Activists Arrested, Beaten When Soldiers Get Surrounded by Wedding in Ma’asara

1 August 2009

Ma asara 07_31_09Some 100 Palestinians, 50 internationals and ten Israelis gathered this Friday in the village of Ma’asara for a wedding march, which was combined with the weekly anti-wall demonstration in order to highlight the severe personal and social implications of the occupation, the oppression and the wall. Demonstrators accompanied a couple that got married just the night before and two other couples disguised as newlyweds all the way across the village, with marriage songs and protest slogans interchanging and completing each other. Coming close to the end of the built area of the village the couples left to prepare themselves for the next part of the wedding-protest.

The rest of the demonstration proceeded, and was met with soldiers and barbed wire, stopping the demonstration from reaching the village’s agricultural lands. They then gave speeches in Arabic, English and Hebrew, at the end of which the newlyweds appeared right behind the soldiers’ line – marching from the lands towards the village.

The soldiers, now trapped between the marriage procession and the couples, stormed and attacked the demonstrators, hitting them with rifles. Three Israeli activists were arrested, and one of them was beaten badly. All three were charged with assault of the Major who was commanding the soldiers, and with violation of a closed military zone. All three were later released, but are now banned to return to the area for two weeks. The activist who was beaten required medical attention and was taken to a hospital.

Meanwhile the demonstration concluded with no further arrests or wounded. However, the so-called “assaulted” Major pronounced that next week a curfew will be enforced in the village on Friday at 5AM, to prevent any more demonstrations.