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Prayer against Wall in Bethlehem village

by the ISM media team, January 17th

AP photo from Monday 15th

This Friday at 11, villagers in the South Bethlehem region will gather on the land of Umm Salamuna village to pray. After prayers they will tend to their olive trees and grape vines which are threatened with destruction for the Apartheid Wall and a settler-only road. Israeli authorities plan to annex 2800 and raze 270 dunums of agricultural land, which belong to many of the village’s 1,000 residents. Demolition orders have also been issued against neighbouring villages. Residents of 10 villages in the South Bethlehem region will attend this Friday’s activities.These villages have already lost much of their land to Efrat settlement to the west.

In recent weeks IOF bulldozers have met with resistance from villagers as they intensify their destruction of village land. Two weeks ago villagers from Umm Salamuna threw themselves in front of bulldozers and suffered beatings from the IOF but managed to stop work. When the bulldozers and IOF returned to Umm Salamuna this Monday, villagers again resisted this military might with their bodies and two suffered broken bones from rifle butt beatings.

Village Council President Mahmoud Rashid says this military violence won’t deter the villagers from their resistance: “The people will defend their lands with all the strength they have. It constitutes their only source of livelihood, and no one will accept that the Wall is on their land isolating hundreds of dunams from each farmer and outright destroying at least 200 meters.”

AP photo from Monday 15th

For more information contact:
Mahmoud Zawahira, Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, Umm Salamuna – 0599586004
ISM media office – 02 2971824, 0599943157