Saturday, July 26, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle against the fence and occupation at Ni'ilin, Um Salmuna and Bil'in

The AAtW were involved this week in the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation in Ni'ilin - during the week, and in Friday at Um Salmuna (south Bethlehem) and in Bil'in (west of Ramallah). This week the Israeli media was flooded by reports on the suppression of the struggle against the separation fence due to the exposer of the case of the shooting of handcuffed and eyes covered Ashraf Abu Rahmah. The Tel Aviv widely distributed week end supplement of Haaretz daily cover and some articles were about the shooting of him and of other activists. Because of that, the state forces were very "gentle" in the treatment/suppression of Bil'in Friday demonstration, as never before.

>>>>>>>>> NI'ILIN <<<<<<<<<<<<<

This week there were three joint demonstrations by the village activists (mostly), Internationals and the people of the Israeli anarchists against the wall (AAtW) initiative.

There was the usual Sunday demonstration. There was the women's demonstration on Wednesday, (link to the video - There was also the usual Thursday demonstration.

This week there was a huge coverage of the struggle in Ni'lin in the Israeli media and some even in the international one including the British BBC. The main item that even caused a scandal in the Israeli side was the revealing of a video clip of an episode of the curfew of two weeks ago. Day after day, in both TV channels, radio and newspapers, you could see the shooting in the foot of the handcuffed and eye covered Ashraf Abu Rahmah, while held by the lieutenant colonel; hear the discussions of the event, and even see live the lame apology of the government war minister. See
The abuse that was documented on video can be viewed in many internet web sites including in the following report from:

21 July '08: Following exposure by B'Tselem, Military Police investigate shooting of bound Palestinian

Yesterday (20 July), B'Tselem published footage it received of a soldier firing a rubber-coated steel bullet, from extremely short range, at a Palestinian detainee who was cuffed and blindfolded. The act occurred about two weeks ago in the presence of several security forces, among them the battalion commander, a lieutenant colonel, who held the Palestinian’s arm while the soldier fired.

According to press reports, the Military Police have opened an investigation and arrested the soldier who fired the shot. Apparently, until the video was aired, the army did not conduct a Military Police investigation, and settled for an operational debriefing. According to the reports, the debriefing reached the desk of the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Division Commander, who failed to inform the Military Police or the Judge Advocate General’s Office, or to take any measures against the soldier or the battalion commander. Residents of Ni’ilin stated that, the day after the incident, they saw the soldier still serving in his unit.

When questioned by investigators, the soldier stated, according to press reports, that the battalion commander had ordered him to shoot the detainee. The commander, however, admitted only that he had ordered the soldiers “to frighten” the bound Palestinian.

Video footage from the incident:

The incident took place on 7 July, in Ni’ilin, a village in the West Bank. A Palestinian demonstrator, Ashraf Abu-Rahma, 27, was stopped by soldiers, who cuffed and blindfolded him for about thirty minutes, during which time, according to Abu-Rahma, they beat him. Afterwards, a group of soldiers and border policemen led him to an army jeep. The footage shows a soldier aim his weapon at the detainee’s legs, from about 1.5 meters away, and fire a rubber-coated steel bullet at him. Abu-Rahma stated that the bullet hit his left toe and that he received treatment from an army medic and was then released by the soldiers.

A young Palestinian girl from Ni’ilin filmed the incident from her house in the village. B'Tselem received the tape yesterday and forwarded a copy to the Military Police Investigation Unit commander, with a demand that an immediate Military Police investigation be opened, if one hadn’t already been initiated, and that the soldier be brought to justice. B’Tselem also demanded an investigation into the involvement of the battalion commander, who held the detainee. B'Tselem stressed that members of the security forces are obligated to report unlawful acts and that a senior officer’s failure to do so is particularly grave.

