International Solidarity Movement
15 June 2010Al Ma’asara
Around 30 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered for the weekly demonstration in Al Ma’asara on Friday June 11th. The participators called for the Israeli government to stop construction of the illegal apartheid wall, which will claim a sizeable amount of the village’s farmland. Village resident Hassan was arrested during the peaceful demonstration.
The demonstration began with a march. Many organizations were represented, including the International Solidarity Movement, Anarchists Against the Wall, and Holy Land Trust.
The planned route of the illegal wall annexes much of the village’s farmland, with dramatic consequences. Protesters shouted slogans against the illegal wall, to end the occupation, and their hopes for peace.
The march was met by Israeli soldiers, who obstructed the junction as usual. Hassan was then arrested. The demonstrators remained protesting Hassan’s arrest and waiting for his release. During this time four military jeeps, one tank and one police car arrived. As demonstrators demanded Hassan’s release through a megaphone, the army responded with the promise that Hassan would be released if the group moved 15 meters back. However, after ten minutes soldiers left with Hassan.
Demonstrators in Bil’in today formed their own Palestine national football team, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right to be an independent nation. The players, together with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, marched to the annexation barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was constructed and a game was begun. Israeli soldiers responded to this entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of tear gas at the participants. They then came through the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom were soon released.
The tear gas canisters fired also caused large fires on the dry ground around the olive trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the groups of villagers attempting to put out the flames.
Many Palestinian, Israeli and international protestors gathered Saturday for the weekly demonstration organized by Youth Against Settlements. The demonstrations call for freedom of movement for Palestinians in Hebron, generally, and specifically for the opening of Shuhada St. The protest began at the Hebron municipality and marched to one end of the closed Shuhada St. At the barrier, participants chanted and held signs in solidarity with the Palestinians living in Hebron.
During the protest, settlers gathered to harass and provoke the demonstrators. One settler even approached the barrier to further provoke, warning that there would be another Baruch Goldstein. Baruch Goldstein was an American doctor from Brooklyn, who, in 1994, went into Ibrahimi Mosque during prayers, and massacred twenty-nine people inside the mosque, then went outside to continue the slaughter.
After the massacre inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, Shuhada St. was blocked off to Palestinians completely. In 2000, the street was closed for the “security of the settlers”, including around 500 shops in the middle of the city. After this, due to a lack of traffic, more than 1000 shops were closed. Since then, more than 100 checkpoints have been installed, while settlers not only enjoy the freedom of movement, but also have full protection of the Israeli Military. These settlers have completely changed the lives of some 200,000 Palestinians, reducing their lives to enough of a living hell for roughly 1000 families to abandon their homes.
The protest went from the Shuhada St. closure through the Old City, and met with soldiers, then continued back to the Shuhada St. closure where the protest ended. The spokesperson for Youth Against the Settlements called on the people of the Old City to join in the protest, and thanked all demonstrators for their show of support. As usual, participants were urged to continue the struggle against the divisions of Hebron, as well as the occupation of Palestine.Dahamash
Sunday evening, two hundred Palestinian, international and Israeli activists demonstrated against the demolition order of 70 houses in the village of Dahamash. Demonstrators marched from the village to the main adjacent road where they concentrated and chanted, demanding the recognition of the village and a stop to the demolition orders.
Residents from Sheikh Jarrah and international and Israeli activists rallied for an hour in solidarity with the villagers of Dahamash. Speeches were given by Nasser Gawi of Sheikh Jarrah and leaders of Dahamash’s community, denouncing the Israel’s racist policy towards Palestinians and claiming their right to live on their lands. In a jovial atmosphere, the internationally-famous Palestinian hip hop group, DAM, gave a concert in which they showed their solidarity with the people of Dahamash, Sheikh Jarrah and all Palestinians.
Dahamash is a small unrecognized village between Lod and Ramlle that existed since before 1948 and was built on privately owned Palestinian land. The state of Israel refuses to recognize the village, claming the land is agricultural land, while in adjacent Jewish villages land is rezoned for building. Now that the Municipality of Ramlle is building a new Jewish neighborhood adjacent to the village, the mayor believes the new Jewish residents will prefer not to have Dahamash residents as neighbors and so has issued 70 demolition orders for houses in the village. If the demolitions proceed, 600 men, women and children will lose their homes.