5 Arrestrd at the end of a march after a rally
"Shortly before midnight last night the news spread fast by phone, even before the media published it. The Anarchists Against Fences who are in close daily contact with the villagers of this region got the news and immediately spread it to the other groups and suggested an emergency joint protest at the Ministry of Defence. The others - ourselves of Gush Shalom, Courage to Refuse, Yesh Gvul, Ta'ayush, Women for Peace - immediately accepted and hardly drawing breath started to spread the alarm by phone and email".
Holocaust Day is not normally chosen as a day for protest demonstrations by the Israeli peace movement, though sensivity is eroding by the crude instrumentalization of the memorial events. But the timing of today's protest was none of our choosing.
In the bus on the way to the Defence Ministry, the voice of Prime Minister Sharon, radio broadcast from Poland: "From the Auschwitz Extermination Camp, I tell you: now we Jews can defend ourselves!". Maybe, the shooting down of two unarmed Palestinian boys at the village of Beit Likia last night was also part of "Jews defending themselves"?
As it gradually came out, in the late afternoon yesterday Beit Likia boys had been playing soccer at an empty field a bit outside their village. They suddenly got the urge to stage a protest at another field nearby, where the army habitually parks the bulldozers for the night - the fearsome machines which daily tear up the village fields, much of which stand to be forever alienated once the fence is set tup. The boys went to the bulldozer park, with no Israelis or internationals or even adult Palestinians present. Two of them, aged 14 and 15, did not survive the encounter with the bulldozers' guardian soldiers. (To those not familiar with the geography: Beit Likia is a few kilometres south of Bil'in, where last week's clash with the army took place).
Shortly before midnight last night the news spread fast by phone, even before the media published it. The Anarchists Against Fences who are in close daily contact with the villagers of this region got the news and immediately spread it to the other groups and suggested an emergency joint protest at the Ministry of Defence. The others - ourselves of Gush Shalom, Courage to Refuse, Yesh Gvul, Ta'ayush, Women for Peace - immediately accepted and hardly drawing breath started to spread the alarm by phone and email.
And so, there were between three and four hundred streaming to the Defence Ministry gates. The small parking lot where we often used to rally on this location has now been obliterated by urban renovators and building contractors, leaving only a very narrow strip of pavement in along which a long long picket line could spread and face the traffic with their upraised placards and banners:"Who is breaking the cease-fire?" "Who has blood on his hands?" "Sharon is no partner!" "The Occupation is killing us all". Some exchanges with passing motorists: "But they were throwing stones!" "Does that carry a capital punishment?" "Yes, if they are not settlers"...
After an hour, a shift. A large part of the crowd takes to the street, banners waving, with the repeated chant: "Mofaz, hey hey, how many kids did you kill today?" They walk over street after street, across the town, encountering not unfriendly crowds on the bustling Ibn Gvirol Street and on until the Likud Party Headquarters on King George Street. There, the seemingly inevitable conclusion: riot police charging, breaking up the lines, dragging six protesters into the waiting patrol cars to the din of "Police State!" and "Down with the occupation!" from dozens of young throats.
On TV, minor politicians still mouth clinches about the Holocaust. The dozens of protesters who intend to spend this night in solidarity outside the Harakevet Street Police Station might have learned some more essential lessons.
==== MEDIA REPORT ON THE DEMO ===
Hundreds rally in TA against IDF killing of 2 Palestinian teens By Tamar Traubman, Yoav Stern and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service
Hundreds of left-wing protesters demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening against the Israel Defense Forces' killing Wednesday of two Palestinian youths in the West Bank.
The two teenagers were shot dead near the village of Beit Likia, west of Ramallah, during a protest against the construction of the separation fence in the area.
Thursday's protest started opposite the Defense Ministry's Kirya compound in Tel Aviv and from there demonstrators walked to Likud Party headquarters on King George Street. Some 200-300 people attended the rally.
Once the protest left the Kirya compound, the police announced that it was illegal and begin arresting protesters. At least six people were taken in by police. Police said they were arrested for blocking roads.
MK Mohammed Barakeh addressed the rally and told them that "on the day of [remembrance for] the big Holocaust, we must make sure that there is no 'little holocaust' of Palestinians." He also said that the relatively large number of participants, given the short notice of the rally, proves that the "radical left is waking up."
Earliers Thursday, IDF Central Command chief Yair Naveh suspended a senior Combat Engineering Corps officer who commanded the force that shot dead the two Palestinians.
Naveh said the conduct of the deputy company commander was defined as "unreasonable."
Oudai A'asi, 14, and his 15-year-old cousin Kamal A'asi, both from the West Bank village of Beit Lakia, were shot dead while throwing stones together with dozens of other protestors at a separation fence work site next to a village north of Highway 443.
Around 6 P.M., some 200 youths arrived on the scene and began throwing rocks at bulldozers and at the five soldiers who arrived on the scene in a jeep.
Palestinians on the scene said the soldiers initially opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas grenades and at a certain point began firing live ammunition in the air.
Palestinian sources said the cousins were hit by live ammunition.
Ramallah hospital officials said Uday was hit in the hip and thighs and Kamel was hit in the chest.
One IDF soldier was lightly wounded by Palestinian stone-throwers.
Nineteen-year-old Karem Yusuf, who was near the two casualties, described the scene.
"I saw two soldiers but it is possible there were more," he said. "Near the soldiers was a group of 10 youths and around them were some 200 more. The distance from the first group to the soldiers was about 20 meters. Kamel and Uday were next to me when they were shot. A soldier fired several shots and I saw that Kamel was wounded in his chest."
============================== And another demo==========
This Friday, 6.5, there will be another demonstration in the village of Bilin, against the fence and the settlements that are being built on the villages lands. Today, wendsday, the bulldozers started the uprooting of more than 100 olive trees in order to make way for a new section of the apartheid wall.
We will also protest the arrest of the two Palestinians - Riad Mohamad Yassin and Alian Ibrahim Ahmad Abu Rachme, that were attacked and arrested by 'mistaarvim' in the big demonstration last week, and are still being held in ofer detention camp.
You are all welcome to join the struggle of bilin against it's daily oppression.
The demonstaration will start at 13:00. We will go there by public transportation from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at about 10:30