Inter-religious Demonstration Against the Annexation Barrier in Beit Jala

11 July 2009

On Tuesday July 7th, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals met at 5pm from both sides of the Annexation fence near Beit Jala and the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo. The Barrier in this location cuts off residents of Beit Jala from significant portions of their agricultural land. They met with a message of peace, justice and inter-religious tolerance against the occupation. As a gesture of solidarity, each of the religious groups brought symbolic items to exchange with one another through the Barrier. On the Palestinian side of the Annexation Barrier, all participants, including a large German solidarity delegation of approximately 100 members, reached the meeting point next to the fence without any delays or obstacles; the situation on the other side was slightly different.
One Israeli group, trying to reach the meeting point on the other side of the fence, was stopped by border police and held back until the symbolic demonstration was finished. Nevertheless most of the Israeli groups managed to reach the demonstration on time, despite efforts of the border police to prevent them from doing so.