Residents of a Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of Israeli, spent tear gas canisters, to honor those killed during their weekly protests against the separation barrier.
The village of Bil’in, 12 kilometers west of Palestinian de-facto capital Ramallah, has recently become a symbol of peaceful resistance to the Israeli settlement program. Residents have created an oasis in the middle of the desert landscapes of the West Bank, and sown flower seeds in tear gas canisters, which they collected following clashes with Israeli police.
“We can make life out of these gas canisters which can kill people. We plant flowers inside these things,” Khadi Abu Rahma, a Palestinian journalist and one of the garden’s creators told RT.
Khadi is cousin of Bassem Abu Rahma, a protest leader who was killed in 2009 when a tear gas canister struck him in the chest. The garden is to commemorate him and other victims of the Palestinians’ fight for their land.
Residents of Bil’in claim 60% of their farmland was cut off by the Israeli separation wall. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that it should partially be re-routed.
Since 2005, villagers have been going out almost every Friday for anti-wall protests, which would often result on violent crackdowns by Israeli soldiers. The village’s struggle to regain its land became the subject of a 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary – “Five Broken Cameras.”
Despite protests, Israel says it needs the wall to keep Palestinian attackers out.
For more on the Israeli-Palestinian standoff and the unusual garden, watch RT Paula Slier’s report from, Bil’in, West Bank.