Saturday, July 5, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The weekly report about the activists of the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall Bil'in, Um SAlmuna, Ni'ilin, Tel Aviv

During the week we were busy in Ni'ilin joint struggle and two solidarity demonstrations in Tel Aviv. At Ni'ilin, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday demonstrations against the separation fence and occupation. In Tel Aviv we had vigils in front of the German embassy on Monday and in front of the Austrian embassy on Wednesday (see below). On Friday we demonstrated as usual against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in - the 176th since February 2005.
Our people also participated in the joint struggle at Um Salmuna, and in Ni'ilin, the new intensive front, with intense confrontation on Friday when the state forces declares closer at dawn and entered at noon as provocation/revenge.

German embassy vigil

Solidarity demo with Christian and Andrea in front of the German embassy
Monday the 30th of June. Andrea and Christian are political prisoners that are imprisoned in Berlin for over six months now. They were arrested in December 2007 while blocking a neo Nazi demo, they were accused of serial disobedience. The argument leading to a three years imprisonment is that they are politically aware so a regular punishment is not enough to deter them.

Austrian embassy Vigil

On Friday 2.7 we had a second vigil in front of the Austrian embassy in solidarity with 10 activists for animal rights - arrested a month ago in infringement of the west European civil rights. An Austrian coalition of activists organizations called for a world wide demonstrations.

Ni'ilin Demonstrations

It is hard to point on the exact reason why the struggle in Ni'ilin got its specific form. For the last few weeks since the beginning of the work on the main part of the separation fence between Ni'ilin and the settler colonialist colony of Hashmonaim, twice or three times a week people of the village with support of international activists and Israelis of the AAtW try to disrupt the works on the kilometer long route of the separation fence. Some times even with partial success. Tuesday, we surprised the state forces who were concentrated on the east side - where we disrupted the works twice the previous week, by converging on the west side of the route. Five to seven heavy machinery units were damaged. In retaliation, the state forces declares a closer at dawn - preventing entering or exit from the village. At noon as provocation/revenge, they entered the village with armored cars to a space where the villagers had their protest noon prayer out of the mosque.

The villagers retaliated by building barricades, stoning the cars and breaking their bulletproof windows. When the army brought a bulldozer to open the way for the cars.. it was assaulted and had to escape.

Late afternoon when the turmoil ended, four Israeli activists were detained near the highway for three hours (The maximum duration the soldiers are aloud) on suspicious of entering Ni'lin so called closed military zone.

Um Salmuna

Report by a comrade

"Two committee members arrested in Al-Maasara/Um Salamuna

On Friday, July 4th, activists gathered in Al-Ma’asara, Bethlehem District, the Palestinians brought a huge flag with them, but unfortunately this was not an independence day celebration, but the weekly demonstration against the Annexation Barrier and continuing theft of Palestinian land.
Click on image for a larger version

Um Salamona, 04_07_2008-activestills-4.jpg

As last week there were about 40 Palestinian activists and roughly 20 Israelis and internationals. Today there was a different group of Soldiers and a lot of border police but as last week they had put the same razor wire fence across the road and the gap between the edge of the fence and the nearest permanent structure was blocked with pallets of stone tiles.

The enormous flag was held aloft in the wind and the young Palestinian children started pulling on the razor wire while the adults were demanding access to their land, a new soldier rightfully suggested that the Palestinians should indeed be allowed to access their land. He was quickly silenced by an older soldier, however a Palestinian activist, understandably excited that for once a little bit of justice might be offered, rushed to climb over the stone tiles and go to his land.

At this point the soldiers rushed towards him, they viciously pulled him down from the tiles and took him to their vehicles, activists from Anarchists Against The Wall (AAtW) and PSP managed to make it over the tiles, but could not get to him in time to stop him from being arrested. At this point an activist was also captured, another had his trousers/pants ripped open by the violent soldiers and was eventually left by soldiers to try and dress himself near the IDF vehicles.

The soldiers then threw sound grenades directly into the main group of protesters before heading over the stone tiles, AATW protesters scrambled to get back over the tiles but border police had already walked around the nearest building and together with the soldiers were able to quickly arrest another Palestinian who was standing with the main group.

With the border police and most of the soldiers arresting the second Palestinian activist the first was somehow able to make a run for it, the activist in the area (now dressed with a safety pin) was able to run with the Palestinian in solidarity. Unfortunately they were quickly found hiding in a nearby building.

The two international and Israeli activists were later forcibly removed from the vehicle where they were detained with the Palestinians, despite requesting to stay with the Palestinians. The Palestinians were blindfolded and have not been released. In spite of the fact that the Israelis and foreigners were arrested together with the two Palestinians they were released while the Palestinians were taken to the Etzion base. At this point is it not even clear if there are in police or army custody. It appears that the custom at the Etzion base is to not answer the phone on the weekend. That means that for Palestinians held there, there is no way for their lawyers or families to even know what they are suspected of. However Judging by what some of the soldiers said, it appears one of the Palestinians might be charged with assault. This is in spite of the fact that no less than 3 different angles of video footage exist showing this not to be the case. At this point the Palestinians are looking at 8 days in jail before they are even arraigned. That alone aught to be an outrage protested widely, except for the fact that much worse is being carried out in the West Bank every day.

photo with credit activestills at"

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