>>>>>>>> BIL"IN <<<<<<<<<<<<

This Friday participated the usuals - Palestinians (mainly from the village), Internationals (including a Spanish contingent) and the AAtW activists (with others who joined us). We marched as usual with placards, flags, chants, and some dancing till we reached the gate to the route of the separation fence.

This demonstration had a unique component: in its head marched Ashnaf Abu Rahma - head cuffed and blindfolded - just as he was seen in the video clip that show how he was shoot at while held by the lieutenant-colonel. (see the Ni'ilin video clip that show it at

This demonstration was unique in additional component:

Previous Friday, when few of us entered the route of the separation fence, the Israeli state force showered us with tear gas and we had to escape after few minutes. This Friday when the bigger part of the demonstration entered the route, with Ashraf at our head shooting to the state force present to bring the lieutenant-colonel, they did nothing. for about half an hour we marched in the route along the electronic fence that run in its middle, and still nothing. Only when we exited from the route of the fence and few kids started to throw stones on the state force, they got the excuse to start to shoot at us - the nonviolent demonstrators, tear gas canisters.

Following is a link to a video clip of D. our dedicated video documenting comrade, who was hit by a direct shooting of tear gas canister at that point - after he documented most of the demonstration:

Pictures of the demonstration can be seen at:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle continue - Ni'ilin Women's Demo Reportback + "regular" Sunday and Thursday demos

Today about one hundred Palestinian, Israeli and international women demonstrated in Nilin against the apartheid wall being constructed by Israel cutting deep into the West Bank effectively appropriating village lands to nearby settlement Hashmonaim. Soldiers welcomed the group with sound bombs and gas, they kept the women from reaching the work site using violence, but demonstrators repeatedly forced the soldiers to retreat quite a bit over the hour long protest. There were two arrests, two injuries, and lots of gas; this is the first of a series of women's actions in the village. Pictures at:

Nilin's women were supported in large numbers by activist from Ramallah, Tulkarem, Tel-Aviv*, Jerusalem, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and the USA among other places. The group, that also included a number of children, marched from the village's center toward the work site when soldiers stopped them about 100 meters from the machinery using sound bombs and tear gas. The group dispersed a bit on the hill, but the wind followed them, so that about half of the women were able to stick by the soldiers while others retreated to safety and treatment. One elderly Palestinian woman was taken to hospital due to heart problems.

Nilin children had made many posters that were carried by the women, expressing themselves about the fence and Palestine's freedom, because most could not attend themselves. There were not many chants on the way, but when the soldiers were reached, heated discussions were exchanged, with most women arguing why they should be allowed to the work site. There were many spurts of gas and sound bombs over the hour long demonstration, but, each time the group managed to move ahead closer to the working tractors. During all of this a group of men from Nilin looked on from the hillside curious and worried, every once in a while soldiers fired tear gas canisters up the hill, special for them. A crew from the Israeli Arutz (Channel) 1 television were just in time to catch the last round of gas in person, and of course, even though they did mention the investigation surrounding Ashraf Abu Rahme's shooting there wasn't a word about the women's protest in tonight's news program. There was also no mention that the Palestinian from Nilin arrested at today's demonstration is the father of the girl who shot the video bringing the case international attention. None of the other arrest of a Canadian citizen, or other injuries of the day, including rubber bullets, gas exposure, plus other bruises and scratches. Etc.

More women's actions to follow.


Sunday and Thursday we had in Ni'ilin the usual demonstrations against the separation fence (we usually have 3 to 5 demonstrations each week since the works on the route of the separation fence. Lot of media and international activists came to the demonstrations. (More than 50 internationals from France on Thursday.)

As usual, when we approached the work site of the route of the separation fence, Israeli state forces assaulted us with tear gas to begin with and shooting of rubber coated bullets added not much later. Tis week we were not very successful as we could not stop the work even for a short time. However, due to a lucky video clip of a girl of the village which documented the shooting of the tied Ashraf by a soldier while the lieutenant-colonel holding Ashraf, all the Israeli media was reporting about the struggle. It was also in the British BBC. The Israeli war minister had to denounce such actions (especially when they are documented....)

