Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Palestine-Israel, Joint struggles at the end of Summer

During the week anarchists against the wall of Tel Aviv reinforced the Sheikh Jarah coalition both in the eastern Jerusalem occupied Sheikh Jarah and Silwan and in the support for the Arakiv Bedouins in the south of Israel. Confrontations with the Israeli state forces were also in Seikh Jarah itself... With the renewal of the Friday demos in Sheikh Jarah about 200 people participated and most of us also marched to the west part of the neighborhood which is now in the focus of transfer efforts of settler colonialist project with "blessing" of the Israeli highest court of "justice".


Various activities during the week.

Beit Ummar

The regular weekly demonstration in the town of Beit Ummar near Hebron protests against the Israeli occupation, and against the theft of its land by the illegal Israeli settlement of Karmei Tzur in particular. This Saturday the march also demonstrated against Rami Levy, an Israeli supermarket chain selling settlement produce, and commemorated the twenty-eighth anniversary of the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. Activists showed solidarity with the people of Silwan, the East Jerusalem neighborhood where a man was shot dead by a settler security guard on Wednesday, and with Palestinian political prisoners – in particular 17-year-old Beit Ummar resident Yousef Abu Maria who has a serious medical condition.

The demonstration was attended by around 60 Palestinians accompanied by 15 international and Israeli activists. Setting off at 1 p.m., the march proceeded through the Palestinians’ land in the direction of the illegal settlement, where their path was blocked by Israeli soldiers who put a rope across the path and threatened to arrest anyone who crossed it. Some youths were not deterred and crossed the rope, at which point the soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at all of the protesters. Several tear gas canisters were fired directly at the demonstrators, in defiance of the Israeli army’s own regulations.

The protesters burned cardboard boxes representing settlement produce in the path leading towards Karmei Tzur. The soldiers attempted to arrest one Palestinian campaigner but international activists managed successfully to shield him. He was beaten badly enough to lose consciousness. It was at this point that innocent French activist Bruno de Ginestet-Puivert was arrested, and later told he was being held on suspicion of assaulting an officer. Eyewitnesses from the demonstration say this was not true and that de Ginestet-Puivert was targeted arbitrarily. An Associated Press photographer was also detained but released before the demonstration ended.


Just under 15 internationals and a similar number of Israelis joined the Palestinian demonstration against the land grabbing wall and the other evils of the occupation in Bil'in. The soldiers waited on the village side of the fence, but did not deter the demonstrators from marching directly at them, chanting and explaining to them why they shouldn't be there. Two Palestinian farmers, a man and a woman, asked to cross over to their lands, but were physically blocked. The organizers kept the shabab more or less at bay, and even the army surprisingly did not use the first stone as an excuse to open fire. But when the demo was ready to disperse, the shabab and soldiers couldn't contain their eagerness, and decided to step things up with stones and gas. The shabab had the dubious achievement of hitting no less than three journalists, one of them in the head. Later things escalated, culminating in Ashraf Khatib being shot in his calf with a 0.22 live bullet - a bullet that the army itself banned from use for crowd control.

In this demo we had again the clear expression of these who object to the nonviolent joint struggle. Three young teens stood behind the nonviolent demonstrators who were standing in front of the soldiers' line. They were holding stones in their hands waiting for the signal to act. When reminded that there are soldiers near by not in front of the demo... they just ignored that.

At a signal from a grown up chaperon who stood with the nonviolent demonstrators one of the three hit a soldier with a stone and the three of them escaped leaving the other demonstrators to be hit by the soldiers as usual (which first time did not occur).

(For years, youth who was not satisfied with the nonviolent demonstrations but respected the wish of those who choose it, used to confront the soldiers and throw stones on them at a near by section of the separation fence about two hundred meter away from the demo.)


