Women in Um Salamuna Celebrate Mothers Day, Protest the Wall

22 March 2007

People in Um Salamuna celebrated Mother’s Day today by demonstrating against the Annexation Wall which the Israeli government is building on their land. The leader of the Um Salamuna Women’s Organization, Fatima Brijea, told the crowd that the wall was being built with violence, and that this violence would not help to achieve peace. She proclaimed the purpose of today’s demonstration against the wall was to help achieve peace “for our children and their children.” Many children, especially young girls, were present.

The demonstrators marched along the bulldozed path to where the machines were working. Once there, two Palestinian women, one man from the village, and an international from PSP gave speeches. The bulldozer and steamroller were being guarded by about a dozen soldiers and border police with shields. After the speakers finished, people returned to the village. As people were walking back, an army jeep drove through the narrow path dividing two Palestinian fields. In doing so, he broke the branches off an olive tree which was growing on the edge of one of them. The soldier did not exit the jeep and quickly turned around, further indicating that there was no explanation for this action except harassment.

For the past two months the people of Um Salamuna and surrounding villages, along with Israeli and International activists, have been non-violently confronting the bulldozers as they tear up olive trees and grape vines.