Some minutes of satisfaction I had today when I walked in a round about road towards the machines working on the route and seen a unit of border police all coughing and rubbing their eyes as the tear gas they threw on the demonstrators was returned to them by a Palestinian friendly wind.

* Often, people of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative do not mention the group name - especially when other Israeli radicals join us.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Israel, Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) call: Help us continue the joint struggle*

With the increase of legal persecution against Palestinian demonstrators, AATW are now fundraising to expand its existing legal fund so that it also covers defense costs for our Palestinian partners. This is in addition to covering a standing 15,000 USD debt, resulting from the legal persecution of Israeli anti-wall demonstrators.
We urge you to read our call for support and to please make a donation that will enable us to continue the struggle.

Urgent Call for Support

Dear friend,

The mounting legal costs of the joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle against the occupation, and the heightening legal persecution of Palestinian activists, are forcing us to send this urgent appeal for funds. We are asking for your support to continue the work of the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW), and perhaps even more importantly, to allow us to expand our legal fund in an attempt to also cover the legal costs of our Palestinians partners arrested at demonstrations.

Since 2003, the group has supported the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and specifically against Israel's segregation wall. Week after week, AATW joins the Palestinian popular resistance against the wall, in diverse areas of the West Bank, including the villages of al-Ma'asara, south of Bethlehem, Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, Bil'in and recently, almost on a daily basis, Ni'ilin west of Ramallah. There, the army is taking extreme steps to suppress the demonstrations, such as occasionally firing live ammunition and imposing siege and curfew.

Hundreds if not thousands of activists have been arrested and dozens indicted for their participation in the struggle. Fortunately, the group is represented by a dedicated lawyer, Adv. Gaby Lasky. Adv. Lasky has tirelessly worked to defend activists arrested at demonstrations or direct actions in the West Bank and in Israel. Though the legal defense she provides AATW is almost a full-time job, she has agreed to be paid only a token fee. However, even despite a successful fundraising campaign last year, AATW still owes Adv. Lasky approximately $15,000.

Recently, we have seen an increase in the legal persecution of our Palestinian partners. In solidarity we are now fundraising to expand AATW's existing legal fund to also cover defense costs for Palestinian arrestees. This is in addition to covering the existing aforementioned debt, and operational expenses such as communications and transportation.

We urge you to read this article in The Nation about the recent struggle in Ni'ilin, and to please make a donation that will enable us to continue this struggle.

In appreciation and solidarity.
Anarchists Against the Wall

For more information on how to make a tax deductable donation in the US, contact us at .

See also
* No, they still do not do it yet to the Israeli activists but see what they did to Ashraf:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Palestine-Israel, Joint struggle in Ni'ilin, Bil'in, Um Salmuna of AAtW

In Ni'ilin, the intensive struggle continued this week in four days of confrontation with the Israeli state forces. Many Palestinians and AAtW people were injured. Israeli, regional, and even international media covered the confrontation. On two days, the demonstrations caused the stopping for a while the works on the route of the separation fence. ---- On Friday, The activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative involved in addition to Ni'ilin with the demonstration at Um Salmuna (south of Bethlehem) and in Bil'in - the 178th demonstration. On this Friday few of us succeeded to enter the route of the separation fence and touch the electronic fence for a while till the tear gas overwhelmed us.

