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Compiled: Popular Actions in West Bank 28.2-7.3

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A Week of Popular Actions and Demonstrations in West Bank Palestine

Compiled Reports

Sunday 28/2/10 – Sunday 7/3/10

Oush Grab – Beit Jalla – Hebron - Ni’ilin – Bil’in- Al Ma’asara –An Nabi
Saleh

Sheik Jarrah - Beit Ummar- Jeb Altheeb

(Agricultural actions also occurred in Qalqilya (3.3.10) and outside of
Sulfit (3.5.10) but I was unable to obtain reports)

28.2.10 – Sunday

Oush Grab: Protest Continues In Beit Sahour

From: Palesinemonitor.org

Once again, a peaceful demonstration in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, ended
with army brutality. Around 80 people marched on Sunday in Oush Grab, in
protest of the re-opening of a former military base. Israeli Army fired
sound grenades, tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
All photos were taken by FLV.

“It starts like this: First they take away our land, ruling it as a closed
zone for everyone. Then the settlers build outposts. At the end, there is a
settlement standing.” Here is the opinion of many in Beit Sahour: The base
reoccupation by the Israeli army is the first step towards the construction
of a new settlement.

The area of Oush Ghrab is located in the middle of Beit Sahour Municipality,
area A, northern Bethlehem. Despite its location, its status is vague. Since
2008, Oush Ghrab has been the playground of a land battle between
Palestinians and Israeli settlers. And, for the past twenty days, the army
has been involved in the battle too.

Different actions have been launched in the last three weeks in Beit Sahour,
in order to support the residents and the land owners- shepherds and
farmers- threatened to lose their land. Despite bad weather conditions,
non-violent resistance groups, international activists, volunteers and
locals gathered on Sunday in Beit Sahour.

Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National
Initiative joined protesters. During the rally, he said “resistance against
the wall, settlements activities, and “apartheid” will not stop despite
Israeli suppression and violence against popular peaceful struggle”. He
applauded the residents of Beit Sahour, As-Sawahira, and local popular
committees who are active in resisting the wall and the settlements’
expansion.

Indeed, the settlers are, too, very active in Oush Ghrab military post, a
“biblical land” which is known to settlers as Shdema. Every Friday, the
Women in Green and the Committee for Jewish Shdema gather uphill and
organise different kind of activities, including lectures given by
right-wing politicians. Many in Beit Sahour are convinced that this lobbying
is the main reason why the soldiers decided to reoccupy the base. The
military base used to be occupied by Jordan but was taken over by the
Israelis in 1967, finally handed out to the Palestinians in 2006. “Already
before that year, the army destroyed around 300 houses in order to build the
military base, which was used as a training area”, explained Mazin Qumsiyeh,
PhD at Bethlehem University and active in Oush Ghrab. A story that the
inhabitants of Beit Sahour don’t want to see happening a second time.

3.3.10-7.3.10 : Wednesday to Sunday

Construction of new Section of Apartheid Wall in Beit Jala interrupted

From: Ma’asara Popular Committee

In the early morning on March 2, 2010, Israeli bulldozers started uprooting
ancient olive trees in the garden of a Palestinian family in the town of
Beit Jala, North-West of Bethlehem, in order to make room for the
construction of a new section of the Apartheid Wall, which would seize
another 280,9 dunums from 35 Palestinian families. On Wednesday, the Ghnam
family, which had already lost a significant portion of its lands when
Israel build illegal “by-pass road” 60 that Israel build to connect the
equally illegal settlements, found the little playground for the children in
the garden destroyed and three olive trees directly in front of their house
chopped off. A red cross was painted two meters away from the front door to
signal where the Wall is designed to pass. The remaining olive trees have
been marked with yellow-tags, to be uprooted another day.

More markings on remaining trees and on the ground announce that soon, the
family might lose the rest of its remaining land including the sight of its
destroyed playground, and live immediately facing the massive grey concrete
Wall.

A few houses up the hill, the Hamare family watched as bulldozers uprooted
dozens of olive trees and destroyed the sewage system, resulting in a sewage
break and a health hazard.

