Saturday, January 26, 2008

Palestine-Israel, My weekly report on the AAtW activists in the ongoing struggle - Tel Aviv, Bil'in, Al Hader, Beit Umar, Gaza

On Thursday late evening, a candles demonstration in protest of the electricity cut for the Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It marched at 22:00 at Tel Aviv Ben Zion and Rotchild boulevards. The demonstration was called by the Women Coalition and the Anarchists Against the Wall. On Friday there were two demons against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in (West of Ramallah) and Al Hader (Bethlehem region). A direct action against the road block at Deir Ibziya was canceled as the Israeli army dismantled it in the morning... Activists of the AAtW did a solidarity visit to the injured activists of Beit Umar - two of them murdered today, and many injured in a "retaliation" of Israeli army following the shooting on settlers yesterday in Kfar-Ezyon.

------------ Al Hader ------------

"Today there were an estimated 500 people at the prayer preceding the protest, which took place on the road into El Khader (next to the gas station) in front of a huge Palestinian flag that was strung up on the cliff-face. After the prayer around 200 people went up the road, which was blocked by soldiers and police. There was chanting and shouting for half an hour, and as the protest was dispersing some kids threw a few stones, which hit the jeeps' windscreens. Very quickly the soldiers who were guarding from the top of the cliff (that runs along the road) threw shock and gas grenades. The protesters then ended."


------------ Beit Umar ------------

We were not present in the village at Friday, with tragic consequences. (The joint demonstration was planed for Saturday.) As the guide lines for opening fire to disperse demonstration forbid soldiers from using live ammunition is applied only when Israelis are participating, they did use it and plenty of them. Following the shooting on settlers yesterday in Kfar-Ezyon, the Israeli army entered today (Friday 25.01.08) to the village of Bet-Umar to a retaliation act. the spontaneous demonstration that started by the residents was brutally oppressed by the army that used live ammunition toward the demonstrators.
One Palestinian was killed one is dieing, and between 7 and 10 were injured, among them Mussa Abu Maria that was shot in his head from 2 live bullet and was operated on in Hebron hospital and is now out of danger.

----------- Bil'in --------------

The Friday demonstration marched at noon from the center of the village towards the gate to the west in the separation fence which cut more than half of the village lands. Palestinians from the village and neighboring ones, International activists, and Israeli of the anarchists against the wall initiative, chanted slogans and held banners in solidarity with the people of Gaza, suffering Israeli atrocities.

As usual last few months, the Israeli state force tried to block our way up the hill to the gate located on its top. As usual lately, we forced our way part of the way but was blocked physically by the soldiers. As the direction of the wind prevented them from using tear gas, and as the noise of the shock grenades is not deterring us any more, they had to use only threats and pushing us.

After about half an hour of their pushing and throwing of shock grenades and resistance, both sides were tired. The soldier retreated a bit and we decided to return to the village.

When we arriving at the fringe of the built area of the village, we witnessed as usual the confrontation between the State force with tear gas and rubber coated bullets and the village kids who were throwing on them stones from the near by olive groves.

------------ Demonstration against the closer of Gaza ---------------
On Saturday the coalition against the harsh closer of the Gaza strip ghetto made a big demonstration. About 1000 participants came from all over Israel to the Northern gate to the Gaza strip. Most of us converged first in Tel Aviv, where we decorated the cars and buses with placards and food stuff on the top of the cars. After the convoy arrived at the closed Erez gates there was a big assembly with the dignitaries of the left gave speeches.

In spit of the wish of the organizers, flags were held high - among them Palestinian flags, flags of various Trotskist and Stalinist splinters, and few anarchist ones.

Among the participants was a contingent of the antiauthoritarian left - including the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative and Matzpen.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Palestine-Israel, My private report on the AAtW in the joint struggle at Bil'in, 443, Al Hader

The Joint struggle of the anarchists against the wall with the popular comity of Bil'in against the separation fence and occupation intensified this week. A new regional commander of the Israeli state forces resulted in lot of harassments during the week, against Palestinians and Israelis protecting the Bil'in outpost in the village lands on the west side of the separation fence. After recruiting judicial activists and the abrupt replacement of the belligerent commander things seem to improve. In the Friday demonstration it was expressed in the small retreat of the state forces from the absolute blocking of the demonstration at the arbitrary read line at the foot of the hill the gate to the lands of the village on the west side of the separation fence. After some physical confrontation and use of threats and shock grenades and detaining few activists, they let tens of us to stay at a point up the hill including the previously detained that were surprisingly released and let join us.

