruled nearly four years ago that the route of the security barrier near eastern Modiin Illit (Kiryat Sefer) is illegal, as it violates the rights of the residents of the adjacent Arab town of Bil’in. Actual removal of the barrier has been delayed until an alternative route could be found – a difficult task, given the topographic, demographic, security and other issues involved.

Every Friday for the last several years, Arabs, left-wing protestors and international anarchists arrive at the barrier to hurl rocks, metal objects and insults at IDF forces. Many attempts have been made to take down the fence. The protests have often turned exceedingly violent, and dozens on both sides have been injured; some deaths have also been reported.  A death this past January of an Arab woman was blamed on IDF tear gas, but a subsequent investigation found that she was not in the vicinity of the protest, and had actually died of cancer. 

Michael Sfard, a lawyer representing residents of Bil’in, told CNN that as a result of the court ruling, about 172 acres of land would ultimately be given over to Arab use - less than half of what he claimed they had “lost.”

CNN’s report of the issue is worthy of note. It reported that “from 2001 to 2004, 488 Israelis were killed in suicide attacks, according to figures provided by Israel's internal security agency.” In fact, however, without differentiating between suicide attacks and other types of murderous bombings and the like, no fewer than 1,018 were killed from the beginning of the Oslo War through 2004.

CNN Objectivity
CNN’s presentation of the two views of the security barrier was also noteworthy. It reported that “many Palestinians refer to the barrier as the ‘apartheid wall’ and view it as nothing more than a land grab by Israel (emphasis added – ed.) to help support and expand settlements in the West Bank.” However, when reporting on the Israeli view, CNN wrote, “The Israeli government chooses to refer to it (emphasis added – ed.) as the ‘security fence,’ necessary to protect its citizens from what it views as (emphasis added – ed.) terrorist attacks.”