The one year "anniversary" of the transfer of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied east Jerusalem was marked by about ten demonstration locations. Up to two thousands participated in Israel - both from Jewish and Palestinian communities: Kufr Yasif, Haifa, West Jerusalem, Dahmash, Taybe, Nazareth, Wadi Ara, Gan Shmuel, Ranana and Beersheba, and Tel Aviv. The weekend demonstrations and week days activities draw widening spectrum of the Israeli left. The AAtW activists joined other struggles at Al Arkiv, south of Hebron region, and the Sheikh Jarah solidarity demos, but still persisted in the ongoing struggles in Beit Jalla, Beit Ummar, Bil'in, Hebron, Ma’asara, Nabi Salih, Ni’lin, Sheikh Jarah, Wadi Rahal, and Walaje.
The struggle against the transfer of the Bedouins of the south of Israel - the Arkive demolition is the focus of, continue. Rebuilding and demolition again by state forces continued in Al Arkiv and other villages.
Beit Ummar Saturday August 7
Protesters said a group of several dozen Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered at the edge of the illegal Israeli settlement Karmi Zur, and demanded an end to the confiscation of land. The settlement is built on 50 dunums of privately owned Palestinian lands, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said a group of approximately 40 marched toward Karmi Zur and "tried to reach" the settlement "to start a provocation." She said the group was "presented with a military order" mandating the area a closed zone, making their presence in the area illegal.
When the protesters started hurling rocks, she said, Israeli soldiers responded using riot dispersal mechanisms, which can include tear gas and rubber-coated bullets, among other means. She said she was "not aware of any physical confrontations" during the incident.
Organizers from the local Popular Committee said soldiers arrived in the area when the protesters were around 300 meters away from the settlement fence, and declared the area a "closed military zone."
Spokesman of the Palestinian solidarity project in Beit Ummar Mohammad Awad said soldiers used physical force "deliberately" against the protesters, and fired "intense series of tear-gas canisters toward protesters and journalists."
About 35 Israelis and 25 internationals joined Bilin's weekly demonstration against the land grab, arrests of local youth and the occupation in general. The demonstration was led by a large delegation of men and women from the Palestinian People's Party from all over the West Bank. The protesters marched to the wall, but were blocked on their way there by a line of Israeli soldiers in full crowd control gear. The demonstrators stood peacefully, chanting and singing at contact range with the soldiers. When the local shabab wanted to force the soldiers back so they can reach the fence and their land, the People's Party organizers strongly objected, and made the shabab wait. It was only when the soldiers started shoving demonstrators that stones and gas/concussion grenades began to be exchanged, and the protesters had to retreat through the mists of gas. The shabab continued their efforts for a while, and the army's weapons caused a few bush fires between the olive trees already scorched from previous demos.
Haitham Al Katib video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho8KdxTOJkk
Hebron (Al Khalil) Saturday August 7
The gradual transfer of Palestinians from parts of Hebron the settler colonialists covet continue and so is the joint struggle.
Al Ma’asara: Around 60 people demonstrated in Al Ma’sara on Friday August 6th, about half of them internationals, joining the locals in solidarity with their struggle. Members of the Popular Committee welcomed the internationals, and made special mention of Japanese participants, expressing solidarity with their nation on the anniversary of the destruction and death wrought by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some parallels were drawn with the suffering of Palestinians today.
Two peace and justice delegations from Canada and France also participated in the demonstration which as always aimed to reach village lands stolen by the military occupation forces for the nearby illegal settlements. Palestinian demonstrators and their international supporters were presented with a written military order by four soldiers, in an attempt to deter the protest by declaring it a closed military zone .But chanting slogans of ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘The Wall Must Fall’ demonstrators continued their march past the soldiers regardless and only stopped when they were physically prevented from going further because of three army jeeps blocking the road.
