Non-Violent Resistance in South Betlehem Continues
A larger than usual crowd gathered this Friday, April 4, in South Betlehem to protest the ongoing construction of the Annexation Barrier on the lands of Palestinians from Al-Ma’asara, Um Salamuna, Wadi Rahaal, and Wadi An-Nis. People from Um Salamuna and Al-Ma’asara were joined by international and Israeli activists this Friday with the intention of marching from the villages to the current construction site, near the Efrat settlement.
As the group gathered and prepared to move down the road, however, the Israeli Occupation Forces set up an ad hoc barrier, stringing barbed wire across the road to try to prevent the march from proceeding. Though the barrier was breached a few times, the Palestinians and their supporters resolved to sit behind the fence to demonstrate their non-violent stance while making their condemnation of the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of the Barrier clear. An Israeli supporter was taken from the group and detained for about an hour by Israeli police and soldiers before being released. No injuries were reported. Members of the community made impromptu speeches condemning the Israeli government’s actions. The people of this region have been waging a weekly non-violent struggle against the construction of the Barrier on their land for over a year and have vowed to continue to do so until construction is stopped and the portions already built are torn down.