22 October 2010 | International Solidarity Movement
Today in the village of An-Nabi Salah, the weekly non-violent demonstration took place against the illegal settlement Hamish. Unlike other villages taking part in non-violent resistance, many women, young girls and children participate in the protest. Today, there was a child demonstration. A commemoration also took place in order to remember the massacre during the second Intifada in a village where the children went to school.
The soldiers and border police started out by shooting teargas into the village to prevent people from going to the demonstration. They also entered the village and shot at the child demonstration.
Every Thursday the soldiers walk around the village in preparation for the Friday demonstration. Yesterday they looked for one house which they occupied today, because it’s a good location for watching what’s going on in the village and shoot easily. The people asked the soldiers not to enter the house, and eventually they agreed not to enter. However, a teargas canister was shot into another house, starting a fire. Thankfully, nobody was in the house.
They also shot some gas into a houses in the middle of the village. One woman was made to vomit and could only move her arms and legs in a strange way, . Afterwards, people resumed the demonstration and started singing and shouting slogans against the Israeli occupation. When the demonstrators went back into the village, teenage boys started to throw stones . Teenage boys started a riot and the army proceeded to throw an excessive amount of tear gas. Some people were injured by the gas and had problems with breathing. Three Palestinians were arrested for some hours but then released.
The demonstration held today in Al Ma’asara marked four years of weekly protests as part of the popular struggle against the Israeli occupation, the confiscation of land through construction of settlements and the Apartheid wall. Hundreds of participants from France, Italy, Spain, England and other countries stood alongside Palestinians peacefully protesting Israel’s failure to comply with international law. Also present were Israeli activists from Anarchists Against the Wall, Active Stills and Ta’ayush as well as Luisa Morgantini, former vice President of European Parliament.
The Israeli forces stopped the demonstration long before reaching its destination and immediately made use of sound bombs and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the activists, despite the peaceful nature of the demonstration. An older French activist was injured when a high velocity tear gas canister shot into the air by the Israeli forces struck him in the head.
Two Israeli activists were detained after crossing the line formed by the soldiers. The demonstrators held fast and refused to leave for another hour until the two activists were released.
The residents of Al Ma’asara together with international supporters declared their intentions to continue the struggle to defend their rights.
Three protesters were injured from tear gas inhalation today at the weekly Bil’in demonstration against the Apartheid wall. The march, called for by the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in, included dozens of Palestinian villagers, alongside Israeli and international solidarity activists.
The participants in the march waved Palestinian flags, and held pictures of prisoners of the popular resistance, whilst chanting slogans condemning the Israeli policies of occupation, settlement and the repression of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The demonstrators also chanted in condemnation of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem, as can be seen in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, as well as calling for the siege on Gaza to be lifted.
The Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in also denounced the persecution of its activists, led by Abdullah Abo Rahma and Adeeb Abo Rahma. It considers the trials against them biased as they are defenders of their land which was illegally annexed by the Apartheid wall. The Popular Committee considers the struggle against the wall a legitimate and legal one and calls upon the international community and international human rights organizations to stand next to the leaders and activists of the Popular resistance.
The march headed towards the wall, where the Israeli Occupation Forces were waiting. When protesters attempted to cross to the land behind the wall, which belongs to the villagers of Bi’lin, the Israeli army fired sound bombs, tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at the crowd. This led to the wounding of three marchers, including 8-year old Lama Abdullah Abo Rahma who suffered from severe difficulty in breathing. Mohammed Shawkat Al-Khateeb,17, and Ahmed Abdel Fattah Bernat ,17, were among the worst affected of dozens of others suffering from tear gas inhalation.
Before the march delegations from Spain, France and Britain met with the members of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlement at the headquarters of the International Solidarity Movement in Bil’in. The delegations listened to a detailed explanation by the Popular Committee about the experience in Bil’in of non-violent popular resistance in the past five and a half years and the role of international solidarity in the popular resistance in Bil’in.