13-7-08 = link to video
17.7.08 video at

Friday 18.7.2008 video at



Demonstrators trying to put off a fire amidst teargasDemonstrators trying to put off a fire amidst teargas

About 150 demonstrators split into two groups today – one, larger group, heading towards the large contingent of border police and soldiers, trying to get to the bulldozers through them, but was met with great force, which included the use of live rounds by the army. Another, smaller group of about twenty, circumvented the soldiers and managed to disrupt construction for about half an hour.
Read more
Demonstrator shot in the arm in Ni'ilin

Mohammed Amira holding his arm with a rubber-coated bullet stuck in itMohammed Amira holding his arm with a rubber-coated bullet stuck in it

At round 3PM, about 150 people set out from the village center towards the bulldozers razing their lands and orchards. As protesters neared the heavy machinery, they were attacked with teargas projectiles, and then very quickly with rubber bullets, even though demonstrators posed no threat. Mohammed Amira, whose hands were clearly raised in the air, was shot from an illegal range of no more than ten meters (30 feet). The bullet hit Amira's raised arm and penetrated his biceps just above the elbow

Five injured and a paramedic arrested in Ni'ilin
(including pictures and link to video)

Since demonstrations began in Ni'ilin about two months ago, over a hundred olive trees were burned in fires ignited by teargas projectiles shot by the army. Thousands of trees more, the only source of income left for many of villagers, are expected to be uprooted or left on the secluded part of the wall.

A demonstrator arguing with an officer, seconds before being attacked. Pictures by Dan SeltzerA demonstrator arguing with an officer, seconds before being attacked. Pictures by Dan Seltzer

Trying to illustrate the theft of the villager's land and livelihood, about 200 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals carrying olive branches tried holding a peaceful vigil along the settler roadside. Though the road was not block, and it was made very clear to the soldiers there was also no intention to try and do so, the protesters were immediately assaulted with teargas and rubber bullets and pushed back into the village, where barricades where erected on the main road to prevent the army from invading.

A makeshift barricadeA makeshift barricade

One of the paramedics accompanying the demonstration, Salah Khawaja, was hit so badly by teargas that he collapsed and could not return to the village. While on the ground he was violently dragged and beaten by soldiers, which only worsened his condition. Khawaja was subsequently arrested by soldiers carrying a stretcher and pretending to provide him medical aid.

Both the assault on Khawaja and his arrest are grave breaches of international humanitarian law, strictly and explicitly forbidding the harming of medical personnel. He currently remains under arrest, and can be help for eight days without even being brought before a judge.

Just last Friday a group 22 Israeli medical volunteers from “Physicians for Human Rights” wanting to participate in a free medical day in Ni'lin to provide free health-care to villagers, where stopped and detained for about two hours at the Ni'lin checkpoint. One of the doctors reported hearing the soldiers say that this was done to punish Ni'lin for the continuing demonstrations.

During the four days of siege and curfew ambulances were frequently prevented from entering the village, denying needed medical care from the villagers, even forcing one woman in labor to give birth at home, without any medical supervision.

Four other people other than Khawaja were injured after being hit with rubber coated bullets

13 including a photographer injured in Ni'ilin


1 Injured in Nil'in Demonstration

At 3pm on Tuesday, July 15th, villagers from Nil'in--along with members of neighboring popular committees, Israeli activists, and internationals--marched through their olive groves
to the construction site of the apartheid fence, where Israeli soldiers assaulted them with tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Mohamed Amera, member of the popular committee in Nil'in, was shot at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet. The bullet, which was imbedded in his arm, was removed at a hospital in Ramallah.
In other news, the Israeli military has abducted two members of the popular committee in Nil'in, in an attempt to intimidate the local population and quell the recent surges in popular resistance.
Hassan Yusef Mosa and Salah Mohamed Tayeh Hawaje were kidnapped from their homes, and are still in custody,
presumably without charge.
Despite these obstacles, the people of Nil'in are committed to continuing their struggle against the confiscation of their land and the construction of the fence. A large demonstration will take place this Thursday, July 17th, at 11am.
Thank you for you continued support,

Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
Head of Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin

Email- ffj.bilin (at)
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Fax-(00972) (2) 2489129

Friday, July 11, 2008

Palestine-Israel, Another week of joint struggle the AAtW activists were involved with

This week even more than previous ones Ni'ilin was in the front center and in the media focus as well. Daily confrontation with the Israeli state forces and the construction works of the separation fence. The other focus was Wednesday - in which many Palestinian localities including Ni'ilin and Um Salmuna invite us to "celebrate" the international court verdict stating that the building of the separation fence is against the international law of war. During the week, the AAtW declined invitation to visit session of the Israeli parliament sub-comity of security and foreign relation about our bad conduct as we refused to come without our Palestinian partners. And of course Friday demo in Bil'in the 177th.

