by the ISM Media Crew
At 10:30am Palestinians were joined by international human rights activists outside the Nablus Municipal building to demonstrate in commemoration of Israel’s 40 years of Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, and to protest against the Huwara Checkpoint. Approximately 100 activists traveled by bus to a point just outside the Huwara Checkpoint and proceeded to march towards it, chanting and protesting against the illegal army post which forces Palestinians to wait for hours to pass. The checkpoint is one of the most notorious both for it’s treatment of Palestinians and because it isolates much of the Northern section of Palestine, including Nablus, from the rest of the Occupied Territories. In a form of humiliation, Palestinians are often made to wait for hours to pass through the checkpoint which only has three points of passage, and often not all of them are open. Palestinians are often detained by Occupation Forces and Border police and face violence and intimidation from them.
The Demonstration passed without aggression by either the Border Police or Army and consequently the demonstration was able to achieve its aim of non-violent protest against the occupation and against the checkpoint. During the protest demonstrators were able to chant and approach the checkpoint and drew media attention to the hundreds of people waiting in line to pass.
Following the demonstration, protestors gathered by the road leading to the Checkpoint to plant olive trees in symbolic defiance of the 51,000 trees that have been uprooted and destroyed over the past five years in the Nablus region alone.