Sunday, September 27, 2009

Palestne-Israel, Another week of diverse struggles of the Abarchists Against the Wall initiative

AAtW activists continued involvement in the occupied Jerusalem and with the refugees in Tel Aviv. This week comrades increased presence at nights in Bil'in to confront Israeli state forces invasions and efforts to arrest Bil'iners. We participated in the Friday joint demonstrations against occupation and the separation fence together with Palestinian partners and international volunteers in Bil'in, Ma'asara, and Ni'ilin. Saturday we participated in the water coalition act in the South Hebron region to frustrate Israeli state efforts to transfer Palestinians from "choice locations". One of activists enter prison for 20 days for refusing to pay fine for joint action against demolition of houses in the village Harbatha.


During the week, AAtW activists and internationals stayed at night in the village and confronted the invading Israeli state forces.

Following is an excerpt of report on such a night invasion:

"Israeli forces invaded Bil'in once again just before 1am. Six jeeps entered the village via the gate in the occupation wall. Two jeeps stopped at the house of Mohammed Ahmed Yasseen (age 21) and searched for him in the ground floor apartment belonging to his mother. Four jeeps stopped at Abdullah Mahmoud Aburahma's (age 37) house and searched for him there. Two of these jeeps left quickly to search for Yasseen Mohammed Yasseen (age 21) at his home. None of the men were at home and no-one was arrested.

International and Israeli activists accompanied local Palestinians at all three locations to protest against the invasions and to document events. The house searches were relatively short-lived, compared to the numerous previous invasions. The soldiers delivered letters to all three families demanding that the three men go to Ofer prison to meet 'Captain Fo'ad' of the shabak. This was the first time such a demand was written in Arabic."

On Friday:

Over 35 Israelis and 10 internationals joined local Palestinians for the weekly Friday demonstration against Israeli land theft and ongoing oppression in Bil'in. The demonstration was relatively small and quiet, with the few kids who fight Occupation with stones keeping away from the non violent demonstrators and getting gassed. The fence gate was pulled open quite quickly by protesters, who entered the area between the fences as a symbolic assertion of Palestinian ownership of the land stolen by means of the fence. A couple rounds of gas pushed most demonstrators away. During the last round soldiers crossed over and arrested two Israeli demonstrators as well as Haithem Khatib, the courageous video journalist responsible for the documentation of the recent nightly military raids on the village. After an hour or so the commanding officer crossed over, and told the few demonstrators waiting for the release of their friends that the detainees were handed over to the Police and security services for investigation. He explained that demonstrators can demonstrate as long as they wish, but they cannot cross the fence line. We were all impressed by his enlightened attitude.

Bil'in 25-9-09 - link to video


On Friday, around 200 demonstrators, Palestinian, Israeli & International activists, participated in the weekly demonstration against the wall in Ni'ilin. The march went from the village to the newly laid concrete wall - to meet the soldiers threatening the demonstrators from its other side on a new high rampart. Alas, the new position proved to be a double bladed sword, as it enabled some of the demonstrators to easily stone the soldiers on it. The confrontations near the concrete wall went on for nearly an hour, and the demonstrators focus moved to the wire part of it. In a manner that seems to become the "regular", the soldiers used large amounts of tear gas, answered with stones. Again, the persistent demonstrators confronted the soldiers for hours. And again, in the same "routine" manner - after these few hours the soldiers gathered in front of the gate and eventually invaded the village fields. But this time the attackers had a different than "normal" plan - they rushed over the demonstrators and managed to arrest three of them - two international activists, and an Israeli photographer. The soldiers violently convinced the arrested to accompany them to the jeeps, thus gaining a human shield against the stones. As the soldiers and the arrested went out of sight, the demonstration was declared over. Fortunately enough, the arrested were released the same night.

Arrestees of Bil'in and Ni'ilin

All of yesterday's arrestees [of Friday demonstrations - 3 in Bil'in (Haitham Khatib, Ben, Assaf) and 3 in Ni'ilin (David Reeb+2 internationals)] have been released late Friday night. They were all transfered after the demonstrations ended to the Binyamin police station and interrogated on disorderly conduct ("Hafarat Seder"). The Israelis and internationals were forced to sign an undertaking to stay away from the Bil'in-Ni'lin area for 15 days. Our Palestinian comrade - Haithem Khatib, the video journalist,who was already charged with violating a closed military zone order, forced to sign an undertaking to stay away from the fence in his own home, bil'in, and ordered to show up to a court hearing in six months.


