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Breaking the Checkpoint

Tree Planting and Checkpoint Occupation at Huwara

3 June 2007

On Tuesday, June 5, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, Palestinians will stage a demonstration and plant over 50 olive trees at Huwara checkpoint. A large number of groups in Nablus have been involved with organizing this action and demonstration, including the Women’s Society, the Rehabilitation Union, the International Solidarity Movement, the Agricultural Ministry, the Breaking Closure and Checkpoints Committee, and others.

Palestinians have invited international solidarity activists from many peace groups inside Palestine, and they are expecting a huge turnout because of the many organizations involved with the planning.

Palestinians and solidarity activists are expected to plant the olive trees just meters from the checkpoint. Sameh, a resident of Nablus, said that “after we plant the trees, we will then take over the Huwara checkpoint. We are expecting a violent response from the Israeli soldiers at Huwara, who are usually aggressive towards us on a daily basis. We are calling on all internationals to join us in this action, to witness our non-violent struggle, and to protest Israel’s ongoing, brutal Occupation.”

Demonstrators will meet on Faisal St. near the Municipality Building at 10:00am. From there, the trees and activists will be transported to the checkpoint. Once the trees are planted, the checkpoint will be blocked, according to Sameh. The action is expected to last approx. 3 hours.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 528 checkpoints and roadblocks were recorded in the West Bank, choking its roads every few miles. Israel’s daily Haaretz newspaper puts the figure even higher: in January there were 75 permanently manned checkpoints, some 150 mobile checkpoints, and more than 400 places where roads have been blocked by obstacles.

Demonstrations against Israel’s 40 year Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights, are scheduled to take place over the next week, reaching from Hebron to Ramallah, to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and more.

For more info, contact:
ISM Media Office, 0599-943-157, 0542-103-657, 02-297-1824