Attempt to legalize Land Theft thwarted

Between March 2 and March 3, the bulldozers uprooted an overall of 70 olive
trees, rapidly creating facts on the ground before lawyers could challenge
the most recent of a series of confusing orders designed to “legalize” the
ongoing land theft under Israeli law: Israeli authorities based this newest
act of land theft on a confiscation order from December 2006, which would
have turned the lands in question into “state land”. However, the said
confiscation order had expired in December 2008, and a new order from
February 2010 attempted to retroactively validate it. Challenging the
legality of the current confiscation in front of the Israeli Civil
Administration and then in front of the Supreme Court, the legal
representative of the Beit Jala municipality, obtained a stop-work order on
March4, granting the municipality seven days to appeal.

Activist Intervention

On March 3, the Bethlehem Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements
mobilized a group of Palestinian, international and Israeli activists to
attempt to physically stop the bulldozers from continuing their work. Dozens
of soldiers, security personal and border police officers spend two hours
pushing and dragging the activists up the hill and away from the operating
bulldozers, and finally produced an order to arrest anyone remaining on the
family’s land after 9a.m.

On March 4, a group of activists was again mobilized to arrive in the early
morning hours to protect the remaining olive trees. Some activists chained
themselves to ancient trees marked for removal, while others formed clusters
for protection. As soldiers and police officers gathered on the scene,
activists chanted slogans against the Wall and the occupation and replanted
uprooted trees.

After a few hours, the activists received confirmation that a
work-stop-order had in fact been obtained and that no trees would be
uprooted that day.

On March 6, several activists met Salam Fayad in Beit Jala, who expressed
support for the popular struggle against further land theft, and planted
more uprooted trees on the razed land.

On March 7, a group of 200 protestors gathered at the Orthodox Club in Beit
Jala and marched through the threatened lands towards “by-pass road” 60,
chanting slogans against the Wall and the occupation, waving the Palestinian
flag and holding banners saying “This is not security. It’s Land Theft”. The
activists were prevented from planting olive tree seedlings as clashes
erupted between protestors and soldiers, who fired tear gas and stun
grenades at the crowd. Several activists and residents suffered tear gas
inhalation and a member of the Popular Committee was temporarily detained.
Later, soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving three journalists
and a young Palestinian hurt. Nonetheless, the activists sat down in
defiance and chanted songs against the Occupation.

As the municipality builds its legal defense, activists are organizing and
preparing future interventions in case that Israel continues the land theft
in Beit Jala.

Pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/sets/72157623571453356/

http://www.demotix.com/news/267265/anti-wall-protests-continue-beit-jala(4.3.10)

Video link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uss76bDKimw

3.3.10 – Wednesday

Hebron’s women march in protest to the Judaization of the Ibrahimi mosque

From: palsolidarity.org

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJxVRknJNz4

Today, over a 100 women marched Hebron's streets to resist Ibrahim's mosque
becoming an Israeli Heritage Site. The Women's Empowerment Project gathered
women from Hebron district to march from Hebron's Muncipality down to the
mosque. The exclusively female crowd chanted and held banners while
peacefully, but decisively demonstrating. At the checkpoint, the women had
to wait for approximately 20 minutes before being allowed entrance into the
mosque. An overall elated atmosphere affirmed this was a powerful
demonstration, illuminating the power of women, while simultaneously
empowering women to take resistance out on the streets.

On 21 February 2010, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the
Israeli government's intention to designate the Ibrahimi Mosque in
Al-Khalil (Hebron) to become an Israeli Heritage Site. The shrine, located
in the ancient city of Hebron, is considered to be sacred by Moslims, Jews
and Christians. Supposedly it is the burial place for three Biblical
couples: Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah.

Netanyahu's statement has caused increased tensity in Hebron. The
Palestinian population fears that this entails a "Judaization of the
Ibrahimi mosque" with restricted access to the Mosque for Muslims. In the
past ten days several demonstrations and clashes between the Palestinian
population of Al-Khalil and the Israeli army have taken place. In contrast
to these previous demonstrations, today's march was not met with IOF
violence, nor were there any arrests made.

