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(en) Palestine-Israel: 3 demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall - Bil'in/Beit Sira, Abud, Tulkarem

Date Mon, 6 Mar 2006 11:53:59 +0100 (CET)

This Friday, 3 demos took place simultaneously against the apartheid wall.
A direct action took place in Bil'in earlier in the morning where 10
activists (Palestinian/ Israeli and internationals) chained themselves to
the fence until forcefully removed by the IDF.
The usual Friday protest then took place at 12 o'clock. Most of the
Israeli activists were diverted from Bil'in to Beit Sira after the morning
direct action with only a handful of Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW)
members remaining in Bil'in for a smaller demonstration. Following the
protest, as a response to the ritualistic stone-throwing of the shabab
(youth), the army entered the village and fired tear gas and rubber
bullets at anybody who was outside, but also into houses.

Success at Abud, where protestors took copies of the newly-issued Supreme
Court cease-work order issued for the next two weeks. The soldiers reacted
with tear gas but as soon as the order was shown to them they relented and
made sure the fence's construction was halted.

In Beit Sira a large number of Palestinian protestors showed up, as well
as 15 Israelis and members of the Bil'in village committee to face off
only 30 IDF border police. Last week, the IDF violently suppressed the
Beit Sira protest, shooting rubber bullets at close range (as near as
10-15m), leading to the wounding of 14 protestors including a Palestinian
whose kidney was penetrated by a rubber bullet, and an Israeli who was
shot in the eye. This week the army kept its cool, even though more
protesters showed up than were expected, and they had to call for
reinforcements from the Bil'in units. No rubber bullets were fired, but
tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse the demo. One Israeli
activist was hit by a stone thrown by the shabab and received stitches.

On Saturday 3rd March, a few representatives of the AATW joined a small
demonstration in Tulkarem against the Jbara checkpoint. The checkpoint
sits on the one road which still connects a small village called Hirbet
Jbara to the outside world. For a few years, the village has been
completely surrounded by the wall and its inhabitants live in a literal

The handful of soldiers at the checkpoint were shocked and unprepared for
the demonstration. Unable to control the crowed they panicked and shot
live rounds into the air. The demonstrators held their ground and after
making their point for about an hour decided to head back.

Although the demonstration was small, it was significant for a few
reasons. It is the beginning of a new initiative for joint popular
struggle in Tulkarem inspired by the efforts of the Bil'in committee. The
organizers say that there are plans to repeat it every Saturday. Most of
the demonstrators from Tulkarem were from the general women's union. Given
how under-represented women are in many Palestinian demonstrations, this
is an important sign. The Palestinian media at least seemed quite
interested in the demonstration, the Tulkarem television station aired a
report on the demonstration and the Al-Ayyam newspaper wrote a story.


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