Links to video clips of some of the demonstrations:

Bil'in Friday 4-7-08 link to video

Ni'ilin curfew 6.7.08 at

Ni'lin 9.7.08 link to walla-ynet,7340,L-3566049,00.html

Ni'lin demo 9-7-08 - link to video

Ni'ilin 10-7-08 - link to video

Anuther Ni'ilin video of 10.7.08 at

Following some texts about Ni'ilin struggle this week:

07/08/2008 05:37 PM ---- At around 6 PM about 100 Palestinians, Israelies and internationals left Budrus towards Ni'lin in order to break the curfew and bring food to the people of Ni'lin. Army forces were waiting near the first houses of Nilin backed up with a road block which prevented the movement of vehicles in and out of the village. the soldiers open fire using tear gas and rubber coated bullets.
Villagers from Ni'lin took advantage of the fact that most Israeli forces went to the village's outskirts and went out for a spotaneous demonstration at the town's center, while breaking the curfew.
3 were hurt by the army's shooting, but were evicted to Ramalla hospital in 2 hours delay, as ambulances could not get into the village due to the road blocks and the curfew.
notwithstanding the brutal oppression, today's action was successful - most of the villagers in Ni'lin witnessed the demonstrations and the solidarity action.
Budrus to Ni'lin 7-7-08 - link to video


The Popular Committees of West Ramallah invite you to participate in a demonstration to break the siege of Nilin to take place this Wednesday July 9, 2008. This demonstration is also being held to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the decision of the International Court of Justice on the Israeli Apartheid Wall.

We will gather at the same time - 11:00 am - at two different locations: Budrus Village and Deir Qadis Village.

Together we will break the siege of Nilin.

A mass demonstration in Ni'ilin

An especially big demonstration will be held in the village of Ni'ilin on the morning of the coming Thursday, commemorating the anniversary of The Hague ruling which defined the Apartheid Wall a crime.


A contingent of 60 Israelis came with the AAtW to that demonstration.


The village of Ni'ilin, which is located in the Ramallah district, has for more than a month now been leading an intense struggle against the de-facto appropriation of 2,500 of its 7,000 dunams of land by the "separation fence". The route of the fence in this area, much like the famous case of Bil'in, has been planned in such a way that would allow the near by illegal settlement of Hashmonaim to expand on lands that will be "left behind" the fence.

The villagers, who refuse to accept this, hold three-four demonstrations a week, marching towards the construction site and the settlement, in many cases successfully forcing a halt of construction.

The army, however, is responding with growing ferocity. According to the army spokesperson, an entire regiment was relocated to guard the construction, and these soldiers use brutal force against the unarmed demonstrators. On Friday the village was put under a ten-day siege, and residents were informed it was a punishment for the demonstrations. During the weekend an attempt was made to enforce a curfew on the village, but the villagers' active resistance changed the army's plans. Today, Sunday, a curfew is declared again.

Yet the villagers' do not intend to give up, and have struggling against the curfew and siege. The Thursday demonstration will be held in spite of the siege and as a challenge towards it, as the villagers are still interested to cooperate with the Israelis and internationals, who are coming to the village in support of the struggle.

We feel that it is worth mentioning the popular struggles against the fence/wall have been going on throughout the West Bank for more than four years now. The fact that a new village chooses to enter the cycle of resistance in spite of the harsh oppression used against these struggles is yet another important reason to come and support Ni'ilin this week.