The demonstrators instead sat down en masse in front of the occupying forces. Speeches by members of the Popular Committee were followed by united chants from the crowd demanding peace, justice, access to land and the end of Israeli Apartheid. Members of both the Canadian and French delegations also sang resistance songs from their home countries. The demonstration reached its conclusion peacefully with no assaults by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
An Nabi Salih: This Friday, August 6th, around 100 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals took part in An Nabi Salih’s weekly nonviolent demonstration against the illegal Halamish settlement’s theft of the village’s land and water supply. Regardless of the illegality of firing tear gas projectiles at body height, a practice which has caused many casualties in the village and last week injured an international female protester, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to use this method in an attempt to quash the peaceful protests.
In response to the children symbolically throwing stones at IOF armored jeeps, tear gas projectiles were fired both directly at the children and also into the village, setting fire to one family’s garden. Despite the military’s refusal to use the fire extinguishers they carried with them whilst inspecting the blaze, international, Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators collaborated in attempting to extinguish the fire with bottles and buckets of water filled in neighboring houses.
During this period, Israeli soldiers forcefully entered one of the aforementioned houses, in which women and children were collecting water to put the fire out. Several internationals and Palestinians entered the house in order to protect its inhabitants from the soldiers’ aggression. At this point a soldier attacked a Danish protester, bashing his head against the wall.
One fire engine was later allowed on the scene, and the fire was extinguished after over two hours. The military continued to fire tear gas canisters at children throughout this period, and later began using both sound grenades and rubber coated steel bullets in addition.
Despite the IOF’s grossly disproportionate use of violence in order to repress the demonstration, the protest continued for several hours, with the majority of its participants – including more than twenty children – standing directly in front of the soldiers, chanting, singing and making peace signs.
In answer to these peaceful actions, two demonstrators (one Italian and one Israeli) were violently seized by soldiers and detained for over 5 hours in Halamish settlement’s military base without reason. The two protestors were standing in solidarity with villagers as soldiers attempted to arrest a Palestinian, again without cause.
The protest at An Nabi Saleh has taken place since January 2010, because of repeated attempts at land theft by nearby Israeli settlements – despite an Israeli court decision in December 2009 that awarded the property rights of the land to An Nabi Saleh residents. Stolen village land now lies on the other side of Highway 465 and is controlled by the illegal Hallamish settlement which has been expanding and colonizing Palestinian land since 1977.
The protest in the village of Ni’lin on Friday August 6th mourned the loss of Yousef Amireh, who was killed 2 years ago by an Israeli soldier who shot him in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet on August 4th 2008.
Shot dead in this way at the age of 17, Amireh had been demonstrating against the murder of another child from Ni’lin – 10-year-old Ahmed Mousa – killed by the .Israeli army two days before Amireh, and whose death was commemorated in last week’s Ni’lin protest.
The demonstration to mark this painful anniversary, which followed 6 hours of mourning in the village, was attended by international and Israeli activists as well as Palestinians. Protestors marched towards the Apartheid Wall, holding pictures of the two boys while chanting slogans in remembrance of the two innocent children murdered by soldiers. They held a banner which read: “We will never forget you Yousef, you will stay in our hearts” and called for the illegal wall to be brought down, with one protester bearing a hammer to smash a part of the wall symbolically. The Israeli soldiers started shooting a lot of tear gas into the crowd and 5 protesters suffered breathing difficulties after the inhalation of toxic tear gas. Luckily, no serious injuries were incurred by any of the demonstrators and no arrests were made, despite Israeli soldiers moving towards the village, firing tear gas at the group and chasing protesters hoping to arrest them.
The route of the wall in Ni’lin has been declared illegal by the Israeli Supreme Court and the wall in its entirety illegal by the International Court of Justice. It serves to annex many thousands of dunams of Palestinian land to nearby illegal Israeli settlements such as Modi’in Ilit. Since the killings of Mousa and Amireh, three other Ni’lin residents have been killed by the Israeli army, and American solidarity activist Tristan Anderson was shot in the head with an illegal high-velocity tear gas canister on 13th March 2009.
On the second anniversary of her son’s death, Yousef’s mother said that the village would remain steadfast and continue to protest against the Apartheid Wall. Yousef’s brothers said that they will never surrender and will always honor what Yousef died for: a free and peaceful Ni’lin. Saeed Amireh from Ni’lin said: “For every one of us who gets killed, thousands will stand up and refuse to surrender to the inhuman forces that insult life and try to deny us a peaceful and dignified existence. No person on this planet should be denied freedom and peace and dignity. For this, we will always stand up and struggle.”
