During the week the planing and preparation to the parallel action to the flotilla to Gaza took lot of our attention, in addition to the usual struggles. This Friday we had the usual joint demonstrations in Bil'in, Ma'asara, Ni'ilin, Nebi Saleh, Sheik Jarrah.
Beit Jala protest 23-05-2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkqImIicAko
Just one sample of the efforts of Israeli forces to quench the on going joint struggle in Bil'in: http://www.bilin-ffj.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=275&Itemid=1
This morning, as is their wont, Israeli Occupation Forces intruded into the village of Bilin, this time there were only three to the forefront with backup behind them, when challenged they beat a retreat. This afternoon, villagers rushed to quench a fire in an olive tree sited close to the Apartheid-Annexation Wall which was deliberately set on fire by the retreating IOF, but which was unable to be saved due to the fire being set in a crevice in the trunk which smoldered throughout the day and it was only in the latter stages that the tell-tale smoke was detected. This pernicious act of economic warfare has deeply angered the villagers as many are dependent on the sale of the olive oil 700 to 800 shekels per tree annually for their livelihoods."
Demonstration started as usual after the noon prier. About 30 Israelis, 40 internationals, and 50 Palestinians - mainly from Bil'in, started the usual march towards the gate to the route of the separation fence. Along the march people chanted and carried flags pictures of prisoner Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the People's Committee, and the prisoner Adib Abu Rahma, an activist of the Popular Resistance,and and placard. Part of the march a line of four young kids held these pictures too. Along the march a troop of shabab had a mini celebration.
When we arrived at the gate few bold youth entered the route of the separation fence with flags to hung there. The state force did not wait for the first stones to be thrown and started to shoot on us tear gas grenades, later joined with rubber coated bullets and sound grenades - two needed medical treatment.
Soon afterward, without bothering to declare the demonstration illegal and the area military closed, they crossed to our side and started to arrest demonstrators. They grabbed 5 Israelis (one of them succeeded to escape) and as bonus also held for a while the village photographer for Betselem... but released him after few minutes.
The 4 Israelis were taken to the Yad Biniamin police station... The trip was long as the soldiers did not know the way to the police station.
After a long trip, they arrived at the police station and the accusation was violating a closed military zone... However, as they could not provide the needed proof that the Israelis were informed - as needed that they are entering a closed military zone, they were released without any conditions towards 20:00.
Haitem Alkateeb video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3amBQFf6BDo&feature=player_embedded
"Tomorrow, Wednesday (26-5-10), at 19:00 o'clock, we will meet at the center of Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP the Koala) to prepare a creative action in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that will arrive at the Gaza shore in the coming weekend. Bring a creative spirit!"
"Demonstration in Support of the Break the Siege Flotilla. Tomorrow, Sunday, 29.5.10
Leaving from Tel Aviv, Lewinsky Park, at 17:00.
Tomorrow, Saturday, hundreds of international activists will try to arrive at the Gaza Port, as part of an effort to break the siege and convey humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Israel has already declared that it would use its navy to stop the boats from arriving to Gaza and detain the activists.
Come support the international campaign against the siege, protest Israeli policy and show solidarity with the detainees."
HEBRON (Al Halil)
"Hebron demonstration tomorrow, Saturday 3pm 29 May 2010
Join together to resist settlements and to open Shuhada Street!
Youth Against Settlements invite you to participate in our weekly
demonstration, demanding the reopening of Shuhada Street and freedom of
movement for Palestinians in the Old City of Hebron. The Israeli military
has forced the closure of more than 1800 shops and has sealed the
entrances to Palestinian houses, forcing people to lose their homes and
their livelihoods. We must come together to demand an end to this.
The demonstration takes place at 3pm every Saturday. We will meet before
at the Hebron municipality at 2.30pm.
The demonstration will start in "Freedom & Independence Square," near
Osama bin Monqeth school.
"To light a candle is a thousand times better than to curse the darkness"
Join us and show your support for the freedom of movement for all
Palestinians, and your rejection of the Israeli occupation.
For more details, contact our media co-coordinator or e-mail
Video: Al Ma'asara demonstration 21.5.10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJvQM7VRbvk
"For this Friday we call all international and Israeli activists to come to the village Friday to participate in the demo because we expect that the solders will do some things specially after the last demo when they start shooting tear gas directly to the people.
It is appreciated from all of you to come to participate in this demo. People also needed for sleeping in the village Thursday night."
Today at the demonstration in Maa'sara there were about 70 demonstrators - Palestinians, Israelis, some Italians and many French people.
We marched towards the entrance of the village which was blocked by solders and surrounded by scooters that were staring at us from the village roofs. About 30 solders prevented us from continuing marching on the villages land.
Same as every week, there were speeches in Arabic and in English that today also mention the siege on Gaza. Today there were also songs - Bela chao, bela chao, bela chao chao chao! With the sounds of drums that added a lot of action. In French there was a partisan song. Very dramatic.
The solders didn't really like the fact that we are so close to their Jeeps and decided to push us towards the village. They held hands, put there weapon on there elbows, pushed us toward the village until they stand. A few more speeches and some more drumming and slogans until the closing speech:
"We are going home to eat and sleep and they, the solders, will go and continue knocking on Palestinian doors and kill them. They will continue occupying - so who is the occupier, us or them? The demonstration was a success because the solders were stressful and that's why so many of them came. Next week they will be even stressed because of us. So YALLA, let's go eat and sleep".
Israel Puterman video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyUnEEEVS2g
In Nebi Salah, soldiers entered the village before the demonstration started. following this, confrontations ensued between the village youth and soldiers and border police officers that lasted till eight in the evening. the border police flooded the village streets with tear gas fired by a jeep-top launcher. two youths were injured, one was hit by a tear gas canister. both were evacuated to hospital.
The weekly demonstration in Ni'lin marked two years to the start of the village's struggle against the theft of its land by the wall. the protesters marched carrying banners commemorating the five protesters killed by the army in the last two years, and the village's prisoners who are incarcerated by israel for their participation in the demonstrations. the protest march reached the wall, and protested for a few minutes by the closed steel gate. Tear gas fired by the army forced the protesters to move along the route of the wall, where some of them threw stones at the soldiers. The protest ended within a couple of hours with no injuries recorded.
SHEIKH JARRAH (Jerusalem-Al-Kuds)
Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2010 Time: 16:00 - 18:00 - march of students and academians From the near by Hebrew University to Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel Puterman video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo6XcPiI_fs
WAD RACHAL (near Ma'asara)
"there will be an agricultural work day in Wad Rachal this Wednesday. The organizers are new orders confiscating more land for the wall construction."
Israel Puterman video of Walaje and Beit Jala - 23-5-2010
See Previous reports at: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com