We will leave for the Thursday demonstration together from Tel Aviv in the morning. We assume that the army will try to prevent us from getting there, but will try and break the siege so as to join our partners. This attempt might include a long walk on difficult terrain, but those who would want to avoid such a walk and hold a demonstration outside the checkpoints surrounding the village will be able to do so.

The army did not try to prevent us from getting there... but instead used intensively batons and injured lot of demonstrators - targeting on the AAtW activists.

The public TV channel evening news included an item showing the clash and AAtW injured people carried from there - bringing the claim of ours side that the route of the fence is used to robe big stretch of Ni'ilin land for use as a cometary of the near by settler colonialist town Modi'in Ilit.

(During the week both radio channels and TV reported on the intense struggle in Ni'ilin.


A border policeman was lightly wounded Thursday by a rock thrown by anti-security fence demonstrators in the West Bank town of Ni'ilin, north of Modi'in.

Hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli protesters clashed with the policemen and several of the demonstrators were also reportedly hurt.

The army said that the protesters were demonstrating in a closed military zone and that security forces were trying to disperse them using crowd control measures.

Approved: Manuelen

The Ni’lin Popular Committee would like to draw attention to the following facts regarding the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army and Border Police since the beginning of the construction of the Wall (May 2008):

* 160 people were injured by rubber coated steel bullets during the protests, including children
* Hundreds of non-violent protesters were brutally beaten by the Israeli army during the protests
* 26 people were arrested
* A Palestinian Medical Relief Society ambulance was shot at. The driver counted 18 bullet marks on the outside of the van and two of the ambulance windows were shattered, with several bullets found inside the van
* Many people in the protests suffered severe respiratory problems due to the heavy use of tear gas
* Tear gas canisters were shot directly into the crowds, aiming at people and injuring dozens
* The Israeli army started using a new tear gas machine, shooting 30 tear gas canisters at the same time
* The Israeli army used live ammunition on several occasions
* There were numerous incidents where the Israeli army invaded the village in the middle of the night after a protest, shooting tear gas and rubber coated steal bullets at and into homes where families were sleeping, and also arresting several people during these military incursions into the village

------------------------- AAtW ----------------

This Friday the inured comrades of Thursday splat between those who needed a day of rest and these who insisted to come to both the Ni'ilin and Bil'in demonstrations (some limping and one with crutches).

At Bil'in demonstration we had today a small satisfaction. When we arrived at the separation fence, the state forces started to shower us with tear gas canisters. After the unseasoned participants dispersed the old timers stayed. We evaded most of the tear gas clouds... and one of us returned a gas canister to its owners. These, who were in a convoy of three armored cars "enjoyed" the tear gas and decided to escape from the location.

See also

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The weekly report about the activists of the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall Bil'in, Um SAlmuna, Ni'ilin, Tel Aviv

During the week we were busy in Ni'ilin joint struggle and two solidarity demonstrations in Tel Aviv. At Ni'ilin, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday demonstrations against the separation fence and occupation. In Tel Aviv we had vigils in front of the German embassy on Monday and in front of the Austrian embassy on Wednesday (see below). On Friday we demonstrated as usual against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in - the 176th since February 2005.
Our people also participated in the joint struggle at Um Salmuna, and in Ni'ilin, the new intensive front, with intense confrontation on Friday when the state forces declares closer at dawn and entered at noon as provocation/revenge.

German embassy vigil

Solidarity demo with Christian and Andrea in front of the German embassy
Monday the 30th of June. Andrea and Christian are political prisoners that are imprisoned in Berlin for over six months now. They were arrested in December 2007 while blocking a neo Nazi demo, they were accused of serial disobedience. The argument leading to a three years imprisonment is that they are politically aware so a regular punishment is not enough to deter them.

Austrian embassy Vigil

On Friday 2.7 we had a second vigil in front of the Austrian embassy in solidarity with 10 activists for animal rights - arrested a month ago in infringement of the west European civil rights. An Austrian coalition of activists organizations called for a world wide demonstrations.

