Dozens of Citizens are injured in Bil’in Weekly Protest
On the fortieth anniversary of the death of freedom fighter, Khalid Alazza
Tow citizens were injured today and dozens injured by inhaling tear gas in the clashes in the village of Bil’in, along with peace activists and solidarity movement people after the suppression of demonstrators by the Israeli forces.
Hundreds of people Participated in the march called by the Popular Committee against the wall in Bil’in, Mr. Junbul Deputy Mayor of Stan, France. Cadres and members of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, and the inhabitants of the village of Bil’in, along with Israeli peace activists and solidarity members, to mark the spirit of the fighter, Khalid Alazzh Chairman of the Resistance committee against the wall and settlements in Bethlehem, the fortieth anniversary of his death.
The participants in the march, were raising Palestinian flags, and pictures of fighter, Khalid and slogans condemning the policy of occupation, settlement, and another condemning the attack on houses of Jerusalem, and calls to halt the policy of deportation, and halt its campaign of arrest and release of all detainees and lifting siege on the Gaza Strip, and banners calling for a boycott of Israel.
The demonstrators marched in the village chanting national calling for unity and rejection of differences, and confirmed the need for a resounding Palestinian Resistance to occupation and the release of all prisoners, and chanted slogans condemning the aggression against Jerusalem, and the policy of exclusion and deportation, and the siege on the Gaza Strip.
The march headed towards the wall, where the military force of the Israeli occupation army are waiting for them behind the concrete blocks of the wall, after the closed gate of the barrier with barbed wire, and when you the demonstrators began crossing towards the land behind the wall owned by the people of the village, the army fired sound bombs and bullets coated metal bullets and tear gas at them from all directions, and to prosecute the demonstrators to the outskirts of the village, wounding two citizens Majd Bornat (12 year) gas canister in the foot ,and the young man Muhammad Hamad (18 year) gas canister on the foot, and dozens of cases of suffocation as a result of firing tear gas against demonstrators.
On the other hand, the Israeli military court condemned the officer and the soldier who shot Ashraf Abu-Rahma, blindfolded and handcuffed on charges of threats and conduct improper, and use of weapons in violation of the law, and calls for the Popular Committee against the wall in Bil’in given the maximum penalty on them, because they are war criminals and demand try them international.
Hebron is one of the most difficult examples of the Occupation. It feels like a war zone. The following report comes from our tour guide in Hebron, who was born and raised there. He works with a group called “Youth Against Settlements.” Here the group describes their most recent effort to have their main street re-opened by the Israelis, who illegally sealed it awhile ago.
During its own rally during the weekly demonstration to open Shuhada Street
Minister Qawasmi: Open Shuhada Street immediately.
Israeli forces attacked with fists and rifle butts Saturday evening, 17/07/2010 at demonstrators in Hebron calling for Shuhada Street to be opened and for the Palestinian citizens to be able to move freely therein. This was during the course of the demonstration in hot Al-Qazzazin in the Old City, where Israeli occupation forces prevented them from it.
Minister Fahad Khalid Qawasmi participated in the demonstration today and coordinator of the Permanent Bureau of the national and political forces in the governate of Hebron Fahmi Shahin. Dozens of activists gathered young people against the settlements and the various factions of the national action and international solidarity activists and Israelis.
The demonstration was organized in the courtyard of the Old City of Hebron at one of the entrances of Shuhada Street, which was closed by the occupation where they chanted and carried banners in Arabic, English and Hebrew demanding the occupation authorities to reopen Shuhada Street that had been closed for years.
Dr. Khalid Al-Fahad Al-Qawasmi, Minister of Local Government, paid tribute to the organizers of the demonstration on their persistant struggle to lift the closures from the heart of Hebron, which is considered a part of Qawasmi continued peaceful popular struggle. Qawasmi said that the Palestinian government headed, by Dr. Salam Fbad, works hard to open Shuhada Street and to alleviate the suffering of the inhabitants of the Old City of Hebron and remains steadfast in the face of settlement and occupation. He thanked the international activists and Israelis that have taken a solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The leading figure in the territory of Fatah, Ayman Sharawi, said that the Fatah movement is working to mobilize their constituencies for effective participation in the popular action, especially events for the opening of Shuhada Street in Hebron and to cleanse Shuhada Street of the terrorist settlers. Hubert said it was a shame to continue closures in the city of Hebron
A spokesman for the Youth Caucus of the settlement against Tarek Abu Hamdiya said that the gathering organized the demonstration mentioned a week every Saturday evening, which is considered part of the ongoing struggle of the organized assembly for the opening of Shuhada Street and the freedom of movement for Palestinians in Hebron.