5.3.10 – Friday

Ni’ilin: Army Shoots Live Ammo at Demonstrators

From: International Indymedia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v5krUhnQyM

Roads to Nilin were blocked on all sides today for those trying to enter the
village to join the weekly demonstration. One car, which came from Budrus
area, said that Kibia road was blocked this week as well. A march took place
and people held signs against the Judaization of the Ibrahim mosque. As the
marched reached the apartheid wall a farmer tried to bring his donkey
through the gate (which is only opened on Fridays to allow for army
incursions onto Ni’ilin’s land). At this point the military began shooting
tear gas at the demonstrators for about an hour and a half. The infamous
stinker truck was brought to the wall and shot chemical stink water from the
other side of the wall at the activists. This proved to be a distraction as
20-30 soldiers entered though the main gate at this time and began shooting
live ammunition (.22 caliber ammo) and aluminum canister tear gas directly
at the demonstrators. Five youths were reported to be injured, including a
ten-year-old boy who sustained a head injury.

5.3.10 – Friday

Israeli forces Critically Injure Boy in An Nabi Saleh

From: palsolidarity.org

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v5krUhnQyM

Demonstrators in An Nabi Salih were met with tear gas, rubber-coated steel
bullets and sound bombs. The IOF also fired skunk, a putrid-smelling
chemical spray. One international was hit with a metal tear gas canister in
the arm. Four Palestinians were injured, including a young man Ehab Fadel
Beir Ghouthi, 14, from Beit Rima, who was hit with a rubber-coated steel
bullet in the head. He was taken to a hospital where he underwent emergency
surgery. He is listed in critical but stable condition.

An expectant air hung over the village of An Nabi Salih. This feeling was
heightened as IOF soldiers gathered on a hilltop near the edge of the
village. Despite this sentiment, An Nabi Salih decided to selebrate
International Women’s Day. The popular committee of An Nabi Salih invited
the mothers, daughters and sisters of the surrounding villages to join their
demonstration for unfettered access to their farmlands and spring.

The march began in its normal fashion, but today the men’s voices, which
demanded justice, were punctuated by the unusual and melodic accompaniment
of women. An Nabi Salih’s weekly demonstration was halted by Israeli
Occupation Force’s (IOF) use of copious amounts of tear gas in the opening
minutes. The demonstration was pushed in disarray shortly after it began by
the violent actions of the IOF. This disarray was short-lived as the
demonstrators collected themselves.

The demonstrators quickly reconvened. Many women took the lead in defending
the village from the IOF through non-violent tactics of organized community
resistance. These efforts were successful for over an hour until IOF
soldiers drove a large vehicle, which blasted skunk, through the
demonstration. While shooting skunk, the IOF threw sound bombs and shot tear
gas. The demonstrators were made to reassemble after this. In the interim,
IOF soldiers took control of a building under construction and used its roof
as a vantage point to take better aim the Palestinians who traipsed through
their fields.

The IOF shot at the youth of the village from this building for nearly 40
min. Their targets were only 50 meters away from the soldier’s position.
Yet, they still used rubber-coated steel bullets. The decision to use these
weapons led to the critical injury of Ehab Fadel Beir Ghouthi of Beit Rima,
a village close to An Nabi Salih.

He was shot just above his left eye. He maintained consciousness for only a
few minutes. He was driven to Salfit Hospital and then transferred to
Ramallah Main Hospital. Ehab underwent emergency surgery to remove either
bone fragments from his brain or the rubber-coated steel bullet from his
skull. It was unclear which, but the surgery was successful. Ehab was moved
to an Intensive Care Unit and is listed in critical but stable condition.

The hilltop village of An Nabi Salih has a population of approximately 500
residents and is located 30 kilometers northeast of Ramallah along highway
465. The demonstration protested the illegal seizure of valuable
agricultural land and the January 9th 2010 uprooting of hundreds of the
village resident’s olive trees by the Hallamish (Neve Zuf) settlement
located on highway 465, opposite An Nabi Salih. Conflict between the
settlement and villagers reawakened in the past month due to the settler’s
attempt to re-annex An Nabi Salih land despite the December 2009 Israeli
court case that ruled the property rights of the land to the An Nabi Salih
residents. The confiscated land of An Nabi Salih is located on the Hallamish
side of highway 465 and is just unfortunately one of many expansions of the
settlement since it’s establishment in 1977.

