This Friday was on the 15th of may - 61 years anniversary of the day half of Palestine was given to the Zionist agency to build a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinian land. In a plot between the British empire and the new Israeli state the Palestinian half was halved again - quarter to the new Israeli state and Quarter to Jordan and Egypt vassals at the time of the British emptier... (with the blessing of imperial powers of the time: US, UK, France, and the Russian empire, joined along the years by the newer powers). In addition to the other on-going struggles against the advancing of the settler colonialism which strive - and partly succeeded, to transfer the Palestinians out and rob their lands, we had the persistent Friday demonstrations in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, and Um Salmuna.
R. W.: "About 10 internationals and 20 Israelis joined several dozens of Palestinians for the weekly demo in Bil'in, which marked the 61st memorial day of the Nakba - the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel during Israel's war of independence. The demonstrators carried an oversized cardboard key as a figure for the keys of the homes left behind, which many Palestinians still hold on to, and which symbolize the Palestinian right of return. The army greeted the demonstration with an exceptionally large amount of tear gas apparently shot with the aid of a multi-canister cannon, and caused several gas related injuries. A group of about 30 protesters remained at the gate for a long while despite the army's shock grenades, gas and bullets. When the demonstration was declared over, the army's shooting set fire in the olive grove next to the fence. The army kept shooting gas and bullets at the people who came to put the fire out, despite repeated calls in Hebrew saying that the demonstration was over, and that the people were only extinguishing the fire. Two people were injured in their legs from rubber coated metal bullets, but the fire was eventually put out."
Bil'in Friday 15.5.2009 video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUgf7fVHCNM
UM SALMUNA (Al-Ma’sara region)
The Al-Ma’sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements has been organizing and participating in demonstrations against the confiscation of their land for the past two and a half years. Participants and committee members are known for their strict adherence to non-violent tactics in demonstrations. While the protesters maintained their usual tactics on 1 May 2009, Israeli forces escalated their attempt to suppress the non-violent resistance by arresting several demonstrators. A new military commander, stationed in the area two months prior, had announced his intentions to end the resistance and implemented tactics such as night invasions of organizer’s homes, destruction of property and threats.
During the demonstration on 1 May 2009, the Israeli army arrested three members of the Al-Ma’sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements; Hasan Bergia, Mohammad Bergia and Mahmoud Sawahre. Additionally, Israeli forces arrested Mustafa Fuara; a resident of Al-Ma’sara, Azmi Ash-Shyukhi; a resident of Hebron, Haggai Matar; an Israeli solidarity activist and Tom Stocker, a British national volunteering with the Holy Land Trust.
The army alleged that the arrested demonstrators were involved in rioting, interfering with police work, assault of soldiers and policemen, and the destruction of military property.
The Israeli activist Matar and British volunteer Stocker, were released the same day on 1,500 NIS bail with conditions of not entering the West Bank for two weeks. Azmi Ash-Shyukhi; Mustafa Fuara; and Mahmoud Sawahre, were released on bail on 13 May 2009 (50,000 NIS all together) after being held in military prison for almost two weeks.
Hassan Bergia and Mohammad Bergia, members of the Al-Ma’sara Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, are still being held.
Mohammad Bergia’s lawyer will appeal for his release and letters of support can help shed light on the injustice of his arrest.
Um Salmuna video clip of Friday 8-5-09 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDCiIxFWNFI
2. Ni'ilin video clip of Friday 15-5-09 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0pFaJtUiE