30 Apr 2010
link Irish activist and documentarian Tommy Donnelan, 63, was this afternoon wounded and detained for two hours by the Israeli Military in the West Bank.
While filming a non-violent protest against the role of Irish cement multinational CRH in building Israel's apartheid wall in the village of Bil'in, Mr. Donnellan was rushed by an Israeli snatch-squad of 4 or 5 soldiers. His throat and shirt were grabbed, his gas mask was torn off, and after being wrestled to the ground he was arrested. During the arrest he sustained a 3 inch gash to his right leg and was bleeding hevaily from his left ear, from which a piece was torn off. About two hours later he was released without charge.
Speaking after his release, Mr. Donnellan stated: "Thank the Lord I'm ok now. I've lost a chunk of my ear - but not my dignity. I was plainly in the role of journalist, videoing the proceedings, I should not have been arrested, especially in such a violent manner."
Mr. Donnellan continued: "This is yet another example of the impunity and inhumanity with which the Israli occupation forces operate on a daily basis. It is also shines an unflattering light of the shameful activities of the Irish cement company CRH, who are directly involved in the building of this monstrous wall and thus complicit in what happened to me today, and in the regular human rights abuses - including murder of anti-Wall activists - by the Israeli military in Bil'in and elsewhere."
Every Friday afternoon residents of the West Bank village of bil'in, along with Israeli and International activists stage a non-violent protest against the construction of the Wall on their land.
Today's demonsration focused on the role CRH plays in the building of the Wall - CRH owns 25% of Israel's sole cement company, (Mashav) Nesher Cement. Palestinians led the demonstration - carring placards calling on CRH to divest from its Israeli cement subsidiary - to the spot where 31-year-old Bil'in resident Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed by the Israeli military last year.
At this spot, Mr. Iyad Burnat, coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee, addressed CRH dirctely saying "You are complicit in the murder and killing of my friend Bassem, and all the other non-violent activists that have been killed and injured for resisting this horrendous wall. CRH is directly implictict. I, as a Palestinian, am asking the Irish people to join the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and get involved in the divestment campaign against CRH. This complicity must end."
This year the CRH Annual General Meeting starts at 11am Wednesday May 5th, in the Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road in Dun Laoghaire. The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is organising a protest outside. We will be assembling at at 10.15am at the Catholic church plaza.
Related Link: http://www.ipsc.ie/crhdivest