Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palestine-Israel, a new year of joint struggle against the occupation fence and occupation

Autumn first rains started the olive picking season. Joining the picking hindered by the separation fence and colonial settlers colored the actions the anarchists against the wall activists were involved with. In Ni'ilin it was the resuming of the usual struggle after the lower profile during the picking. At the Hebron region and the other areas the picking continued. Activists were detained and released. Tuesday we had a successful benefit in Tel Aviv. In Bil'in, Friday had the usual noon demo, and the evening wedding hafla of Rani Burnet who is usually at the head of the Friday demos on his wheel-chair. In Um Salmuna the demo was merged with olive picking. Saturday evening exhibitions.


The Haaretz the third important daily which is the liberal capitalist voice report in the cultural section:

Benefit party in Tel Aviv against the separation fence by Noia Kochavi

On Tuesday, there will be at the Barzilay club in Tel Aviv a party with the name "Musical-Radical" aimed to collect money for the legal expenses of the ongoing activity against the separation fence Israel build on the west bank. In the party with entrance fee of 30 shekel will play the music some of the prominent local D.J.s among them Radiotrip, Uri Lichtic, Sensy Sound, Skilaton, Nasty Habit, and Abuya sound. At the gig will be a table for selling shirts and CDs the income of which will be contributed to the same cause. The organizers of the party ask to regard it as a source of inspiration and enhancement of the activists and not as an escapist happening.


On Monday evening we had to shout for nearly an hour standing on the route of the separation fence in building till an Israeli state force car "came to receive our protest..." As big stones were arranged across the route and youngsters threw stones on them, they just shoot few tear gas canisters and went away...

Wednesday was a demo while works were still done on the route and state force succeeded to block our way. after the works finished for the day and machine went to their night compound - state force went away and some comrades approached the route and did things to the equipment.

At night state force arrested for of the activists of the village popular comity and Thursday the struggle continued while general strike was declared in the village. And of course a demo and a confrontation on Friday too where the state forces prevented a mass prayer near the route of the separation fence or even at an open space in the village.


After it was anounced by the state system that they will yield to the highest court verdict that the separation fence will be moved to return some of the village land (but still bargain how much) - the confrontations at the gate of the separation fence eased a bit. The last Fridays they do not try too hard to prevent us from entering the route of the separation fence. A few symbolic tear grenades and some shock grenade that do not deter the more experienced participant. Last Friday we took with us when we returned to the village one wing of the gate (which the state force did not bother to take back or punish us for that). This Friday, we arrived at an agreement they will not try to make us go as long as we will refrain from touching the electronic fence...

Following is excerpt of a report of member of the village popular comity against the separation fence:

"... protest was lunched today after the Friday prayer in Bil’in and was joined by international and Israeli activists to allow Palestinians to pick olives from the trees on their land. A delegation of journalists and students from Belgium joined the demonstration in solidarity with the village in their struggle against the Wall and settlement building, their name: Students for a just peace in the Middle East. and another group from the Ireland solidarity movement with the Palestinian people. in addition to this, a group from Denmark and another one from England.

The demonstrators marched in the village chanting against the discriminatory policies of the occupation [with a women of the village leading the chants].


This evening there was an opening of two politically oriented art exhibitions at the "house of the art people - Beit Ha'omanim" in Tel Aviv. One of them was a group exhibition in which the active stills collective activists of AAtW had their space. The other one was an exhibition of an established painter who is one of the activists that document with his video camera the demonstrations of the AAtW. (Most of them are on Utube - part of some find their way to TV news.)

His exhibition included some drawings of scenes of the struggle - including the gate to the separation fence in Bil'in. In the courtyard of the building, there was an happening with some talks and music - lot of the radical left of the metropolis attended.

In the fringe of the crowd a nonformal get together included total high school refusnics of "three generations". One, the first political total refusnik (of the first Israeli libertarian communist organization Matspen), one of the famous refusnic 5 group that served two years in jail few years ago, and one of the new refusnic group members of which are now in struggle and serving time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Palestine-Israel, olive picking, Road blocks removal, and challenging the separation fence in the joint struggle against occupation.

Ni'iln was still in the focus of struggle, with big mobilization from Israel on Tuesday. Wednesday olive picking at Turmus-Ayah near an unauthorized colonialist settler outpost took an interesting direction when two prefabricated dwellings were ignited. Thursday, Road blocks were dismantled by joined forces of locals and solidarity activists at Almazra’a Alsharqiya. Friday, had the usual demonstrations against the separation fence at Um Salmune (Thous of Bethlehem), Bil'in - where we took a wing of the gate to the route of the separation fence and brought it to the village center, and Ni'ilin. The Anarchists against the wall joined the Israeli olive picking coalition including Hebron on Saturday (Tel Rumeida).