Ni'ilin and An Nabi Salih
Friday 6.8.2010 Ni'ilin and An Nabi Salih video at
"Our friends in Wad Rahhal have asked that activists will join them in work day this Wednesday at 16:00. If you wish to come to the work day please contact D."
Wednesday 4-8-10 about 40 Palestinians, international, and Israeli activists joined Abu Lutfi to working his lands usually prevented by the colonialist settlers and the Israeli state forces.
After clearing the land from obstacles the tractor plowed the land and the participant were on their way to the village the settlers and state force came with concocted accusations. An Israeli activist accompanied a villager and refuted the accusation.
The settlers and the state force left reluctantly with out arrests.
A year has passed since the eviction/expulsion of the Ghawi and Hanoun families from their homes. A year in which we have struggled together, not only in solidarity with the families, but also for the future of us all: against the attempt to bury the possibility for a just solution for our peoples; against the injustice and oppression, which are part and parcel of so many in the reality we live in; and against the anti democratic current that is taking over Israeli society.
Over 1,000 men and women marched at the Solidarity Day event that we held in Tel Aviv yesterday -- one of the hottest days of the year. At the same time, Arabs and Jews held solidarity vigils in over ten other locations in the country: Kufr Yasif, Haifa, West Jerusalem, Bil'in, Dahmash, Taybe, Nazareth, Wadi Ara, Gan Shmuel, Ranana and Beersheba.
At the end of the march and various vigils, hundreds of us joined the main demonstration in Sheikh Jarah, where the resident's representatives and the activists gave speeches.
The events of the Solidarity Day can be seen in this video
and in this photo slide show
that document most of the demonstrations that took place.
The Solidarity Day is another milestone in the long way we have traveled together and a new stage in the struggle. Yesterday we showed that the solidarity that was created in Sheikh Jarah is not limited to Jerusalem only, in the same way that the injustice which we are fighting against is not confined to a single neighborhood. What began as a protest against a local injustice turned into the battlefront for the struggle for a just society, against occupation, against wrongdoing, against discrimination and for equality.
We still have a long way to go, but we will not give in to the hard and difficult reality around us, and we will keep up the struggle, knowing that together, through solidarity, we shall prevail.
In the meantime, we would like to invite you to watch the media coverage from today:
Report in English by Ynet
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3931313,00.html, a report in Arabic http://www.panet.co.il/online/articles/1/2/S-320547,1,2.html,
another report in Arabic. http://www.alarab.net/Article/0000319805
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every resident of Sheikh Jarah and each and every activist. Thank you all, for a year of persistent, energetic and optimistic struggle. Thank you for the Jewish-Arab cooperation, and thank you for instilling the hope of a better future here one day.
For your information, during the month of Ramadan (starting next week), the Friday weekly vigils will not take place, and activities in the neighborhood will take place on Saturday nights. Further updates will be sent soon.
The Sheikh Jarah Solidarity Activists
"Al-Walaja village popular struggle committee calls on all internationals and Israeli activists to participate in the demonstration starting in the Mosque area of Wadi Jweza section of Al-Walaja on Wednesday at 9 AM. For more info call A."
"Today (Wednesday 4-8-10) was another honorable and painful chapter in the struggle of the village of Al-Walaja. Apartheid soldiers assaulted children and adults protesting peacefully, injured many, and arrested six Palestinians.
The destruction of the beautiful ancient village land was stopped for over 1.5 hours. I was especially touched by the courage of Omar and his two children, one of them was hit by a soldier with his gun on top of his head.
Please see this video and be both angered and inspired by the courage of the Walajans.
The villagers need our support in many ways especially to demand Israel release those they abducted. Come join us PLEASE and act.
6 Palestinian arrested, and also 9 Israelis."
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
"We were all charged, all judged, all sat together from morning to
evening in police stations.
The only difference is that the 5 out of 15 arrestees (all Israeli)
got more severe punishment because we had files for previous arrests.
we got 180 days not to get close to the wall in wallaje. G. "