Yesterday (Friday) some 40 Palestinians, 30 internationals and ten Israelis marched from Ma'asara village towards the planned route of the Apartheid Wall, planned to be built on the village's lands. The demonstration commemorated the recent death of popular committee member Qaher Ala-Din, who was killed in a car accident while driving with a Palestinian friend and a French journalist, who was at the time working on a film on the village's struggle.
Like every Friday, the demonstration was stopped by soldiers who put barbed wire on the road leading from the village to its lands. Soldiers forbade the procession from marching forward, but gave no legal or other justification for their acts. Demonstrators gave speeches in Arabic, Hebrew and English, calling upon the soldiers to refuse, join the demonstration, and avoid facing charges in international criminal courts in the future. After the speeches the village's new and young Samba band came on, following a month of drumming lessons with Israeli drummers of the Qassamba group.
The demonstration ended with no arrests or wounded, but with the promise to carry on with Qaher's way of non-violent and popular resistance.


Kobi of the AAtW refused to pay the fine equivalent of US$500.- and got 20 days in jail.

"[Palestinian] PSP Supports Kobi Snitz, an Israeli Activist Beginning Short Prison
Term for Anti-Occupation Activity - posted on September 21st, 2009.

Kobi Snitz, a long-time activist with the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall, and a personal friend of PSP, begins a 20 day prison term for an arrest in 2004 in which he tried to prevent a home demolition in the Palestinian village of Kharbatha, in the Ramallah District. He is [one of] the first Israeli activist[s] to serve time for a demonstration in the Occupied Territories. His statement (from yesterday) is below:

'Tomorrow I will start a 20 day prison term. It is a result of an attempt to prevent a house demolition in kharbatha [neighboring Bil'in]. As you probably know 20 days is nothing compared to the time many Palestinian teenagers have to do. Unlike them, I did not have to do this. I refused to pay a fine [equivalent of US$530.-] and was therefore sent to jail.

throughout the long trial I had other opportunities to avoid prison but could not bring myself to admit guilt in any way or accept the sentence given me. I and the others who were arrested with me are guilty of nothing except not doing more to oppose the truly criminal policies of the state. To be forced to say otherwise is as demeaning as it is untrue. Compared to it 20 days in jail are a small price to pay'."



As part of the joint struggle against the occupation and the Israeli state efforts to transfer Palestinians from "choice locations" using the restriction of supply of water, there are "water convoys" of Israeli activists together with Palestinian partners.

This Saturday convoy is one of them. It was organized and participated by a wide coalition of Israelis and Palestinians - the Anarchists Against the Wall participated in.

Some 100 Israeli activists left Tel Aviv and Jerusalem today to bring water to several isolated villages in the South Hebron Mount. These villages suffer more than anywhere else from Israel's racist water policy, as they lack connection to water pipes, and suffer from army attacks on what few water wells and deposits they have. Busses where harassed several times on the way, and stopped completely near the Carmel illegal settlement, where soldiers claimed the area was a closed military zone, though no warrant was shown. Activists got off the busses and started marching, passing the bewildered soldiers and policemen and moving on towards their destination. Attempts to stop the spontaneous march failed, and the hostile forces left the area.

Meeting with Palestinian partners, activists mounted water trucks and tractors and traveled the dessert until they reached a physical block on the road, put there by the army to make Palestinians' lives harder. A mass direct action, backed by a bulldozer hired for the cause, broke the road open and allowed water trucks to pass. At this point four soldiers appeared and tried to arrest the driver for the bulldozer, or at least stop it from moving. And so the activists split, leaving a small group to safe guard the bulldozer and allowing the majority to move on to the final destination.

It took the small group that stayed back two hours to convince the soldiers to leave and to secure the safe return of the bulldozer and its owner to their home. Meanwhile, the main group reached the destined villages and transferred eight trucks full of water to local residents. Four army vehicles showed up too late to stop the action, and though declaring the area a closed military zone (this time with a warrant) - could not really do anything to the activists.

With the road open, the water at its rightful place and with no arrests or wounded - the action was declared a success.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle will not end in spite of increased repression

The focus last weeks of the struggle against the separation fence was in Bil'in. The repression by the army and the Israeli secret service - lately involved, the arrests of organizers and participants in the weekly demonstrations, and the nightly invasions of the village will not put end to the continuous struggle of the last 55 months. AAtW activists regained the nightly presence in the village to take part with internationals and local activists in confronting the Israeli state forces invaders in their nightly efforts to harass and arrest activists.


Here are two updates on Bil'in raids

Friday demonstration:

Over 25 Israelis from Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, and 15 Internationals joined a smaller than usual group of Palestinians for the last Ramadan Friday demonstration against the annexation wall, nightly arrests and military brutality in Bil'in. The procession carried only few flags, as most of the flags and banners were stolen by the army in its raid on Abdullah's house on Wednesday before dawn. The procession reached the fence gate, and speeches were made in Arabic and Hebrew. The shabby stayed behind along the fence parallel to the road and tried to disperse with stones the gas grenade throwing soldiers. The non violent demonstrators converged at the gate for a while, and few participate shout at them - but failed to convince any of them. Later, the chants "allowed the army three minutes to disperse". As the army failed to comply, few daring demonstrators entered the space between the fences to which the state force responded with tear gas grenades thrown by hand and with the multi-barrel gas grenade launcher that shoot a 32 gas canisters in one salvo. Few minutes later the demonstration was declared over. [me with white hat on the right]

Bilin Friday 18.9.2009 video at


Palestinians Israelis and Internationals Succeed in Causing Substantial Damage to The Wall
opening a Gap in the Apartheid Wall

On Friday, September 18, about 300 protestors: Israeli, Palestinian and international attended the weekly demo against the apartheid wall in Ni‘lin. In an impressive joint collective action the protestors have succeeded in moving one of the wall blocks (weighing a few tons!), causing substantial damage to the wall, and opening a gap in which a person can pass.

In the past month the army had constructed the aforementioned cement wall (similar to the one in Kalkilia area) that separates between the villages‘ agricultural lands, in which the demos take place, and the electronic wall that is situated in the heart of these lands. Earlier, the protestors have placed rubber tires in the Palestinian side of the wall and put them on fire. The impressive fumes have reached the Israeli side (and probably the ozone layer as well). Soldiers have fired gas grenades on the protestors, also using the multi-barrel gas grenade launcher, capable of firing 32 gas grenades simultaneously. One Palestinian protester was lightly injured from the gas grenades. The protestors have thrown stones at the soldiers.

BIDU 12-09-09 action

demonstration in support of Palestinian farmers, Biddu, Palestine- part 1+2
Bidu demo from Har adar settlement side - link to video

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Palestine-Israel, The struggle continue -both in Israel and the occupied territories

During the week, activists of the AAtW were involved mainly with the struggle against transfer in east Jerusalem, in the efforts to block the expulsion of guest worker families with children, in solidarity with the arrested Bil'in activists in Ofer concentration camp. Involvement with the struggle in the southern region of the occupied territories continued. On Friday we participated in the weekly demonstrations in Bil'in and Ni'ilin. we also participated in a parallel demonstration in the village of Ein Ayub (located between them). There, the focus of the demonstration was a concrete road block that force the villagers to travel in a round about roads of about 20 kilometers. The villagers succeeded to move the blocks, but the state forces moved them back and kept guard.


During the week coalition the AAtW is part of issued a call:

No to the Apartheid Wall! No to Land Annexation!

Protest against the permit policy that prevents farmers from reaching their lands

Saturday at Bet-Surik-Bidu

This Saturday, 12th of September, at noon, there will be a large demonstration in the villages of Bet Surik and Bidu in protest of the permit policy that prevents Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands across the separation wall. The demonstration will take place opposite the agricultural gate located opposite the settlement Har Adar, which is built on the lands of Bet Surik and Bidu. We, the Israelis intend to demonstrate on both sides of the wall: from the settlement side and the Palestinian side.