------------------------------------

6.3.10

Nabi Salah

Update on Ehab’s Condition

From: International Indymedia

I visited 14-year-old Ehab Afdal Barghouthi around 11:30am this morning. He
is in the Intensive Care unit at Ramallah hospital. People were allowed to
visit him this morning, but he was not conscious during my visit. He was
involuntarily writhing and still connected to various medical support
systems. Last night after the Israeli army shot him in the head with a
rubber bullet, he had to wait three hours before receiving medical attention
in Ramallah. He was first taken to Sulfit where he waited for approximately
one hour, but proper care was unavailable. He was then taken to the Ramallah
Hospital, but the brain surgeon was not there yet, so he waited another two
hours for a doctor to arrive in order to begin surgery to remove the rubber
bullet that had entered his skull above his right eye. Ehab was in surgery
for three hours with a waiting room full of friends and family, as well as
International supporters. The extent of his injuries is still unclear;
doctors told us that they would have to wait 24 hours to see if he needed to
be transported to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The doctors think that he
may have damage to his right eye and potential paralysis to his hand and
leg.

----------------------------------

Press Releases:

Israeli Army Arrests Five During Nabi Saleh Night Raid (3.3.10)

http://popularstruggle.org/content/israeli-army-arrests-five-during-nabi-saleh-night-raid

Boarder Police Critically Injures 14 Year Old Boy (5.3.10)

http://popularstruggle.org/content/border-police-critically-injures-14-year-old-nabi-saleh-demonstration

3.5.10 – Friday

Bil’in

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VB2w3Y4XiM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kujBajYgfo0

During the International Week Against Racism there were dozens of injuries
from choking gas bombs in the village of Bil'in

In Bil'in dozens suffered from gas inhalation when troops suppressed a march
against the Israeli occupation organized by the Popular Committee Against
the Wall and settlements. The demonstration was a manifestation against the
wall being built on Bil'in's land and the annexation and expansion of
Israeli apartheid. The occupation forces fired tear gas towards the citizens
of Bil'in, foreign peace activists and peace-loving Israelis.

This week's demonstartion marked the Global Week against racism in the world
and coincided with many popular events against racism and oppression against
the peoples and territories - in particular the Palestinian people. The
demonstration begun after Friday prayers and marched from the centre of the
village, then continued to the western gate of the wall. Over one hundred
people participated in the march, including a group from the PFLP (The
Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine) and a delegation from the
Freedom Theatre in Jenin. The demonstration was headed by people dressed up
as three prominent figures in the global struggle against racism and
occupation: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
Palestinian flags were raised and toured the village streets as the
participants chanted slogans condemning the wall and the occupation.

As the march reached the wall it was met with a shower of tear gas, rubber
bullets and sound bombs, then clashes broke out between demonstrators and
occupation soldiers. The demonstartion lasted for hours as troops
deliberately fired tear gas towards crews of journalists from Palestine TV
and other stations to discourage the footage from the International Week
Against Racism -and the Popular Committee's condemnation of Israel's racist
and immoral practices- from being broadcast. In response, the Popular
Committee stressed the need for cohesion, national unity and solidarity and
highlighted that it was in the public interest for everyone involved in
anti-racist stuggles to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
Bilin-ffj.org

5.3.10 – Friday

Sheik Jarrah Weekly Demonstration

6.3.10 – Saturday

Sheik Jarrah Mass Demonstration

Photos

http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/

6.3.10 - Saturday

Jeb Altheeb

Tomorrow, there will again be a morning of working the land in Jeb Altheeb.
Jeb Altheeb is a small village south-east of Bethlehem (near Herodion) which
is flanked by the Nokdim settlement (where Avigdor Liebermann lives). Since
around 5 years, the village is directly neighbored by an outpost with seven
settlers who are continuing to curb the ongoing dispossession of the
village's land. In recent weeks, the settlers have prevented the farmers and
shephers from working on the remaining land of the village and grazing their
sheep.

Last week, lawyers were brought to the village who confirmed the legal right
of the villagers to the land and its use, and a court case will be opened.
Nonetheless, settlers frequently appear and harrass as soon as farmers and
shephers try to work on their remaining lands.