Hebron (Al Khalil)

Saturday, Sep 25, 2010
A smaller than usual group of about 40 Palestinian residents of Hebron and their supporters - including many young children from the segregated Israeli-controlled al-Sheikh neighborhood - carried signs, drummed and chanted while marching against the occupation and Jewish-only settlement in Hebron. The march was soon stopped by Israeli soldiers before even reaching the closed Shuhada street gate. Although the demonstration remained calm and peaceful, the soldiers soon began pushing the protesters back. The protesters did not object and carried on with the demo at a spot the army conceived "secured" enough, a few dozen meters from the closed Shuhada gate. As in every demo, after a while the protesters began to march through the old city alleys. Settlers squirted water on the protesters and the Palestinian market as the march passed below their homes. Following this, soldiers came to again physically push away the already going marchers, which were by then quite far from the settlers. Without neither justification nor consideration for the many young children attending, the soldiers threw a few sound bombs into the already moving away march as it neared its end.


Demonstrators burn settlement produce in al-Ma`sara

On Friday in al-Ma’asara in the southern West Bank, around fifteen villagers were joined by around fifteen Israeli and international solidarity activists after noon prayers. Together, the demonstrators marched towards the entrance of al-Ma`asara, where their path was blocked by around a dozen Israeli soldiers and border police and three army jeeps. Villagers wore T-shirts reading, “Stop supporting Rami Levi, Stop Supporting Settlements” and carried cardboard boxes representing settlement products.

When the demonstrators moved to set the boxes on fire, Israeli forces threw sound bombs and at least one tear gas canister at the crowd. The sound bombs themselves set the boxes on fire, after which the protesters dispersed back to the village. The demonstration lasted about twenty minutes in total.

Nabi Salah

An-Nabi Saleh’s weekly demonstration was yet again met with violent repression from the Israeli armed forces. The protestors numbered around 100, including internationals and Israeli activists.

The demonstration began slightly earlier this week – directly after noon prayers – and as such the Israeli military had not arrived by the time the protestors began to march. Due to this, the majority of the villagers managed to reach much further down the main road of their village than would normally be permitted. Some protestors managed to reach the spot which is the aim of the demonstration – the village’s natural spring, which has been confiscated by the nearby illegal Halamish settlement.

Shortly after soldiers blocked the remaining protesters’ path, many of the younger children began throwing stones at the military’s armored jeeps in a symbolic act of resistance against the Israeli army’s continuous invasion of their village and their increasing violence towards its residents.

The soldiers from the five or six jeeps which had entered the village at this point then began to shoot tear gas projectiles and percussion grenades directly at the children, and also fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets both as warning shots and directly at the children. Many of those involved in the demonstration also report that the soldiers fired 0.22” caliber live ammunition at this point, again both as a warning and straight at the children, many of whom were under 13 years old.

The demonstration was then suspended for some time as the jeeps retreated, but returned after roughly half an hour, when the soldiers positioned themselves at the three main entrances to the village, and resumed shooting the aforementioned weapons at any visible children upon the slightest sight of a stone.

This continued for several hours, and the demonstration ended at approximately 6pm, when the military finally retreated from the village. One Israeli activist was detained at around 2pm, but was released before the end of the demonstration. None obtained serious injuries, although many children were badly bruised due to the military’s use of the weapons noted above, and countless protestors suffered severe tear gas inhalation.


Friday report. Around 50 demonstrators marched from the village to the wall, where they shortly being attacked by the IDF soldiers, tear gas and live ammunition was used. The soldiers crossed the wall and ran after the demonstrators till the outskirt of the village where both side could not deal with the heat and after half and hour went back, the soldiers to the other side of the wall and the demonstrators with some victory songs back to center of the village.

Sheikh Jarah

In addition to the activities during the week, bout 200 converged to the renewed Friday demonstration in Sheikh Jarah.

As usual, people came from Tel Aviv and non joint demonstrations in other locations.

As usual, in the middle of the demo the people marched to a near by location where occupation settlers replaced by force transferred Palestinian families.



Settlers Security Personnel kill Samir Solhan in Silwan, Riots Breakout

Clashes in Silwan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDhg7Q_fPBE

Wad Rahhal

The Thursday joint working afternoons in the areas threatened by settler colonialists replaced the Friday demos. It persist in spite of the harassment by settlers and Israeli state forces.
See Previous reports at: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com

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