After a while the state force retreated a bit and we ended our demonstration in a "peaceful" manner.

Member of Village comity Abdulla Abu Rahma had been shoot in his head - Bil'in 11-1-08
link of Bil'in protest 18-01-2008 by emad bornat
Report of member of the Bil'in village comity on the Friday demonstrations of Bil'in and the apartheid highway 443:

"The villagers of Bil'in located near the Central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international and Israeli supporters conducted their weekly demonstration against the illegal Israeli wall on Friday.
The theme of this week's demonstration was calling on the international community to force Israeli to stop its deadly attacks on Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip. As is the case each week the protesters marched from the village center towards the construction of the illegal wall Israel is building on the village land.

As soon as the protesters reached a barricade set up by the Israeli soldiers just outside the village, Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber coated metal bullets on the unarmed protesters injuring three of them. Among those injured was Ibraheem Burnat one of the coordinators of the Popular Resistance against the Wall and Settlement Committee in the village of Bil'in.

Meanwhile near Ramallah, villagers from several villages east of Ramallah along with international and Israeli peace activists* protested at the settler road known as 443 that cuts through those villages. Troops attacked the protesters with tear gas and several people suffered gas inhalation injuries and were moved to a nearby medical center for treatment.
For more information:
The Bilin Friends of freedom and Justice -society
* For various reasons some of those reporting on the presence of the anarchists against the wall present us as "Israeli peace activists".


This Friday, it was the turn of the village Al Hader to rise high the flag of struggle. It is one of the Bethlehem region villages who are fighting against the separation fence that rob their lands. The recruiting of the village people by the village comity for the first massive demonstration brought hundreds of participants who were joined by internationals activists, and Israeli activists of the anarchists against the wall initiative. The demonstration marched to the intersection out of the village. The villages had there their Friday noon prayer and returned to the village.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Palestine-Israel, My weekly report on the AAtW activities and the joint struggle - Bush, Bil'in, apartheid 443, Um Salmuna, Beit Ur

Wednesday, the Emperor Bush landed in Israel to continue his war mongering on the spot. Few dozens of leftists including the samba troupe of the Anarchists Against the Wall - confronted by state forces, converged on the lawn of the Independent garden in Jerusalem and in front of the Us consulate in Jerusalem, to tell him what they think about his triple talks.
On Friday were the usual 3 demonstrations against the separation fence: West of Ramalla Bil'in and apartheid highway 443, and south of Bethlehem Um Salmuna.
On Saturday, a new front on south of Bethlehem recently opened at Beit Umar (which is a frequent participant in the struggle against the separation fence).
In Bil'in, the whether was on our side. The 153th consecutive Friday demonstration marched from the center of the village under a deep blue sky and a bit warmer whether. When we approached the hill the gate in the separation fence is on, we encountered the same barbed wire spool blocking the road, the same declaration about the closed military zone, and the same threats about not crossing the line. However, the unexpected changes in the wind that tended to be from the East, the state force could not use it to block our way.

They tried few tear gas canisters but the wind drifted the gas towards the soldiers. They tried shock grenades, but we are so used to it that it only cause people to move a meter away from where a grenade fell. Thus, we slowly closed the gap and the state forces had to block us with their body. After a while, they retreated few meters and we decided to return to the village. Only when we were far from them they could punish us with tear gas canisters and later with bullets covered by rubber. Few were slightly hurt by shock grenades and tear gas. One member of the village popular comity was hit with a bullet to his head and was taken to hospital in Ramalla for treatment.

This is the link to the documentary video from Bil'in Palestine 11-01-2008 by Emad Burnat is on:


At the near by apartheid highway 443 the lukewarm Friday demonstration continued. It was compromised again by the higher authority which overruled the grass root comity of the region. (It sabotaged the option of direct action on the previous Friday which was supposed to be a joint Israeli-Palestinian mass demonstration.)

At the Bethlehem region Friday demonstration was at Um Salmuna. The people were able to reach the route of the separation fence. A kid with the Palestinian flag was photographed standing on a heavy construction machine that was waiting for repair.... Later, A temporary road block made of a spool of barbed wire appeared on the road from Israel to the region (used mostly by settlers).

