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Israeli forces violently arrest demonstrators in al-Walaja

15 May 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

At 11 AM on al-Nakba remembrance day, 500 residents from the West Bank village of al-Wallajeh and international supporters marched towards the Israeli Apartheid Wall. The Wall was built to separate the villagers from their original land from which they were expelled in 1948. The demonstration was violently attacked by the Israeli military with rubber coated steal bullets, tear gas and protesters were beaten
with batons and rifles. One youth was hospitalized after being injured by a rubber coated steal bullet .

Eight Palestinians including twins aged 11 and 6 internationals (American, Dutch, German and Canadian nationals) were arrested. The army proceeded to raid the village and invade each house, searching for people who had participated in the demonstrations. The raids as well as confrontations between the army and the village youth are ongoing.

The Arrested Palestinans are:
Mazen Qumsiyah
Basel Al Araj
Ahmed Al Araj
Mohammad Al Araj
Allah And Mohammed Abu Tin 11 year old twins
Tarek Abu Tin
Adel Abu Tin

Al-Walaja is an agrarian village of about 2,000 people, located south of Jerusalem and West of Bethlehem. Following the 1967 Occupation of the West Bank and the redrawing of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, roughly half the village was annexed by Israel and included in the Jerusalem municipal area. The village’s residents, however did not receive Israeli residency or citizenship, and are considered illegal in their own homes.

Once completed, the path of the Wall is designed to encircle the village’s built-up area entirely, separating the residents from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and almost all their lands – roughly 5,000 dunams. Previously, Israeli authorities have already confiscated approximately half of the village’s lands for the building of the Har Gilo and Gilo settlements, and closed off areas to the south and west of it. The town’s inhabitants have also experienced the cutting down of fruit orchards and house demolition due to the absence of building permits in Area C.

According to a military confiscation order handed to the villagers, the path of the Wall will stretch over 4890 meters between Beit Jala and al-Walaja, affecting 35 families, whose homes may be slated for demolition.