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Taking it to the street in Um Salamona

by ISM Hebron, 9 June 2007

At approximately 1:00 pm, about 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals gathered at a home in the village of Um Salamona to demonstrate against the 40 year brutal Occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights, and against the construction of the Israeli apartheid wall. On their way to the demonstration, two Palestinian men were arrested by Israeli forces for unknown reasons.

Following the village members’ Friday sermon and prayer, the non-violent demonstrators made their way to the gate of the home in an attempt to march in the street. As they approached the gate, they chanted for the cessation of the development of the apartheid wall and for the liberation of Palestine. The border police blocking the way responded with unprovoked violence.

Several peace activists were kicked, shoved, and thrown. Simultaneously, one Palestinian man in his 60s was plucked from the crowd, thrown to the ground, and kicked repeatedly before being arrested. Three Israeli activists attempted to reach the street by climbing over the fence, but they were immediately arrested. A nearby gate was then discovered to be open, so approximately half of the demonstrators ran through to the street, while the remaining half were blocked by border police who had reached this second gate. The demonstrators still inside the gate made their way to a third open gate and succeeded in reaching the street. The Israeli border police and soldiers then maintained a presence in the street, prohibiting the activists from going toward Hebron.