Um Salamuna Marches to the Bulldozers
Today, over 300 Palestinians, along with international and Israeli activists gathered on the land of Um Salamuna, south of Betlehem. For nearly 2 months now the people of Um Salamuna have been joining together with people from neighboring villages to demonstrate on their land that has been bulldozed by the Israeli Occupation Forces in preparation for the construction of the Annexation Wall. Um Salamuna and the surrounding villages filed a case in the Israeli Supreme Court months ago protesting the path of The Wall but it was recently denied. For the last two weeks the people of Um Salamuna with Israeli and International activists have been non-violently confronting the bulldozers as they tear up olive trees and grape vines.
Today after the friday prayer on the land, a leader of the Popular Committee of the region and several other representatives of the community spoke about the need for Palestinians to resist the construction of The Wall and the theft of their lands. There was also a special call to international activists to join them in their weekly demonstrations and to bring information back to their home countries about what is happening in Palestine. In particular, they spoke about their desire to have the outside world know about the true nature of the Annexation Wall: that it is for land confiscation, not security.
After the speeches Palestinian representatives of PSP joined with the leaders of the communities, linking arms and leading a march down the path of The Wall towards the three bulldozers working. After walking a few hundred yards the Israeli Occupation Forces present stopped the march with their shields and beat some of the men in the front of the march. One soldier hit a man in the head with his rifle; the man was not seriously hurt. After pausing, the march pressed on, getting to within 150 meters of the working bulldozers. As the Israeli Army prepared their sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets, the people decided to march peacefully back to the village.
The people of Um Salamuna and the surrounding areas request the presence of International and Israeli activists at next week’s demonstration. For information on how to get to Um Salamuna, please contact:
Bekah at: 054-638-7039
or the PSP Media Office at: 02-252-0056