Palestine-Israel, The pick of the summer was joined by the Muslim Ramadan day fasting holy days... but we do not stop
It is hot. Very hot in the middle of the days in the middle of the summer. The Palestinian people of the villages who follow the Muslim religion started this Friday the Ramadan holy days in which eating and drinking is forbidden when the Sun is shining. So the joint demonstrations were a bit shorter and smaller, but more lively as it is the season when lot of international activists have their Summer vacation. We had this week the usual Friday demos in Bil'in, Ma'asara, Nabi Saleh, Ni'ilin, Kufr Qaddum, Sheikh Jarrah and Saturday at Beit Ummar. Accompanying villagers near colonialist settlement in the South Hebron hills... and along the week - picking on Saturday late evening the Social Struggle. Though the demonstrations in Tel Aviv are only with thousands of participants each but they are much more militant and radical comparing to last year.
Friday demo. At noon, about 20 international activists from all over the world, joined 15 Israelis and two dozen Bil'iners. We traveled to the Abu Lamun oaks park
Near the separation fence, and marched chanting towards the separation wall. Some of us entered between the barbed wire spools and the wall, but after a while we heard the warming up of the skunk water sprayer pump and distanced to a safe distance. After the spray started, the wind carried it towards us forcing us to retreat further. Then, the state forces started to shoot tear gas grenade to force us to retreat further. The wind this day was not friendly and many of us got a significant dose of tear gas on the way back to the village.
"...Protesters march to the entrance of the village & ask the soldiers who are blocking the road to “allow” them to go to their lands.
During week days, the villagers can get to their lands , but what happens in Ma’asara weekly demonstrations illustrates what I think is an important point: even the most peaceful, non violent form of resistance is banned within the lines of the west bank according to the martial law. This time the soldiers didn’t even bother to present a closed military zone warrant, ignoring their own regulations, and absurdity: how come going on that road is safe during weekdays, but becomes dangerous for about half an hour when a group of un-armed villagers and internationals show up? People who join the weekly demonstrations of Al Ma’asara for the first time seem to complain the demonstration isn’t effective but rather symbolic, that the scenario is already known before the demonstration started and it looks like a staged act for the internationals. But what I see is that this “staged act” highlights some of the reality of civil population living under martial law: the soldiers can arbitrarily decide wither a gathering is legal or not, as they see fit. Unlike protests within 48 borders, where police is instructed not to intervene small-medium protests, the villagers are met with ridiculous protester-soldiers rate , and are met with heavily armed forces.
“They have a wall within their mind” said one protester as another person offered the soldiers to drop his guns and come visit his home. Another villager asked the soldiers where is the promised peace. Dialogue with heavily armed soldiers produces a lot of unforgettable scenes , although this kind of dialogue is futile by nature & has certain theatrical quality.
It is important for me to keep in mind that a large portion of Al Ma’asara agricultural lands has already been confiscated & over 3000 dunums are at risk of being seized to build the annexation wall. Attending the weekly protest help me remember that.
pictures by kabarita http://kabarita.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/this-is-ramadan-why-cant-i-go-to-the-land-maasara-videos-pictures/
This is Ramadan we want to go to the Land - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dm_UXuCj4k
Activist report that Israeli Occupation Forces have entered Nabi Saleh village, are firing teargas, surrounding houses and arresting people.
Activists are reporting that the IOF have withdrawn from the village to the base of the mountain/village entrance. Demo is over for the day.
South Hebron hills
This week we will accompany Palestinians farmers and shepherds to their lands in several locations in South Hebron hills. Harassment of Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the area by both settlers and the army continues
Saturday late evening. There were convergences and marches in commemoration of Moshe Silman who burned himself the previous Saturday demo in Tel Aviv after distributing leaflets, and died a day before. The main ones were in Jerusalem, and Haifa, Beer Sheva, with few hundreds each and one of more than thousand in Tel Aviv which blocked main roads for more than 4 hours.
In TA, many fire men were among the demonstrators with fire extinguishing devices. Report: Police intelligence told to target Israeli Arabs joining social protests - and one was the only arrestee Saturday demo in Tel Aviv
Unlike the directives about Jewish demonstrators, which focus on rioters and anarchists, a directive issued to intelligence officers does not specify which type of Arab demonstrators police should watch out for.
See Previous reports about the joint struggles the Anarchists Against the Wall take part in at: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com