THE lax protest of a mainly Christian village in the Israelioccupied West Bank might he the model for a non-violent campaign in the occupied territories reminiscent of the U.S civil rights tactics of the 1960's, observers said.
The residents of Bell Sahour, a village of approximately 10,000 people near Bethlehem, peacefully withheld their tax pas ment through a six-week siege by Israeli troops that ended on October 31 in what many saw as a draw. The villagers claimed a victory over Israeli authorities. but the Israelis say they got the revenues they wanted through the sale of villagers' property (hes had confiscated. "We will • not finance the bullets that kill our children," Beit Sahour residents said in a statement issued during the protest.
The army siezed properly such as cars and household goods From tax registers to auction off in an effort to make up for the lost tax revenues. News reports estimated more than $1.5 million in property had been siezed.
Army officials said many residents would have liked to have paid their taxes. but were afraid of being branded as collaborators.