The state force who missed the hot part, vended their anger by arresting the five AAtW activists who were released hours later with two weeks restriction from entering the 1967 occupied Palestinian areas. The enraged settler colonialists reported on their web page the following:

"... The police then notified Chursha's residents that officers and soldiers were escorting the Arabs to pick olives*. This apparently caused the neighborhood's residents to leave their homes without guards - except for their dogs - and go off to guard a nearby olive grove planted by Jews several years ago, which Arabs claim is on their land.

The attack took place at around 8 a.m., under the cover of fog. Karo estimates that the attackers numbered at least 20 Arabs and a few Israeli anarchists. The perpetrators parked their car in the nearby village of Turmus-Ayah, north of Jerusalem, and reached Chursha by foot. They then proceeded to burn and destroy the living quarters and meager furnishings..."


Hundreds of villagers, accompanied by solidarity activists including delegation from Bil'in village, Internationals, and AAtW people, dismantled six road blocks the older put there 17 years ago near A’in Al-haramiya area on the road between Nablus and Ramallah.


Friday, the olive picking on the other side of the route of the separation fence was was refused. In addition, the participants of protest prayer near the route of the fence were harassed after the prayer - resulted in protracted confrontation. It eased towards afternoon and a protest was demonstrated while a counter demonstration of Israelis supporting the suppression forces on the other side of the narrow valley.


Excerpts from report of member of the village popular comity:

"... After the Friday prayer, the residents of Bili’n gathered in a protest along with Israeli and international activists. A group from France called French people to support Palestinian People and another group from Norway joined the demonstration in solidarity with the village in their struggle against the Wall and settlement building. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and banners to allow Palestinian farmers to pick olive trees from their land. The protest called to remove the illegal wall and settlements, stop land confiscations, remove checkpoints and road blocks, and the release of all the Palestinian detainees....."

"... When the protest reached the gate, protesters tried to access the land to pick olives, but they were stopped by sound grenades and teargas canisters. And the Demonstrators managed to damage and take off [half] the gate to bring it to the village, near the monument of Yassir Arafat in the center of the village......"

* After lot of media reports on the harassment of settler colonialist on neighboring Palestinian villagers - especially during olive picking, and some high courts intervention, Israeli state forces do some steps to restrict settlers harassments.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle against the occupation and the separation fence (AAtW)

The struggle this week was "colored" with the olive picking season. Israelis of the wider coalition of opponents of the occupation which include the anarchists against the wall initiative were invited by villages who were usually harassed by Israeli state forces and neighboring colonialist settlers. In Bil'in, soldiers objected to the combining of the weekly demonstration against the separation fence with picking olive on the other side of the fence. In Ni'ilin, a big crowd of Israelis and Palestinians faced the regular harassment in spite of previous permit. In Um Salmuna, after the usual Friday demonstration the AAtW contingent joined the struggle in Beit Umar. Saturday, olive picking at Asira alQibliya (nabuls region).

The Friday demonstration of Bil'in got a reinforcement, as the usual locals, Internationals ,and Israelis, were joined by a contingent from the northern part of the occupied west bank, and the French Farmer Union of north France).

"The demonstrators chanted against the discriminatory policies of the occupation and called for a national unity among the Palestinians, while they were carried ladders and tools to pick olives. When the protest reached the gate, protesters tried to access the land to pick olives, but they were stopped by sound grenades and teargas canisters. Dozens suffered inhalation and around 14 volunteers were shot with rubber coated bullets when the IOF attack the weekly protest. Most of the injuries are from the popular struggle people known among them: Sameeh Fawzy, Baker Suliemnan Baker and Naseem Aljabaritie was sent to Alshiesk Zayed hospital in Ramallah city. The other injured are Azzmi Alnabali, Omar Saleh, Basem Ibraheem, Kamal Aljhaj, Mohammad Sadeq, Mohammad Abo Rumi, Samer Awwajneh, Khamees Abo Rahmah, Adeeb Abo Rahmad and Abdullah Abo Rahmeh the coordinator of Bilin popular committee."


After coordination meeting in the village and advertising during the week we were ready.
"Friday early morning, people of the village, accompanied by about 100 Israelis, Internationals, and a delegation from Bilin popular committee walked towards olive orchards located on the other side of the route of the separation fence in construction. Though there is no fence there yet, the occupation authorities demand from the villagers to apply for permits if they want to access these locations for cultivation or olive picking.

