Israeli Army Attacks Demonstrators in Al-Walaja

16 September 2007

This friday Israelis and internationals again joined the people of Al-Walaja in their struggle against the construction of the Annexation Fence on their land. The Israel Occupation Forces have gone to great lengths to prevent these non-violent demonstrations from occuring, including setting up roadblocks all around the village and on at least one occasion claiming that the entire village was a closed military zone. Not to be dissuaded, about 100 people gathered in the small village and marched towards the path of the Fence. Israeli army and border police blocked the march and demonstrators linked arms in a show of peaceful defiance. They then surrounded a military police jeep, chanting slogans against the Wall and Israeli OCcupation. The Israeli military then attacked the demonstrators with their batons and rifles, beating several people. They then threw a sound grenade into the middle of the crowd. Demonstrators were pushed to the ground and fell as they tried to leave the area peacefully. There were also reports that the soldiers threw rocks at the demonstrators.
After the demonstration, Israeli peace activists found their car had been vandalized by the Israeli military; it had been parked near the demonstration and the rear window had been smashed in after the demonstrators had returned to the village.
The people of Al-Walaja have vowed to not be deterred by the increase in violence by the Israeli military and Israeli and international activists have promised to continue to stand in solidarity with them during their struggle.