On Saturday, we had a non standard demonstration at Beit Umar of the Bethlehem region. It was the second one - to be continued, protesting the last grab of lands by the near by colonialist settlement Karnei Shomron built on previously confiscated land of the village. Not long ago, the fence of the settlement moved in the direction of Beit Umar, grabbed more of its lands, Lately it could be seen from the village that settlers' caravans were put part of on the stolen land.

Early afternoon we marched from the village built area through the vineyards, towards the settlement. Israeli army soldiers blocked our way few score meters from the new fence of the settlement. By physical pressure we succeeded to advance a bit till we were near the army armed cars. When people tried to go nearer through a vineyard bordering the dirt road, the soldiers became more belligerent.

As the demonstration ended and we started to return to the village, youngsters started to through stones and the army retaliated with tear gas and shooting of bullets rubbed with rubber.

As our way back was blocked we made a detour through the land back to the village. The army followed the youngsters up to the built area of the village before retreating back to the colonialist settlement.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Palestine-Israel, My Weekly report on the AAtW involvement in the joint struggle 4-5/1/08

Tel Aviv - Critical mass, Jafa, Kfar Shalem; Bil'in; 443 apartheid highway; Um Salmuna... This week in Tel Aviv, we participated in the on going joint struggle of inhabitants of Jafa and Kfar Shalem against the Tel Aviv municipality gentrification and eviction. Video of critical mass against the occupation Tel Aviv 27-12-2007 (Thursday previous week) by Israel Puterman; Video of Bil'in 28/12/2007 by Emad bornat ---- On Sunday we participated in the joint demonstration of about 300 participants - Palestinians of Jafa, Israeli Jews from Kfar Shalem, and sympathizers in front of the apartment house the Tel Aviv mayor reside in. During the week AAtW were present in vigils at houses to be demolished in the two locations.

By Eyad Bornat: Tuesday - Two Badly Injured as Bil’in Residents Attempt to Thwart Settler Land Grab --- On January 1st, Mohammed Khatib and Abdullah Abu Rahme of the Bil’in popular committee were badly beaten by settlers [of Modi'in Ilit town - I.S.] whilst attempting to stop the positioning of a settlement outpost on village land. They are currently receiving treatment in Sheik Zaid hospital, both are in a stable condition. Cameraman Emad Bornat was beaten also but escaped with footage of the attack after settlers destroyed his camera. Settlers arrived around 7pm attempting and placed a caravan on the ground, creating an outpost to the illegal settlement of Modi’in Illit. The aim of the outpost seems to be to stop the army moving the apartheid wall further East to give Bil’in some of its land back, as per the Supreme Court decision awarded in September. The settlers are calling the caravan a synagogue in an attempt to make it harder to remove by the Israeli military, a common practice in the West Bank.
The settlers were attempting to place a second caravan when Mohammed and Abdullah, together with Emad Bornat, quickly arrived on the scene and sat down under the caravan, preventing the settlers from securing the structure. Many other Bil’in residents arrived soon afterwards but were prevented from accessing the site by soldiers at the gate through the apartheid wall, which runs directly through Bil’ins land.
Armed settlers approached the group and were overheard saying “lets break his head” in Hebrew by an Israeli talking on the phone to Mohammed before the attack. The settlers then proceeded to attack the group, breaking Emad’s camera, who then left to protect the film inside. Over an hour after they were called, the police arrived and broke up the assault, but did not force the settlers to remove the structures, which were secured down after Mohammed and Abdullah were badly beaten. An Israeli activist arriving on the scene directly called for an Israeli ambulance, but the ambulance were not allowed to take them to an Israeli hospital, instead they had to wait at the Nahalin checkpoint for a Palestinian ambulance to arrive to finally take them to hospital.
According to official sources, two Palestinians and two settlers were arrested. In fact, no one was arrested, but the police offered to ‘look into doing so’ if the victims wish to press charges. Police also said the structures would be removed in the morning.
International Human Rights activists were in Bil’in soon after this happened and Israeli activists were present in the settlement afterwards as well. Settlers cut the tires to the car of one group of Israeli activists.
For more information: The Bilin Friends of freedom and Justice society
Email: http://www.

