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News :: Human Rights : International
Updates From Bilin
03 Jan 2010
Modified: 11:11:28 AM
1-bilin weklly demo 01 01 2009

Residents of Bilin gathered today after the noon prayers to demonstrate against the Israeli occupation and the Apartheid Wall on to commemorate the first anniversary of the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza. In addition, they celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, Fatah The demonstration, organized by the Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was joined by dozens of international and Israeli activists as well as members of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Front.
Commemorating the first anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza, demonstrators marched through the village towards the site of the Apartheid Wall and chanted slogans expressing their solidarity with Palestinian residents of Gaza and demanding the end of the crippling siege imposed by Israel. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and banners condemning the Israeli policy of settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing, namely the recent settler takeovers and plans to build new settlements in Jerusalem. They also called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners. When the march reached the gate of the Apartheid Wall the Israeli military stationed on the other side of the wall immediately responded by throwing tear-gas at the demonstrators and shooting sound grenades. Despite the violence from the army, the demonstrators managed to open the gate in the wall in an attempt to reach their land, stolen by Israel for the construction of the Wall and settlement blocks behind it. Dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation. The residents of the village also called for the release of all Bilin prisoners today, including Abdallah Abu Rahmah, coordinator of the Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. After his court was postponed this Tuesday, 29 December, the military prosecution requested to extend Abdallahs detention by a further 101 days. This decision was taken in the absence of Abdallahs lawyer, Gabi Lasky, who said she was planning to appeal to the military court. The Israeli occupation forces arrested Abdallah in the middle of the night on 10 December after raiding his house in al-Tira neighbourhood of Ramallah. His charges include incitement, stone throwing and arms possession, which has been brought against him merely for collecting and displaying spent tear-gas canisters, used agains the Bilin demonstrators by the Israeli army

2-1-1-2010 Al Masara Demonstration

Over 150 local activists protested today in al-Masara and the neighboring villages against the construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements on the lands of the nine intertwined villages to the South of Bethlehem. Protestors walked through the villages towards the construction site of the wall, but as every Friday for the past few years, they were intercepted by dozens of soldiers who had again cut off the main road with a barb wire fence. Protestors waved flags and chanted slogans through a mobile sound system, while some accompanied the demonstration on horses in an expression of pride of the ongoing popular resistance in the face of increasing crack downs.

Women from the villages held posters of their imprisoned sons and detained activist from the Bethlehem district and lead in chants demanding the release of all political prisoners. Senior Palestinian officials, including Minister Maher Ghneim, gave speeches expressing their support for the Popular Committees commitment to resisting Israels colonial policies and its success in mobilizing continuous support from local, international, and Israeli activists. Todays demonstration, which commemorated the foundation of the Fateh movement, comes following threats issued two days ago to the Popular Committee warning that its members would be blacklisted and arrested if the protests in al-Masara continued in 2010. Therefore, the soldiers, who had taken position behind the barb wire, appeared more tense than usual. One soldier repeatedly aimed his weapon at the protestors from a hill overlooking the street. At one point, soldiers pushed into the crowd, when children attempted to remove the barb wire. As the aggression increased, the Israeli army fired tear gas and sound bombs at the crowd and five military vehicles entered deep into the village of al-Masara. Soldiers continued to shoot teargas for an hour and remained at the entrance of the village until 15h. One child was hit by a sound bomb and had to be carried away while soldiers were still shooting. Several protestors suffered gas inhalation, and other injuries were reported. Al-Ma'sara Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements

3-Together, We Will Break The Siege of Gaza!

Demonstration in Ramallah 31-12-2009

More than 250 Palestinians rallied in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on New Year's Eve Day in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March during an event organized by the Palestinian Popular Committees of the West Bank.
“We are calling on the people of Palestine to work together to end the occupation,” said Iyad Burnat, a community organizer with the Bil'in Committee for Popular Resistance Against the Wall and Settlements. “Only by uniting the resistance can we succeed." The Gaza Freedom March and the Palestinian Popular Committees of the West Bank are demanding an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza, a form of collective punishment which has essentially turned the Gaza Strip into an open-air prison for its 1.5 million inhabitants. The New Year's Eve Day protests were scheduled to mark the 1-year anniversary of Israel's Operation: Cast Lead massacre in Gaza that killed more than 1,300 people and wounded more than 5,000.

31/12/09 Tulkarm

Gaza Solidarity Demonstration Stopped by Palestinian Authority Police

Around 11am today members of the Tulkarm Popular Committee, Khodori University students, and residents of Tulkarm and surrounding communities attempted to hold a demonstration in solidarity with the people of Gaza. One jeep with approximately 6 Palestinian Authority police quickly arrived and stopped the demonstration. The message from the organizers being, “together we can break the siege.” The demonstration was also intended to speak out against Israel’s 11 chemical factories, which contaminate Tulkarm’s land and water. These factories were forbidden to operate in Israel because of the environmental and health problems that they caused the Israeli population. The Tulkarm Popular Committee says that they were only stopped today and that this is only one of many demonstrations against the occupation.

31/12/09 Demonstration in Bethlehem –
Candle Lit Vigil Held in Manger Square Bethlehem to Commemorate Gaza

Residents of the Bethlehem area, West Bank, gather to commemorate those lost in last years Gaza War and stand in solidarity with those still living under seige.

At 4:30 this afternoon residents of Bethlehem and the surrounding towns gathered to commemorate the 1,500 Palestinians that lost their lives this time last year, and stand in solidarity with the residents of Gaza, who continue to live under siege from the Israeli military; a situation that has continued since June 2006. The vigil was held in Manger Square, bordered with The Church of the Nativity to the [south?] and [???] mosque to the [north?]

After a brief introduction given by a young girl from the town, those in attendance received a call from Dr. Haidar Eid, from inside the Gaza Strip. Dr. Eid is an associate professor in the Department of English Literature, AL-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip and also works as a grass roots activist. Dr. Eid spoke of the necessity of the ending of the siege on Gaza, and thanked those in attendance, both local residents of the Bethlehem municipality and internationals alike.

Following Dr. Eid was Dr. Victor Batarseh, mayor of Bethlehem. Dr. Batarseh spoke in a similar vein, endorsing the support of the Gazans and reminding all to keep the plight of their plight in their thoughts.

Today was a day to commiserate the loss of vast numbers of children in Gaza, but also to celebrate the beauty of youth and be hopeful for their future. Children from Al-Ruwad Centre located in Aida refugee camp treated the crowd to a performance, and then followed by a speech by spokesman for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, Awad Abu Swai.
It was again the turn of the children to take centre stage. As a local boy, no more than 11 years old read the names of those children killed by the Israeli military during the Gaza War last December and January, more children were assisted in climbing the small trees in the square, decorated still will lights from the Christmas festivities, to hang BDS movement stickers bearing the names that were simultaneously read out.
Four of the children from the earlier performance piece sang songs, as others walked amongst the crowd handing out stickers and candles for the vigil.

Dr. Abdul Fattah Abu Saror, director of Al-Ruwad Centre, gave the final speech, once again thanking all in attendance and wishing everyone a happy new year. As the music started to play five young men spontaneously broke out in dabka dancing to mark the end of the vigil.
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