In spite of increase of state forces harassments the struggle expand. In addition to the "regular" Bil'in, Nabi Saleh, Ni'ilin, Ma'asara, and Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Omar seems to join the weekly schedule. Beit Jalla that seems to be less in the focus lately, got a regional convergence this week. Jafa (annexed to Tel Aviv) had this Saturday another joint struggle - this time around escalation in repression of Palestinian citizens by police. during the week we had prison/court support actions for Israeli activist (contesting a verdict of one month in jail for bogus assault on gendarmes in a joint action) and with Bil'iners held in the Ofer concentration camp for bogus claim of incitement and collecting military means (used grenades thrown at us in demonstrations).
The first week of March - weekly demonstrations and more
In the early morning on March 2, 2010, Israeli bulldozers started uprooting ancient olive trees in the garden of a Palestinian family in the town of Beit Jala, North-West of Bethlehem, in order to make room for the construction of yet another section of the Apartheid Wall. Wednesday morning, the family, which had already lost a significant portion of its lands when Israel seized them to build the “by-pass road” 60 that connects the equally illegal settlements, found the little playground for the children in the garden destroyed and three olive trees directly in front of the house chopped off. A red cross was painted two meters away from the front door to signal where the Wall is designed to pass. The remaining olive trees had been marked with yellow-tags, to be uprooted another day.
More markings on remaining trees and on the ground announce that soon, the family might lose the rest of its remaining land including the sight of its destroyed playground, and live immediately facing the massive gray concrete Wall.
Between March 2 and March 3, the bulldozers uprooted an overall of 70 olive trees on the lands of the family and their neighbors, rapidly creating facts on the ground before lawyers could challenge the most recent of a series of confusing orders designed to “legalize” the ongoing land theft under Israeli law. According to Israel’s most recent plan, this section of the Wall would seize another 280,9 dunams of Palestinian land on the property of 35 families.
On March 3, the al-Ma’asara Popular Committee and the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem mobilized a group of Palestinian, international and Israeli activists to attempt to physically stop the bulldozers from continuing their work.
"Today, the Israeli authorities have uprooted more trees to build yet more of the Apartheid Wall. Tomorrow morning, we would like to meet early and stop the bulldozers.
Please, be on time at the Orthodox Club (up in Beit Jalla).
For more information or directions, call M"
"Dozens of soldiers, security personal and border police officers spent two hours pushing and dragging the activists up the hill and away from the operating bulldozers, and finally produced an order to arrest anyone remaining on the family’s land after 9a.m.
On March 4, a group of activists was again mobilized to arrive in the early morning hours to protect the remaining olive trees. One activist chained himself to an ancient tree marked for removal, while others formed clusters around this and other trees. As soldiers and police officers gathered on the scene, activists chanted slogans against the Wall and the occupation and replanted two uprooted trees.
After a few hours, the activists learned that a legal decision had been reached that effectively prohibits any further uprooting until the next court order is ruled. Expecting this impending order, activists continue to prepare for further intervention in case that the bulldozers resume their work.
Beit Jala, March 4 2010Beit Jala, March 4 2010
Already when driving on route 60, we saw the intimidating bulldozers riding on the side of the road on their way to another day of "putting facts on the ground" as chiefs of the Israeli government call it. As we arrived in Beit Jalla, a heart-breaking scene came into view - a huge pile of sawed trees and olive and lemon branches spread all across the yard of the house next to the wall's path. A yard it cannot really be called anymore - the grass is turned over, two children's swings were uprooted and put aside, and the only thing left standing is a brick oven, with mounds of dirt and mud all around it. 10 olive trees were cut down here already yesterday. A red X on the front floor of the house marks the path of the wall to pass here, which will seize the whole yard area and cut the only access driveway to it. It's hard to imagine how life would look like in this place in a week or two.
We were 45 protesters - 25 Palestinians, 15 international activists and 4 Israelis. We descended to the works path trying to stop the bulldozers. A group of twenty soldiers prevented us from doing so, and began pushing us up the hill without showing a closed military area order as they are required. While the bulldozer's claws were uprooting trees one after the other, we explained to the officers that their actions violate numerous international laws, as well as the fact that they may not tell us to move without the order. We were pushed up the hill a few more meters to where we sat on the ground demanding to see a printed order before we move any further. At 08:53 they brought the papers and the officers declared the area will become a "closed military zone" within 7 minutes. One of them held two stun grenades with a nasty grin on his face. We reminded them again that constructing the wall on West Bank lands is a crime according to international law, as well as the settlers-only road which it "protects" and that they still may put down their guns and join us. A bearded IDF captain told us that the only law he follows is the biblical law. Rabbai Arik Ascherman referred him to to read the chapter in the book of Deuteronomy which refers to uprooting of fruit trees.