Ni'ilin Demonstrations

It is hard to point on the exact reason why the struggle in Ni'ilin got its specific form. For the last few weeks since the beginning of the work on the main part of the separation fence between Ni'ilin and the settler colonialist colony of Hashmonaim, twice or three times a week people of the village with support of international activists and Israelis of the AAtW try to disrupt the works on the kilometer long route of the separation fence. Some times even with partial success. Tuesday, we surprised the state forces who were concentrated on the east side - where we disrupted the works twice the previous week, by converging on the west side of the route. Five to seven heavy machinery units were damaged. In retaliation, the state forces declares a closer at dawn - preventing entering or exit from the village. At noon as provocation/revenge, they entered the village with armored cars to a space where the villagers had their protest noon prayer out of the mosque.

The villagers retaliated by building barricades, stoning the cars and breaking their bulletproof windows. When the army brought a bulldozer to open the way for the cars.. it was assaulted and had to escape.

Late afternoon when the turmoil ended, four Israeli activists were detained near the highway for three hours (The maximum duration the soldiers are aloud) on suspicious of entering Ni'lin so called closed military zone.

Um Salmuna

Report by a comrade

"Two committee members arrested in Al-Maasara/Um Salamuna

On Friday, July 4th, activists gathered in Al-Ma’asara, Bethlehem District, the Palestinians brought a huge flag with them, but unfortunately this was not an independence day celebration, but the weekly demonstration against the Annexation Barrier and continuing theft of Palestinian land.
Click on image for a larger version

Um Salamona, 04_07_2008-activestills-4.jpg

As last week there were about 40 Palestinian activists and roughly 20 Israelis and internationals. Today there was a different group of Soldiers and a lot of border police but as last week they had put the same razor wire fence across the road and the gap between the edge of the fence and the nearest permanent structure was blocked with pallets of stone tiles.

The enormous flag was held aloft in the wind and the young Palestinian children started pulling on the razor wire while the adults were demanding access to their land, a new soldier rightfully suggested that the Palestinians should indeed be allowed to access their land. He was quickly silenced by an older soldier, however a Palestinian activist, understandably excited that for once a little bit of justice might be offered, rushed to climb over the stone tiles and go to his land.

At this point the soldiers rushed towards him, they viciously pulled him down from the tiles and took him to their vehicles, activists from Anarchists Against The Wall (AAtW) and PSP managed to make it over the tiles, but could not get to him in time to stop him from being arrested. At this point an activist was also captured, another had his trousers/pants ripped open by the violent soldiers and was eventually left by soldiers to try and dress himself near the IDF vehicles.

The soldiers then threw sound grenades directly into the main group of protesters before heading over the stone tiles, AATW protesters scrambled to get back over the tiles but border police had already walked around the nearest building and together with the soldiers were able to quickly arrest another Palestinian who was standing with the main group.

With the border police and most of the soldiers arresting the second Palestinian activist the first was somehow able to make a run for it, the activist in the area (now dressed with a safety pin) was able to run with the Palestinian in solidarity. Unfortunately they were quickly found hiding in a nearby building.

The two international and Israeli activists were later forcibly removed from the vehicle where they were detained with the Palestinians, despite requesting to stay with the Palestinians. The Palestinians were blindfolded and have not been released. In spite of the fact that the Israelis and foreigners were arrested together with the two Palestinians they were released while the Palestinians were taken to the Etzion base. At this point is it not even clear if there are in police or army custody. It appears that the custom at the Etzion base is to not answer the phone on the weekend. That means that for Palestinians held there, there is no way for their lawyers or families to even know what they are suspected of. However Judging by what some of the soldiers said, it appears one of the Palestinians might be charged with assault. This is in spite of the fact that no less than 3 different angles of video footage exist showing this not to be the case. At this point the Palestinians are looking at 8 days in jail before they are even arraigned. That alone aught to be an outrage protested widely, except for the fact that much worse is being carried out in the West Bank every day.

photo with credit activestills at"