3 December 2010 | International Solidarity Movement
Friday, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched together in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem against recent brutality toward the village by the Israeli government: house demolitions by Israeli authorities, a siege on entrances to the neighborhood, and police misconduct with local residents. This is the first joint protest to be held in Issawiya, a neighborhood that has experienced much turmoil in recent years.
Like most Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, Issawiya is neglected by the municipality. Portions of its land have been annexed at different times to build up Jewish neighborhoods, roads, and parks, and the villagers suffer from continuous harassment by the police. Within the last month Israeli authorities have significantly increased the number of house demolitions, set up barricades and roadblocks, and repeatedly entered the area to patrol and issue fines for minor vehicular defects.
There is only one main entrance now open to traffic going in and out of the village; the rest having been sealed off by the authorities with concrete barricades. Israelis joined the residents in solidarity and walked through the neighborhood, ending the procession at its other end where a narrow opening in the concrete barricades is wide enough to allow only one or two people to pass at a time.
Despite that the protest was non violent, after it had ended and Israeli and International activists had left, Israeli border police entered the neighborhood and fired tear gas grenades. Once again, Occupation forces brutally punished any form of resistance by the residents.