At 09:00 precisely they started pushing and dragging us up the hill again. 2 Israelis and one international activist were detained for a few minutes and were released shortly thereafter. Two Arab TV network reporters stationed on the upper road to report the events. Two young women from Beit Jalla were prominent among the protesters. As one of the officers told on of them them "Min fadlak, ruch min hon" (Please go away from here), she replied wisely "Min fadlak, ruch le-Israil" (Please, go back to Israel), with her finger pointing north-west.
When we left, the bulldozers were still working with all their might.
Tomorrow another group will go there. For details call Y."
Below, please see Shai's report about today's action against the resumed construction of the Apartheid Wall on the lands of 35 families in the Palestinian town of Beit Jala. When constructed, the Wall will seize 280,9 dunums of land owned by families of the Beit Jala municipality. Today is the second day that Israeli bulldozers uprooted olive trees to make way for the Wall. The bulldozers started their work only a day after a list with the names of the affected families was released, not respecting the 40 period that is due, according to the municipality's lawyer, to appeal the order.
For more information, including on tomorrow's action (3/4/10), call Mahmoud or Mar.
For pictures of today's action, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills (turn on the info-option to see the explanations).
For more information, also see these two articles:
Bait Omar Weekly Demo Against the Occupation and The Apartheid Wall
On Saturday, March 6th, about 40 Palestinians, Israelis, and Internationals protested in Bait Omar (West Bank) against the Israeli occupation and Apartheid Wall. This weekly demonstration was held in opposition to the decision of the Israeli government to declare the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and Belal mosque in Bethlehem Jewish National Sites.
The demonstration, organized by the Bait Omar National Committee, started at Bait Omar and proceeded to block road 60, the main route that connects Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Hebron. Participants also removed parts of a wire fence, that allows the IOF to impose curfews, and limit the movement of Palestinians in and out of Bait Omar.
Lot of pictures at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/03/07/18640096.php
IDF keeping tabs on Israelis protesting separation fence
By Amira Hass
The Israel Defense Forces says it is using information on Israelis who
demonstrate against the separation fence in a bid to deny them entry at
nearby checkpoints. Israelis and others demonstrate every Friday at the
villages of Bil'in and Na'alin.
We were about 20 Israelis by the Anarchists Against the WAll initiative, a dozen or so internationals, a contingent from West bank Jinin city, dozens of Bil'iners, and few of the neighborhood. We marched at noon as usual from the center of the village towards the gate in the separation fence. Three protestors appropriately dressed up and with makeup represented Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela to commemorate their nonviolent creativity against occupation, oppression and colonialism. The struggles of Gandhi against oppression and occupation in India , Martin Luther King, Jr. against racism in the USA and Mandela against the apartheid in South Africa are all similar to Bili’n’s ongoing struggle against occupation here.
At the gate, as usual, the tear gas grenades were thrown on us immediately when people started to shake the gate.
Due to unfriendly wind direction we had to withdraw fast to a distant point near the road.
About 20 of us - Israelis and internationals, continued to the Demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah.
Gandi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela, in Bil'in Friday demonstration.
Haitham video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VB2w3Y4XiM
Israel video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kujBajYgfo0
"This week's demonstration in Bil'in marked the Global Week against racism in the world and coincided with many popular events against racism and oppression against the peoples and territories - in particular the Palestinian people. The demonstration begun after Friday prayers and marched from the center of the village, then continued to the western gate of the wall. Over one hundred people participated in the march, including a group from the PFLP (The Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine) and a delegation from the Freedom Theater in Jenin. The demonstration was headed by people dressed up as three prominent figures in the global struggle against racism and occupation: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. Palestinian flags were raised as the participants chanted slogans condemning the wall and the occupation.
As the march reached the wall it was met with a shower of tear gas, rubber bullets and sound bombs, then clashes broke out between demonstrators and occupation soldiers. The demonstration lasted for hours as troops deliberately fired tear gas towards crews of journalists from Palestine TV and other stations to discourage the footage from the International Week Against Racism -and the Popular Committee's condemnation of Israel's racist and immoral practices- from being broadcast. In response, the Popular Committee stressed the need for cohesion, national unity and solidarity and highlighted that it was in the public interest for everyone involved in anti-racist struggles to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other."
