Dhahariya: Five Arrested Challenging Apartheid Road System
This morning five Israeli and international activists were arrested at a roadblock removal action in Dhahariya.
At around 10.30am, Palestinians from the village of Dhahariya assembled at the roadblock preventing the villagers from accessing Route 60. Palestine Solidarity Project activists, Israeli anarchists and other international activists joined the villagers.
Border police and IOF soldiers were waiting at the roadblock when they arrived. However the group was determined to open the road and set to work immediately, wrapping a large rope around the first block and dragging it to the side of the road within minutes. The second block proved more difficult, as local kids cleared away the piles of earth around it, the rest struggled to move it. At around 11am group cheered as they successfully rolled the block into the ditch at the side of the road, clearing enough space for a car to pass through. The road was now open!
The roadblock has prevented 90,000 Palestinians from Dhahariya and neighbouring villages from accessing Route 60 since the beginning of the second intifada, seven years ago. Route 60 is the main road into Hebron, this roadblock has forced locals to take an alternative route into Hebron, adding over an hour to their journey. This has effectively cut off access to emergency healthcare and has prevented the movement of goods, crippling the local economy. The roadblock is part of the wider Israeli government policy to create an apartheid road system in Palestine.
As the group tried to move a third block to allow vehicles to pass through, the IOF and border police moved in, arresting two Israelis and three internationals.
This is the third time in two weeks that the roadblock has been removed. Last week IOF soldiers attacked protesters, kicking and choking one and ramming another in the chest, causing breathing difficulties. The army then prevented the Red Crescent ambulance from approaching the injured activists. In total, five Palestinians and two Israelis were injured.
PSP sees roadblock removals as an important act of resistance to the occupation. They are actions that directly impact on the lives of Palestinians.