Weekly Demonstrations Continue Across West Bank

8 March 2009

Demonstrations in Ni’lin, Al-Ma’asara, Jayyous, and Bil’in continued this week against the construction of the Annexation Barrier, the confiscation of land, and the destruction of agricultural trees. This week, demonstrations also began in Wadi A-Rasha, a small village in the Qalqylia district that is confronting the destruction of their lands for the Annexation Barrier for a second time.
In Ni’lin, 8 people were injured, 4 by live ammunition, as Israeli forces invaded the village after a midday prayer, attempting to surround local youth. Tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and small-caliber live ammunition were fired at the youth and at homes inside the village.
In Bi’lin a larger than usual gathering of nearly 100 people took their usual path towards the gate in the Fence, protesting the recent destruction of their peace tent by Israeli settlers. Al-Ma’asara held their demonstration in honor of International Women’s Day, and were violently confronted by Israeli military forces.
Earlier this week Wadi A-Rasha began demonstrations once again. They are on the losing end of a recent court order to change the path of the Annexation Barrier in the Qalqylia area. In 2002, the Wall was built in their area, seperating Wadi A-Rasha and 4 other villages from the West Bank, containing them in the so-called “Seam zone”, a political limbo where they required permits to live in their own homes. Now, the Barrier is being re-routed, to include Wadi A-Rasha and 2 of the 4 other villages back into the West Bank, but Wadi A-Rasha will be losing more of its agricultural lands to the Israeli side. So once again, they confronted the Israeli bulldozers. This past Wednesday, Palestinians were joined by Israeli and International activists as they sat in front of the bulldozers, blocking their attempt to destroy the village’s trees and livlihoods. The local residents vow that they will continue to confront the bulldozers and the destruction of their land.