Middle East Times
June 27, 2008 - 4:25pm

Twelve Palestinians were wounded on Thursday when Israeli troops dispersed a protest against the separation wall in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said.

Around 300 people had gathered outside the village of Nilin for the latest in a series of protests against the wall, which Israel says is necessary for its security and Palestinians say is part of a larger land grab.

As the crowd approached the wall troops dispersed the demonstrators using tear gas and rubber bullets, protest organiser Saleh al-Khawaja told AFP.

His Committee to Confront the Wall has modelled its activities after those in the nearby village of Bilin where Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists have held weekly protests against the wall for more than two years.

"It's a regular riot and today was more violent than usual," an Israeli military spokesman said, adding that protesters threw rocks at Israeli soldiers and border police, lightly wounding two troops and a policeman.

Israel says the 650-kilometre (405-mile) barrier is necessary to protect it from terrorist attacks. The Palestinians call it an "apartheid wall" and complain that large chunks of the West Bank are cut off as a result.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling declaring parts of the barrier illegal because they were built inside the occupied West Bank, but Israel has pressed ahead with its construction.


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