Bil'in is not alone... and more so lately. The struggle in Ni'ilin catch momentum. After months of meetings and preparations it started the previous week.This week we participated there in four demonstrations, in the first one the works on the route of the fence were stopped for more than half an hour. Thursday our activists went for a solidarity demonstration with Mousa Abu Maria - activist of the joint struggle in the south of Bethlehem region, who is administratively jailed at the Ktsiot concentration camp. On Friday we had the the 171th demonstrations at Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Um Salmuna. We also participated in the demonstration against the theft of lands of the village Dir Istiya for the settler colony of Revava.
A noisy solidarity demonstration with Mousa Abu Maria outside the Ktsiot military concentration camp (for Palestinians) * free Mousa Abu Maria *
Ten demonstrators came to the military court at the Ktsiot prison to express their support for the peace activist Mousa Abu Maria of the Beit Umar village, while there was hearing of his contesting the administrative order of his detention issued against him a month ago.
The hearing of the contest against the ratifying the detention order for 6 months period was behind closed doors. Behind these closed doors the demonstrators converged. On their chests were banners of "I am Mousa Abu Maria" in various languages. All along the hearing they called with a megaphone for the release of Mousa and the other prisoners, against administrative detention, and agains the occupation. They accompanied it with high volium drooming. The calls and noise were heard clearly within the caravan housing the court.
The demonstration raised interest within the prison and few minuted after it started prison guards arrived, tried to drive the demonstrators away, to confiscate the banners and detained the photographers documenting the action.
In spite of that, the demonstration continued till the end of the hearing, while in parallel the photographs were checked if not violating the ban of photographing the military premises. Though the verdict will be given in the near future, there is no much hope the verdict based on secret "evidence" not available for refuting by the defense will bring the release of Mousa.
Mousa is age 30. He is one of the founders of the Palestinian Solidarity Project (PSP) grass roots community non armed activity for joint struggle together with internationals and Israeli activists.
We participated this week in the Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and friday demonstrations:
"Struggle Against the Wall in Nil’in Begins Anew, Amidst Use of New Weaponry.
If the Israeli military gets what it is asking, Nil’in along with 7 other villages in the Western Ramallah district will be completely surrounded by the Annexation Barrier and Israeli-only settlement roads. In 2003 the villagers of the district, including Budrus, Al-Midya, Dir Qaddis and Kharbata, held almost daily demonstrations against the confiscation of their land. In Budrus, the campaign was successful and the Annexation Barrier was pushed back to the Green Line in all but a few hundred meters of land. This week, construction has begun again on the land of Nil’in and the demonstrations have begun in earnest. Four demonstrations have been held in the past week and the residents, numbering in the several hundreds, have been successful in blocking the bulldozers on more than one occasion.
Yesterday (Tuesday), approximately 500 Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists marched to the site of the bulldozers and attempted again to block the destruction of the Palestinian land and livelihood. They were met with overwhelming violence, including a jeep-mounted tear gas ‘cannon’ capable of shooting several canisters of tear gas at once directly into a crowd. Participants held out for quite some time under the barrage of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and sound grenades though more than 2 dozen were injured, including at least four people who required hospitalization. Demonstrations in Ni’lin will continue as residents are determined to resist the theft of their land and their livelihoods."
Thursday, 5 activists were arrested - 4 Palestinians and one of the Israeli AAtW. The Israeli activist was released after a night in prison on condition he will not participate for the following 60 days in the struggle in Ni'ilin....
Here is a link to the report about the struggle in Ni'ilin of 25-05-08
Here is the call for Tuesday and Thursday demonstrations:
The village of Ni'ilin will hold a big demo this Tuesday, against the construction of the apartheid wall, taking most of the its remaining lands.
The last few demos in the village, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, were strong and inspiring. At two of them the people of the village succeeded in blocking the bulldozers and stop their work. I know it's hard to come to demos on weekdays, but as long as the people of the village are willing to try and stop the construction, it's very important that we join them.
Video of that demo:
Another demo will take place on Thursday.
Video of the Thursday demonstration:
Two of the three Israeli TV channels included part of the documentary.
In it you can see the commanders stop soldiers from brutalizing demonstrators in front of the cameras... The army spoke person claim that was included in the evening news was that the said soldiers were already punished... (probably for their stupidity of harassing Israeli demonstrators in front of cameras)
[Your editor with his white hairs can be seen in the above video clip with partial immunity due to white heirs... I.S.]
Um Salmuna 30-05-08 by kobi snitz
Two arrests at the weekly demonstration in Um Salmuna.
The weekly demonstration at Um Salmuna was joined by a large American delegation from the Christian Peacemakers Team and the holly land trust.
As every week, soldiers placed an arbitrary line marked with barbed wire and prevented the demonstration from marching to the land. When some insisted on their right to march they were attacked by soldiers and border police troops. Two Israelis were arrested but eventually released at the spot where the demo took place.
During the week, mainly at nights, activists of the AAtW helped to keep presence at the Bil'in outpost located west of the separation fence. From time to time the state force do not follow the decree of the Israeli Highest court which ordered it to let the people of the Bil'in village to cross the separation fence to their lands located west of it. The outpost that was built about two years ago, during a rainy winter night, in order to make the presence of the Bil'in people at the lands west of the separation fence, more visible, is one of the continuous arenas of confrontation with the Israeli state forces and the colonialist settlers of the Modi'in Ilit. (It is a settler colonialist town of already more than 30,000 inhabitants, being built on the robbed lands of Bil'in and the neighboring Palestinian villages). The presence and meetings at the outpost is both a tool and a symbol of the joint struggle against the separation fence.
The 171th Friday demonstration was as usual last few weeks.
Like in Ni'ilin, the new automatic canon of tear gas grenades was brought for a test in Bil'in too, and was fired towards the end of the action.
David Reeb video clip of this Friday demonstration:
First, the invitation to join the struggle and background:
"For immediate release.
Stop settlement expansion! Stop stealing Palestinian land!
Farmers of Dir Istiya will hold a non-violent protest on their land appropriated by the illegal Israeli Settlement of Revava
On Friday the 30.05.2008, the farmers of Dir Istiya, supported by international and Israeli activists, will hold their Friday prayers on land slated for an expansion of the illegal Israeli Settlement Revava. To assert their ownership they will then plant olive trees on the land razed by Israeli bulldozers in the last days.
On May 15th farmers discovered that bulldozers and diggers were razing land North West of Revava settlement, apparently for a new housing unit for the settlement. At least 200 Dunum belonging two 10 families from Dir Istiya are effected so far. The land is partially planted with olive and tamarind trees, partially used for grazing and collecting wild plants. However, Israeli settlers and army have prevented Palestinian farmers from planting summer crops and trees on their land close to the settlement since the late 1990s, repeatedly threatening the farmers and uprooting olive trees.
On Monday, the 26th of May, after complaints with the DCO did not result in the work being stopped, farmers spontaneously went to physically stop the bulldozers. A temporary freeze on the work was then imposed by the DCO, but might be lifted or violated by the constructors any time. The village is preparing to file a law suit against the blatant land grab as well as planning a series of protests.
Farmers and Israeli and international supporters will gather in the centre of Dir Istiya at
11.00 a.m. and then march together to the land."
Lately, the Bil'in mode of persistent joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation collect momentum. Though the number of the activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative, and the people who sporadicly join us is too small for join all the villages that invite us to participate in their non violent direct actions we decided to accept the invitation of the popular comity of Dir Istiya.
Following the distribution of the above invitation, a team of our activists traveled there this Friday.