1 Activist Detained at Peaceful Al-Ma’asara Demonstration

15 June 2008

At noon on Friday, June 13th, about 50 Palestinians and 15 Israelis and internationals gathered in Al-Ma’asara to demonstrate against the construction of the Annexation Barrier. The group approached the triple-layered razor wire fence (erected to prevent protesters from reaching the site of the Wall), carrying a 15′ x 45′ Palestinian flag. Community members lead chants (“The Wall fell in Berlin / It will fall in Palestine!”) and made speeches through a megaphone. Behind the razor wire barrier, a group of 15 soldiers and border police blocked the road.

After a few speeches were made, Israeli and international activists were asked to attempt to break open the corner of the razor wire fence. One of the Israelis was arrested and detained in a military jeep. Soldiers attempted to arrest an international activist from PSP but other activists held onto her, preventing the soldiers from dragging her away. Soldiers then created an opening in the razor wire fence and chased after a Palestinian man but solidarity activists
blocked their path and the man escaped arrest. The soldiers then chased
after the same woman from PSP and made another attempt to arrest her. Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists all held on to her and prevented her arrest. The soldiers eventually gave up, after disagreement within their own troops on whether or not to arrest anyone.

Eventually, the soldiers agreed to free the one Israeli who was detained
if the demonstrators backed away from the razor wire fence. After a few
more speeches and rearranging the massive flag, the demonstrators marched back up towards the village and waited. Finally, the Israeli activist was released unharmed and the crowd dispersed.