Court house support
We shall meet at court on Wednesday 3-3-10 at 12:30 for Ezra Nawi's appeal against his conviction of a fictitious claim of assaulting a officers and taking part in a riot during a joint action. The hearing is by the judges Ben-Ami, Mintz and Rapoport, at the Jerusalem District Court (Salah Adin St.). A protest vigil will be held outside the courthouse from 12:00.
In October 2009, judge Eilata Ziskind found activist Ezra Nawi guilty of attacking police officers and participating in a riot during the demolition of a shack belonging to Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, back in 2007. The whole scene was captured on video. The police officers claimed that Ezra attacked them during the 10 seconds that he ran into the shack. What happened inside the shack was not filmed, but the judge decided to believe the police officers and convict Ezra.
Ezra was sentenced to one month in prison and six more on prohibition for a period of three years
Abedalla and Addib still in the concentration camp
There will be many court hearing at Ofer on Wednesday for our partners in the struggle. Amongst them Abdallah Abu Rahme and other Bil'iners and Ni'liners.
If you can make it please send me your id (or passport) number and I will ask for entrance permits.
there will be many court hearing at Ofer on Wednesday for our partners in the struggle. Amongst them Abdallah Abu Rahme and other Biliners and Niliners.
If you can make it please send me your id (or passport) number and I will ask for entrance permits.
Saturday, a demonstration against the mounting brutality of state force against the Palestinian citizens of Jafa-Tel Aviv was held by locals and drew solidarity participation of the radical left.
Israel video of Yafa 6-3-10 - Demo against police violence
"The Popular Committee (al-Ma'sara) and others call on all internationals to meet us tomorrow morning at 7a.m. for a protest action in Beit Jalla"
Friday demonstration in Ma'asara
Some twenty Israeli and international activists joined fifty Palestinians in this week's Friday demonstration against the Wall in Ma'asara. Demonstrators marched through the village towards the route of the wall, and were stopped by an army reserves unit which blocked the road with barbed wire several hundred meters deeper into the village than usual. The group composed mostly out of officers presented a closed military zone order, barring the march to pass the wire. Several demonstrators crossed the line anyway, but decided not to try and push further in an attempt to avoid the violent army attacks which have become common in these non-violent demonstrations lately.
And so, standing by the barbed wire, demonstrators carried speeches in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Amongst the speakers was Fatah Central Committee member Abu-Zaki. The Samba band played its new drums, sent in solidarity from their Turkish counterparts, and slogans were chanted in defiance of the occupation and in favor of the un-armed and united Palestinian struggle.
The demonstration ended after about an hour, with no unusual events. Earlier in the week, however, a prominent member of the popular committee of the village was attacked upon reaching a military checkpoint. Mahmud Zwahre was beaten by soldiers, and told that demonstrations must cease.
This week, another 150 people strong demonstration marking international Women's Day and protesting ongoing land grab was held in Nabi-Saleh. The demonstration was attacked by the Army with tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets while still inside the village and from great distance for no apparent reason. Nine other people were injured, including two journalists and an eighteen year old woman who was hit in the neck with an aluminum-made tear-gas projectile.
Nabi-Saleh, March 5 2010 Nabi-Saleh, March 5 2010
Ehab Fadel Barghouthi (14) was shot with a rubber-coated bullet that struck him in the forehead above his right eye and entered his skull. He was shot by Border Police officers who took over the rooftop of a house in the outskirts of the village and were in no immediate danger. According to eye witnesses, the boy was standing twenty meters away from the house when he was shot, after which he immediately collapsed. He was evacuated to the Salfeet hospital unconscious, and from there transferred to the Ramallah hospital. Numerous eyewitnesses confirm stone-throwing did take place at the time of the shooting, but all affirm Barghouthi did not partake in it.
Nabi-Saleh, March 5 2010 Nabi-Saleh, March 5 2010
The village is home to some 500 people. Since demonstrations in the village began, nine of its residents, roughly two percent of the Nabi Saleh's population, have been arrested on protest-related suspicions and dozens were injured.
In Ni'ilin, some 100 demonstrators marched from the village to the wall. The march was led by demonstrators holding signs condemning the Israeli government's decision to declare the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and Belal mosque in Bethlehem Jewish National Sites. After failing to convince the soldiers at the gate to allow the village farmers to reach their lands, confrontations between some of the village youth and the soldiers erupted. The soldiers kept firing tear gas projectiles but did not manage to suppress the demonstration. After less than an hour of such confrontations, more than 20 soldiers invaded the village fields chasing the demonstrators closer to the village. The soldiers stormed the fields shooting tear gas projectiles, and occasionally 0.22 live rounds. After confrontations continued at the village border for several hours, the demonstration was declared over.