Video by Emad Bornats

The Friday demonstration - the 151 since 22d February 2005 was as usual the last few months. We marched from the center of the village towards the gate of the separation fence under a drifting sky. We had a short presence at the foot of the hill the gate is on it - as the Israeli state force forbid the approach towards the gate. After a while they showered us with tear gas, as the commander of the state force claimed we were not complying to his whims. A prolonged confrontation following this between stone throwers and the state forces.

This week no one was detained or seriously wounded. The heavy rain started at the end of the confrontation and made the riding home a challenge.

The Friday demonstration at the 443 apartheid highway

First, an excerpt of the invitation for participation:

"Road 443 is one of the main throughways of the West Bank *. Its overall length is 25.5 KM, 14 out of which run through the heart of the West Bank, with two additional ones in the No-Man's Land. From the year 2000 on Israel started restricting Palestinian movement on the road, with the restrictions turning into complete prohibition of Palestinian movement in 2002, practically making the road into a Jewish-only one."

[The villages roads connected to the 443 highway were blocked by big concrete blocks and gravel mounds. When policemen and soldiers caught cars with Palestinian drivers they often confiscate the car keys and/or the driver licenses.

443 is one of the most prominent and upsetting apartheid roads in the West Bank. *Approximately 40,000 Israeli citizens travel on it on a daily basis*. The majority of them are not settlers but merely commuters traveling from Tel Aviv and Modi'in to Jerusalem on a better, shorter road, with less traffic. It is safe to assume that the vast majority of them are unaware to the fact that they are traveling through the Occupied Territories, and in a road Palestinians are allowed on. In many parts the road is surrounded by a wall, decorated by picturesque murals, blocking the Palestinian villages victimized by the road even from sight.

Road 443 is, needless to say, not the only apartheid road in the West Bank. *312 Kilometers of West Bank roads are nowadays forbidden for Palestinian use*. The system of apartheid roads (which also include an inferior, separate road system for Palestinian use) - together with the checkpoints and roadblocks, the wall, the siege and curfews, separate Palestinians from their lands, their workplaces, universities and each other - creating an intolerable reality lacking any real freedom of movement. The system of separation divides the West Bank into fragmented enclaves, practically destroying Palestinian economy, sovereignty and any option for a normal life.

Invitation is signed by:
The Palestinian Popular mobilization against apartheid; The national committees against the wall and settlements; The councils of the villages Beit Sira, Safa, Beit Likya, Kharbata AlMasbach, Beit Ur El Tachta and Beit Ur el Foka; The [Israeli] Coalition against the Wall & the Occupation: Gush Shalom, Coalition of
Women for just peace, Ta'ayush, Alternative Information Center, Yesh Gvul, ICAHD, Students Coalition - Tel-Aviv University, Anarchists against walls.

The Demo

About 150 Israelis started their way to the demonstration before noon from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other parts of the country - less than half succeeded to arrive to the site of the demonstration.

Israeli police succeeded to block the arrival of about half of Israelis in various road blocks.

At the meeting point in Tel Aviv, two cars of police and intelligence were present from the beginning of the convergence. They followed the bus most of the demonstrators were on, and at the Rantis road block in the occupied territories they blocked its way together with the grandams present there, without even bothering to showing any document authorizing them to do it. (The document was shown to other comrades when their car was blocked on another road block.)

The demonstrators got down from the bus and demonstrated near the road block. During this demonstration the traffic on the road continued, but the gendarmes pushed and hit demonstrators and even detained three of them for hours - releasing them after interrogation.

The joint demonstration of the Palestinian villagers and the Israeli participants did took place, and was subject to vicious violence of the Israeli state forces. The army attacked the protest with sound bombs, tear gas and rubber coated bullets and injured seven people - two were taken to the hospital.

At the Bethlehem region, 200 Palestinians, internationals and Israelis of the AAtW initiative, marched against the illegal wall being built on land stolen illegally by the Israeli army from the villagers of Um Salamunah, located near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The protesters marched from the village towards the nearby settlers' road known as Road 60 that cuts the village of Um Salamunah off from its land. A year ago Israel started to build the separation fence on village land.

The protest marked the one year anniversary of nonviolent resistance to the separation fence in that village. Local villagers held Friday prayers on the settlers' road then speeches were delivered. Israeli troops arrived in the area but did not attack protesters. The action finished shortly thereafter.

Link to a media detailed article on the 443: