Popular movements in Palestine: Weekly Report 15/06/2010

On Sunday 13/06/2010, Demonstration in Beit Jala, Israeli occupation forces acted violently, notably by hitting and shoving people.

On Saturday 12/06/2010, Demonstration in Beit Ommar, international PSP activists were arrested. One was arrested at a protest in solidarity with the Flotilla, the second at a demonstration at the karmei Tsur settlement.
Both were accused of assaulting a soldier for trying to prevent the arrest of a Palestinian man.
In the first case, it was his second arrest (the first resulting in a prohibition from leaving the country and a 500 shekel bail), in the second case, it was his first arrest. Both were banned from the entire West Bank, the first for 180 days, the second for 60 days.
Youth Against Settlement’s Weekly Protest for the Week of 12/06/2010 in Hebron

In Hebron, many protesters including Palestinians, Israeli’s and internationals showed up to show their support. The demonstration was organized by Youth Against Settlement’s and International Solidarity Movement to call for freedom of movement for Palestinians in Hebron, generally, and specifically for the opening of Shuhada St. The protest began at the Hebron municipality and marched to the closure of Shuhada St. At the closure, there was about one hour of chanting and holding signs in solidarity with the Palestinians living in Hebron.
During the protest, settlers gathered to harass and provoke the demonstrators. One settler even came down to the street closure to provoke even further, warning that there would be another Baruch Goldstein. Baruch Goldstein was an American doctor from Brooklyn, who, in 1994, went into Ibrahimi Mosque during prayers, and massacred twenty-nine people inside the mosque, then went outside to continue the slaughter.
After the massacre inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, Shuhada St. was blocked off to Palestinians completely. In 2000, the street was closed for the “security of the settlers”, including around 500 shops in the middle of the city. After this, due to a lack of traffic, more than 1000 shops were closed. Since then, more than 100 checkpoints have been installed, while settlers not only enjoy the freedom of movement, but also have full protection of the Israeli Military. These settlers have completely changed the lives of some 200,000 Palestinians, reducing their lives to a living hell enough for roughly 1000 families to abandon their homes.
The protest went from the Shuhada St. closure, through the Old City, and met with soldiers, then continued back to the Shuhada St. closure where the protest ended. The spokesperson for Youth Against the Settlements called on the people of the Old City to join in the protest, and thanks all demonstrators for their show of support, as well as calling for the continuation of the struggle against the divisions of Hebron, as well as the occupation of Palestine, generally.

On Friday 11/06/2010: Demonstrations in Al-Ma’sara, Wad Rahhal, Bil’in., Ni’lin, Nabi Saleh and elsewhere. Many injuries and arrests among protesters.

Some thirty Palestinians, Israelis and internationals participated in this week’s demonstration in Ma’asara. One of the members of the popular committee gave a speech against Israeli colonialism, after which soldiers jumped on him and arrested him, then proclaiming the area a closed military zone. After negotiations, demonstrators agreed to take 15 meters back in exchange for the release of the detainee. Surprisingly, the soldiers didn’t keep their word. In stead they started proceeding, pushing demonstrators forcefully back into the village, then surrounding them with barbed wire. The demonstrators said they won’t leave so long as their friend isn’t released, and after another half hour the army took away the wire, and left with the detainee. Several soldiers remained in the area to see the march won’t started again, and as the demonstrators realized it would help their friend most if they start taking care of the legal aid, the demonstration ended.

In the village of Nabi Saleh the usual weekly demonstration gathered Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish.

In Sheikh Jarrah some three hundred demonstrators gathered once again on Friday afternoon. Half arrived directly at the demonstration park, and half got there after marching through Jerusalem and passing through the neighborhood itself. After two hours of drumming, singing and drinking fresh orange juice to break the Jerusalem heat – the demonstration ended peacefully.

On Wednesday 9/06/2010: A group of over 30 demonstrators came to Al-Walaja at 7am to obstruct the path of a bull dozer working on the construction of the separation wall. Three demonstrators were arrested during the action; the legitimacy of two of the arrests remains in question. Amongst, the arrested was former Yale Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh. He was released after few yours of detention.
The activists stopped the bulldozer while a few of them chained themselves to it halting work for an hour. Qumsiyeh was arrested after the demonstrators decided to disperse upon being notified that fellow Israeli activist Yotem Wolfe would not be released. Wolfe had been arrested after being forcibly removed from a bulldozer to which he was chained by the neck. Qumsiyeh, the only Palestinian present at the action, was pulled aside, arrested and taken in for interrogation under the unspecified pretense that he was considered a “security threat.”
Israeli activist Shay Halatzi was also arrested under the allegation of “being rude” by insulting the unit as he protested Dr. Qumsiyeh’s detention.
Both arrests occurred after the morning demonstration was over and activists were being forced to leave the area. The soldiers threatened the entire group with arrests, after the group had dispersed from the area where the activists had interrupted the work of the bulldozers for approximately 40 minutes by chaining two activists to the apparatus.
At one point during the demonstration, the Israeli contractor in charge of the site attempted to attack the demonstrators and had to be forcibly restrained by the military.
After being forced by soldiers onto the village roads, the crowd then staged a peaceful sit down demonstration with soldiers not permitting demonstrators to move.
Mazin was released at 14:00 at 300 checkpoint and the Israelis at 16:30 with conditions of restriction from a 500 radius of the wall’s construction sites.
This is another stage in the construction of the wall that will completely surround Al Walaja. The wall will separate the village from Jerusalem leaving one exit via tunnel to Beit Jalla.

Few videos:
Heartbreaking video of devastation Tuesday June 8th at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrbMP9hRNeo

And the action and arrests on Wednesday June 9th
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9rdBX0pvv0

And here is a report from Palestine monitor with great photos
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1442

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