On Saturday noon, about 45 of us arrived there on the two sides.

On the "Israeli" side - on the settler colonialist Har Adar about 35 of us protested the the permit policy and its aggravation lately, which prevent Palestinian farmer from accessing and working their lands.

State forces tried to block the way of our comrades but they succeeded to approach the gates of the route of the separation fence - about 100 meters from the demonstration on the Palestinian side.

During the demonstration we called - on both sides, for the end of occupation, against the separation fence and robbing the lands by Israel and its colonialist settlers. Police officers and a settler which arrived on the Israeli side threatened with retaliation and firing of workers of the village Bidu hired by the settlers.

Mobile phones and loud speakers enabled to communicate between the two parts of the demonstration and to unite them into one.


The procession in Bil’in started after the noon prayer. Palestinian, Israeli and international activists joined together on the path to the fence, chanting the slogans “no to the wall”, “no to the occupation” and “we want peace”, in Arabic, English and Hebrew. On the other side of the fence, behind their concrete blocks, 8 army jeeps were looking on. Tear gas grenades were fire in the direction of the procession, from the army forces situated north of the path and a warning issued from the army: “This is an illegal demonstration, anyone nearing the fence may get hurt”. The group wasn’t deterred and continued walking up the path, chanting.

Upon reaching the fence the procession continued chanting slogans, and big banners of “we want peace”, in English, Hebrew and Arabic were held up. Shortly after we reached the fence, several soldiers were deployed to the fence and greeted us with tear-gas grenades, both fired from the cannon and manually flung at us, by the soldiers with riot gear. This would repeat several times. Fortunately, the wind was in our favor. The activists shortly disperse to the sides of the path and come together again, adding the chant “shame on you” and opening the inner gate in a symbolic gesture.

Near the end of the demonstration the soldiers opened the outer gate, firing more gas grenades and smoke bombs, running into the demonstration area, in order to make an arrest. This prompted the activists (heads of the popular committee especially, due to the recent barrage of arrests) to run in the direction of the village. Signifying the end of the demonstration. As we walked back up the path, to the village, tear gas was again being fired from the northern force.


Bil'in Friday 11.9.09 video at


During the week AAtW issued a call: There will be a demo in Ein Ayub (near Harbata in the Bil'in area) this Friday.

Some 150 residents of Dir Qadis and Kharbata, joined by 15 Israeli activists, demonstrated against the concrete blocks that have been placed on one of their two main roads. The blocks have been in place since 2000, but protests are only starting now.

After a short march demonstrators reached the blocks and decorated them with Palestinians flags. A part of the demonstration went on to the near by settler road, where the residents' ongoing discomfort caused by the Apartheid road system was made clear as demonstrators banged stones on railings in a steady rhythm, and took down road signs with the names of settlements. Several passing settler cars were met with shouting, and fewer with sporadic stone throwing.

After 15 minutes the army came, and the demonstrators reunited around the road block. Village representatives made their demands known to the army officers in place, who only seemed to be interested in ordering their soldiers to surround the demonstration and aim their guns at it. Some twenty minutes later the demonstration ended, with no physical confrontations.


Friday, Around 150 demonstrators gathered in Ni'ilin for the weekly demonstration against the combined wall & fence infrastructure built upon the village lands. At start, the group reached the concrete part of the land-stealing barrier. The demonstrators hanged a Palestinian flag on the top of the huge slabs, reminding the world - and the near by settlers and soldiers - that their spirit will not be crushed by the wall. Jeeps patrolling behind the wall were welcomed with stones, and shot back tear gas arbitrarily . The demonstration then moved to confront the soldiers in the open field adjacent to the wire-fence part of the racist project. In spite of the immense heat and the thirst due to the Ramadan fast, the demonstrators stood for hours confronting the soldiers, cutting the fence, some throwing stones, all while coping with big amounts of tear-gas flooding the fields. As the soldiers realized they will not break the demonstration from their secured posts behind the fence, a group of them crossed the gate and entered the Palestinian side by foot chasing the demonstrators closer to the village. After relatively short confrontations the soldiers backed. This time, the demonstrators decided not to follow them back to the wall, and the demonstration ended quietly.
Ni'ilin 11-9-09 - link to video


Link to a video of the demonstration against the expulsion of of guest worker families with children:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle in Bil'in and Ni'ilin against the separation and occupation is still in the focus.