According to Abu Hamdiya the Israeli occupation forces closed down Shuhada Street in 1994 to the movement of Palestinian vehicles in the wake of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre. Then they prevented Palestinian civilians from walking in the street at the end of 2000 under the pretext of providing security for some 600 Israeli settlers occupying the heart of Hebron.
Abu Hamdiya added that the occupation, responding to millitary orders, closed down more than 500 shops in the city center, and practices which have forced the owners of more than a thousand other shops to close their shops. There is an estimated one hundred fences and iron gates of different types in which all of the illegal settlers freely roam the streets closed and protected by the security forces of occupation.
Practices of the occupation and the settlers in Hebron have turned the lives of some 200 thousand Palestinians who are the indigenous residents of the city of Hebron to hell and drove thousands from their homes.
We went to this town and met members of his family, who are systematically being arrested by the illegal occupation. Joseph Dana is an Israeli journalist who frequently attends Palestinian protests against the occupation.
We’re not going to make any progress in the region without honesty all around. That includes painful and difficult questions.
Coverage of Rachel Corrie and her death is nearly absent from American media. When learning about Palestine it is critically important to look to sources outside the US media bubble. Here, “Russia Today” interviews a French-Israeli filmmaker who has made a documentary about Rachel. One wonders why the Israeli army prevents the director from entering Gaza to finish filming.
Here Anna gives the keynote address at a CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) conference in Oklahoma. CAIR is one of the eminent Muslim-American organizations in the United States. This is one of her most rousing and inspirational speeches. It is in two parts.
In this video, Anna Baltzer explains her experience learning about Palestine for the first time. She also describes the infrastructure and elements of life in the (illegally) occupied West Bank.
Activist Rachel Corrie talks about her profound experiences witnessing destruction of Gaza when she lived there in early 2003. I’ll try to add her emails here shortly, which beautifully illustrate her journey from complete ignorance of the conflict to being right in the middle of it. Rachel was killed by an (illegal) Israeli bulldozer shortly after this interview. Her family founded an organization in her name, the link to which you can find in my list of links to the right.
My friend Anna Baltzer spoke at a recent event held at UC Irvine designed to educate Americans about Palestine. She’s a remarkable speaker. It’s in four parts. She talks not just about Palestinian history and events on the ground today, but also about the larger picture and why we need to learn about it.
My favorite part of the introduction is the guy wearing the “I am not a terrorist” t-shirt :-). The event is beautifully organized by the Muslim Student Association at UCI.
Anna co-led our IFPB delegation to Israel/Palestine and is an important voice in the Palestinian solidarity movement. She also has a book, “A Witness in Palestine.”
Author Peter Beinart has begun to critically examine “The Israeli Question” and Americans’ attitudes toward it.
I haven’t had the chance to blog from my trip as I’d hoped to, and I’m too tired to do much now, but I’ve been taking good mental notes each day and hope to compile some observations here when I get the chance.
I’m on my iPhone, with its little keypad, reflecting briefly on my first day with IFPB before catching some very needed sleep.
As we were wrapping up our training session this afternoon, I found myself thinking about how it is literally easier to get into Iran and North Korea than it is to get into Israel. Fortress Israel, should I say?
I am sorry to leave you hanging from such a cliff as that one, but there is too much to explain, so I will continue tomorrow. I should add that my observations here will be heavy on editorializing, probably because I feel so strongly about the distance between truth and illusion on the subject (from my perspective), but I pledge that every fact I claim as such will be as close to truth as I can find.
Normally I try to think of relatively interesting titles for these posts, but I expect that there will be an overwhelming amount of information and experiences to process, and words will probably fall onto the page here without a lot of thought.
On the other hand, chaos and disorder seem to characterize the region (either that or strict military discipline), so maybe rushed, haphazard blogging is best.
Either way, I’m tired and looking forward to an early bedtime tonight, before our training session and schlep to the airport tomorrow.
No strangers here at the home of our lovely IFPB hosts in Arlington, VA. More to come. I am using the WordPress iPhone app for the first time.