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Palestinians Open Checkpoint by Laying down on Settler Road

by Ali Omar and Raad

Today, July 26th, at 5pm, the IOF closed Yesthar checkpoint (west of Nablus) in all directions for all Palestinian and settlers passing on the road. They re-opened it at 7pm for just the settlers, while there were dozens of Palestinians waiting to go back to their homes.

Previously the road was only for settler use, but was opened for Palestinians in 2004 after it was closed since the beginning of the Intifada.

Opening the checkpoint just for the settlers made the Palestinians very angry and they responded by having a completely non-violent direct action by lying down on the road and closing it with their bodies. The army responded with excessive violence by beating the people and throwing sound grenades at the crowd. This violence wasn’t helpful to evacuate the crowd who continued chanting songs of the Intifada and refusing to move.

After the failure of the IOF troops to open the way for the settlers who were stuck waiting, the settlers began threatening the Palestinians with their machine guns, waving them at their faces. The soldiers did nothing to stop the settler’s threats.

The army failed to evacuate the Palestinians who occupied the checkpoint from 7pm until 9pm and so the army was forced to open the checkpoint for all.