6.3.10 - Saturday

Beit Ummar

From: National Committee for Resisting Settlement and the Apartheid Wall
Beit Omar

Today 6th, March 2010, the Bait Omar National Committee for Resisting
Settlements and the Apartheid Wall organized a peaceful demonstration on the
main road the connects Hebron and Bethlehem. The action started when the
fence blocking the way of people from reaching their land and allowing the
Occupation Forces to maintain only one entrance to the village, was cut
down. The demonstrators then moved to block the main road. The event was
organized by National Committee to protest against adding Al- Ebrahimi
mosque in Hebron and Bilal mosque in Bethlehem to the Jewish Heritage list
by the Israeli Government and against the wall and settlements.

As we know from our past experience, this Jewish List is just an excuse to
expel more Palestinians off their land and to take full control over Muslim
and Christian Holy Sites.

Palestinian activists together with Israelis and internationals have joined
today together in this protest. Palestinian flags, signs and banners were
held up saying slogans such as: Down with Occupation, No for adding Muslim
and Christian Palestinian holy sites, no to the settlement and the wall,
stop the killings, and many other slogans.

Although the demonstration was peaceful, the military almost immediately
upon arriving at the area used sound bombs and pushed people violently,
injuring one person. The military was also trying to discover the main
leaders of this action, in order to arrest them. They did not succeed in
arresting anyone, but they continued to provoke the people of Bait-Omar by
driving into the village and creating situations of unrest. While we write
this report, clashes are intensifying in Bait-Omar.

This non-violent demonstration is taking place every Saturday. We invite
those who are interested in peace making to take in this activity. We call
on the global community to organized solidarity demonstrations and to join
the global boycott of settlements produces mainly and Israeli products in
general.

----------------------------------------------------------

Demonstrators Block Route 60 Near Beit Ummar

From: Popularstruggle.org

Demonstrators protesting the deceleration of the Cave of the Patriarchs and
Joseph's Tomb as Israeli heritage sites, manged to block the main road from
Jerusalem to Hebron.

In response to the inclusion of the two holy sites in the list of Israeli
heritage sites, and fearing that this step paves the way for the cementing
of Israeli hold over these places, a demonstration called by the Beit Omar
National Committee managed to occupy Route 60 – the main road between
Jerusalem and Hebron – and stop all movement in it.

For more details:

Younes Arar: 0599965272

A military checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar control access to Route
60, which, on the vicinity of the village, is fenced off. As demonstrators
descended from the village, they toppled the fence between the village and
the road. Protesters then continued to gather on Route 60, waving flags and
chanting slogans.

Despite the peaceful nature of the demonstration, the soldiers immediately
started pushing people violently and using stun grenades, injuring one
person. The soldiers then continued to invade the village, which provoked
clashes that resulted in the injury of three Palestinians.

3.5.10 – Friday

Al Ma’asara

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFzgM2Vb4wc

Some twenty Israeli and international activists joined fifty Palestinians in
this week's Friday demonstration against the Wall in Ma'asara. Demonstrators
marched through the village towards the route of the wall, and were stopped
by an army reserves unit which blocked the road with barbed wire several
hundred meters deeper into the village than usual. The group composed mostly
out of officers presented a closed military zone order, barring the march to
pass the wire. Several demonstrators crossed the line anyway, but decided
not to try and push further in an attempt to avoid the violent army attacks
which have become common in these non-violent demonstrations lately.

And so, standing by the barbed wire, demonstrators carried speeches in
Arabic, Hebrew and English. Amongst the speakers was Fatah Central Committee
member Abu-Zaki. The Samba band played its new drums, sent in solidarity
from their Turkish counterparts, and slogans were chanted in defiance of the
occupation and in favor of the un-armed and united Palestinian struggle.

The demonstration ended after about an hour, with no unusual events. Earlier
in the week, however, a prominent member of the popular committee of the
village was attacked upon reaching a military checkpoint. Mahmud Zwahre was
beaten by soldiers, and told that demonstrations must cease.

Press Release:

Palestinian Organizer Assaulted at Israeli Checkpoint:
 

 http://popularstruggle.org/content/palestinian-organizer-assaulted-israeli-checkpoint   

 

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