Video of invitation for the 6-3-10 demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah
An International call to action (see below) has gone out asking for global solidarity with the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Saturday March 6th, 2010. If you are planning solidarity actions or demonstration and would like accesses to high quality photographs of the Sheik Jarrah community, settler violence, house evictions, demonstration, etc. to use for posters or presentations see:
Activestills' Photostream on Flicker :
For higher quality images contact:
For videos of recent events in Sheik Jarrah see:
Settler & IOF Violence in Sheikh Jarrah 2/25/09
11.12.09 Sheik Jarrah Demonstration
CALL TO ACTION!!
The Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood Committee and Just Jerusalem call on you to join our struggle against the occupation of East Jerusalem. Please circulate this call and help organize solidarity protests throughout the world:
WE WILL NOT BE STOPPED!
On Saturday March 6th please join us in our protest to stop the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.
At 7:00 PM we will be holding a mass rally in Sheikh Jarrah against:
· The forced eviction of the Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah
· The Jewish settlement of East Jerusalem
· The undemocratic attack on political protest
50 Palestinians have already been evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. Another 500 are threatened. If the settlers and their government allies succeed, all Palestinians in East Jerusalem are threatened. If we stop them in Sheikh Jarrah, we can stop them elsewhere.
We call on all groups who support the struggle for Palestinian rights and for a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinian, to hold solidarity protest vigils on March 6 near Israeli consulates and embassies abroad.
The Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood Committee
Just Jerusalem – the Israeli Coalition for a just solution in Jerusalem
For more information on the struggle see our blog:
More Information and pictures:
Sheikh Jarrah is a unique community in East Jerusalem. The plight of this community is emblematic of the larger Palestinian struggle for Justice. The Palestinians of Sheikh Jarrah enjoy no respite from settler harassment. There is no settlement in the distance creeping towards a Palestinian village. The settlers have evicted the Palestinians and now occupy their homes.
This is a call for global direct actions. The organizers of the weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah are asking for global solidarity as they plan for massive demonstrations in Jerusalem and wider Israel. They are calling for demonstrations and vigils at Israeli consulates and embassies abroad.
The Global Intifada has put out a modified call. As many of you may not have access to Israeli consulates and embassies, we ask you to occupy everything. If you're a student, occupy your administrative offices and demand divestment from any company who profits from the occupation in conjunction with demanding justice for Sheikh Jarrah. If you're not a student, occupy any and all halls of governance. Demand that they pass resolutions of condemnation of the occupation of Palestine and promise to withdraw support for it, in conjunction with demanding justice for Sheikh Jarrah. If you are unable to occupy anything, get out of the sidewalks and into the streets. Demand Justice for Palestine and Justice for Sheikh Jarrah. If you are afraid of the streets, let loose your barbaric yawp from the corner and tell people of the injustice that pervades the lives of Palestinians and those living in Sheikh Jarrah
In August 2009, the Al-Ghawis were evicted from their home after the Israeli court accepted forged Ottoman-era land claims from a right-wing Zionist settler organization. The land claims cited that Jewish people owned the land in the late 19th century and therefore should legally be in possession of people with a Jewish heritage.
The Al-Ghawis have lived on the street opposite their home. The family lives on a tent on the sidewalk, watching settlers enter and exit the house they called their home for nearly fifty years. The live in their tent in act of protest and are determined to stay there until they are allowed to return to their home.
The Al-Kurds have had the front partition of their home annexed on the First of December 2009. The back partition of their home is set to be usurped in the following weeks. 22 other families are facing illegal eviction the coming months.
Despite this horrendous attempt to ethnically cleanse Sheikh Jarrah, there is resistance. Israeli activists commenced weekly demonstrations in the community. In the beginning they mood was jubilant; drums and chanting which called out the racism and injustice of the settlers actions. But these demonstrations were escalated by police violence. Over 100 people have been arrested demonstrating or participating in acts of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience.
The state forces who tried to force the called demonstration further from the usual place near the street entrance the occupied houses are on (not allowed to get nearer) got a back fire from the highest court of justice. The court ordered the police to allow the demonstration in the usual place and in addition 300 demonstrators were to be allowed a short visit into the street itself.
6-3-10 20:00-21:00 TV news on all 3 channels:
Thousands demonstrators at Sheikh Jarrah reportage
Up to 3000 participants are reported by various media...
See Pictures at http://awalls.org
Previous reports: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com