Over 25 Israelis and 20 internationals joined local Palestinians and a contingent from the village Karyat Bani Zeid - the focus of struggle for watter. The weekly demonstration against the Israeli annexation continued in spite of nightly terror campaign in the village of Bil'in and persecution of the members of the village popular comity. The demonstration, slightly smaller than usual due to the Ramadan, marched from the village center to the separation wall with Palestinian flags and signs supporting the struggle of the village Karyat Bani Zeid for access to the water denied them by the Israeli civil administration. The shabab concentrated between the fence and the road leading to the gate, getting gassed and throwing stones, while the main demo congregated peacefully at the gate. The soldiers refused the organizers' orders to disperse, so they sent a small unarmed team of demonstrators into the area between the fences to explain to the soldiers that they must stop violating the law and evacuate the premises immediately.

Unfortunately, the soldiers responded with tear gas. The demonstrators continued suffering sporadic gas attacks, as did the Al Jezeera van parked next to the house adjacent to the gate in the wall. Abdullah invited us all to join the Ramadan dinner later that evening, and the demonstration slowly dwindled away with occasional relatively moderate showers of gas.

Bil'in demo 4-9-09 - link to video


The weekly demonstration started with a march towards the route of the separation fence. tens of Palestinians, internationals and Israelis of the AAtW went around to the west of the location where the Israeli state forces put a high concrete wall. They expressed there their protest where 20 soldiers and gendarmes responded with tear gas grenades and spray of the stinking water used lately for dispersing the demonstrators.

Towards the evening, few jeeps and two groups of soldiers crossed the separation fence and chased the demonstrators towards the village.

At a certain point, about 20 youngsters were up the hill and stoned the soldiers below. Those responded with the addition of 20 rounds of live ammunition.

On another location demonstrators confronted the soldiers in the jeeps who added too few rounds of live ammunition. As a result, two photographers including one of the AAtW activists were injured from ricochets of these rounds.

Media, Haaretz on Bil'in

IDF filmed aiming tear gas at Al-Jazeera reporter in West Bank

Jacky Rowland was reporting Friday from the West Bank village of Bil'in, explaining to viewers about the separation fence and the weekly protests that take place there, when Israeli troops began firing tear gas at the protesters and then directly at her.
Video footage that aired Friday shows an Al-Jazeera reporter covering an anti-separation fence rally in the West Bank dodging a tear gas grenade fired by Israel Defense Forces troops.
The footage shows Rowland, wearing a helmet, exclaiming "We're under attack!" as a tear gas grenade flies past her.
She continues reporting, telling viewers that the Israeli soldiers are "obviously trying to take us off the air."


Media, Haaretz printed edition of Sunday in English report on Ni'ilin

Two photographers hurt in Na'alin protests By Anshel Pfeffer

Two photographers were lightly injured during a demonstration on Friday against the separation fence near the West Bank village of Na'alin. One of the injured was noted Israeli artist David Reeb. The other was Palestinian photographer Muhammad Amira.

About 250 Israelis and Palestinians attended the Na'alin demonstration. A smaller protest was held in the nearby village of Bilin.

Protesters began throwing rocks at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police forces, who responded by firing rubber-tipped bullets and teargas grenades. Protesters said yesterday the IDF used live munitions as well.

Reeb, who has attended the protests since they began, four years ago, had surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg and was set to be discharged from hospital today. He said yesterday he did not believe the soldiers were targeting him.

"I think I was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the ground," he said. "They shot much more than usual this Friday, and sometimes aimed directly at people."

Reeb has been hurt in the protests twice before but this was the first time his injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization and surgery.

Reeb said he will return to the village next Friday. "These villages' land is being robbed, and it's important to keep reporting this and supporting them," he said.

Also yesterday, al-Jazeera aired footage of its reporter at the scene coming under tear gas fire from a Border Police unit.