Approximately 300 women, men and children gathered at Huwwara checkpoint outside Nablus today at 11:00 a.m. to protest the military invasion in Nablus last week and to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th. The demonstration was organized by a wide coalition of groups including the Popular Committee Against the Closure of Nablus and the General Woman’s Union.
Demonstrators began to chant and march toward the checkpoint, carrying Palestinian flags, signs, and photographs of loved ones who have been killed and arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces. Once at the checkpoint, several women leaders made speeches condemning the Israeli invasion of Nablus. Protestors chanted and tried to pass through the checkpoint but were confronted by around 40 soldiers and border police.
After about 20 minutes, armed soldiers created a barricade to prevent demonstrators from getting through the checkpoint. Several Palestinian women advanced forward, only to be forcefully pushed back, which led to a line of soldiers pushing the entire crowd. The demonstrators resisted soldiers’ pushes but the crowd was moved several meters back. The rally ended with a powerful speech by a female Palestinian leader and a promise to return.
The Israeli forces closed Huwwara checkpoint during the demonstration, leaving approximately 200 people waiting for one and a half hours to pass through. Three hours after the demonstration, Palestinians passing through the checkpoint reported wait times of one hour.