The village popular comity decided not to accept this demand and not to apply for permits to access the land owned by the village people, but in spite of that the army authorities were informed that a big olive picking works will be done that Friday. (Organizers of the Israeli coalition who contacted the army authorities were ensured the area is open for all as long as no confrontation will be initiated by the villagers.)

In spite of that, when the people approached the route of the separation fence, they found there tens of border police gendarmes who blocked their way and tried to disperse them using shock grenades and direct shooting of tear gas canisters towards body of people. At that stage, one Israeli was hit in his belly and injured and the foot of one of the photographers was injured by a shock grenade.

During the confrontation, as the people refused to retreat, three of the AAtW were detained and two of them arrested and taken to the near by road block there they were held till afternoon in spite the police order (after an hour) to release them as the olive picking was "legal".

After a negotiation, the occupation authority ordered the forces guarding the construction of the separation fence to allow the picking of the olives located on the other side of the separation fence in construction.

At noon, many of the villagers converged at the area adjacent to the fence for the Friday noon prayer... and just as it ended the Israeli forces attacked them with tear gas - including women and children who picked olives near the location of the prayer.

Afterwards, the gendarmes advanced towards the village while massively shooting tear gas canisters. One of the olive pickers of the village escaped - leaving his van among the trees. the gendarmes ignited the car, driven it towards the roadblock where they left it... not before they smashed its windows,punctured its wheels, scattered the olive sacs that were on it, and stole a case with tins of cold drinks of the pickers".


The usual Friday demonstration against the separation fence was quiet like most of the demonstrations there along the las year. After it, the AAtW contingent traveled to the near by Beit Umar village. Following is description of the situation in the village:

"For some of you this is old news but Beit Ommar has been under a relatively bizarre and massive incursion for the past 24 hours. Bizarre for Beit Ommar, at least. Soldiers have taken over two houses and put up some pretty substantial structures, they look like they'll be here a while. They are also blocking all other streets in the village as of 7 am (pal time) this morning, and yesterday declared a closed military zone to internationals and Israelis for the entire village (don't know when that's gonna be up). They also broke into the international house (Mousa's house*) last night, though didn't come in. The soldiers have been pretty violent, arrested at least 10 people last night, keeping 5 of them for some period of time in the house that they had taken over before taking them to the police stations in Karmi Tsur or Gush Etzion."


Today and request for tomorrow
today the Palestinians of the village of Asira alQibliya (nabuls region) were joint by Israelis activists and international activists in their olive harvest, the village has suffered allot lately from attacks of the near by settlement of Yetzhar and today also the settlers arrived and attacked the families resulting in two Palestinians injured, the families of the village asked if any Israelis could join them tomorrow in order to finish the harvest in the more dangerous areas.

* Mousa Abu Maria is one of the leading activists in the non violent (joint) struggle against the separation fence and occupation. He is already in jail for the last half year under an administrative order.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palestine-Israel, 72 years since the beginning of mass struggle against Zionist settler colonialism, and the joint struggle continue

This week the Joint struggle against occupation and the separation fence AAtW people participated in Ni'ilin all the week (video of Friday 3.10.08 at: Friday in Bil'in (link to video Comrades participated also in the picking of olives south of Hebron. In spite of competing subjects TV Friday news of the main channels reported on these. (Um Salmuna Friday demo was not mentioned this week). Saturday comrades participated in a hundred strong demo near the military prison two of the female refusnics of the new wave of high school graduates are serving two weeks already of the first 21 days term.

SOUTH OF HEBRON - first olive harvest of the season

today, Friday 3.10 a group of a 30 Israeli and international activists arrived to the city of Hebron in order to support the al-jaber family in their first olive harvest of the season, the situation of the family is extremely difficult due to it's location : just next to the settlement of Hazon David, in the past two months, especially on Saturday's the hebron and kirait arba settlers attacked the family in their house on several occasions .
we arrived, joined the family and neighbor's and started harvesting the trees, in just a few minuets we were surrounded by a group of about 30 settlers(some of them armed with guns and some of them armed with baby's...), police, border police and army, the settlers tried provoking us and preventing us from harvesting the trees and on several occasions used violence and tried to steal the olives, one activists was detained by the police for allegedly "assaulting" one settler although the video and stills material that was shot clearly shows that he was the one that was attacked by the settlers, he was taken to the police, gave a statement and released after 2 hours.
Our day finished successfully after we managed to harvest all the family trees .