The 60 years anniversary of the Naqba included many activities both in Palestine and Israel. The Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall were invited to more activities than we could attend. The following three traditional Friday demonstrations got the priority. There was the new tradition of more than a year long of demonstrations against the separation fence in the south of Bethlehem region (see report on Um Salmuna and Al-Hadder bellow). The third was, of course, the 169 Friday demonstration in Bil'in. As we choose the less frequent route of march to the Northern part of the fence, the state force came a bit late for the usual confrontation, which was of low intensity - mostly tear gas.
South of Bethlehem
On Friday (16.5) morning some thirty Palestinians, 25 internationals and 5 Israelis gathered for the weekly demonstration against the wall in Um Salamunne, which was this week dedicated to the memory of the Palestinian Naqba. As the regular Border Police units were probably too busy guarding Bush's visit, there were none of them around to stop the demonstration, and only 15 soldiers (all of them new to the area) guarded the barbed wire put on the road to prevent demonstrators from marching to the route of the wall and to the village lands.
The demonstrators successfully confiscated two such metal fences, facing stun grenades thrown at them by the soldiers (these were thrown very close to some of the children who came to the demonstration), and managed to proceed several meters behind the soldier lines before being stopped again.
Following several more confrontations, speeches about the Naqba, and one round of "We Shall Overcome" sung by the Americans who joined the demonstration (leaving the soldiers quite bewildered) - the demonstration ended, and everybody returned to the village.
Later that day, after the Friday noon prayer which took place on the main road to their village, citizens of Al-Hadder marched towards the planned route of the wall on their lands. They were stopped by Border Police, threatening to shoot anybody who touches the barbed wire put on the road. After chanting several slogans and giving speeches on the Naqba - demonstrators left back to the village.