Anti-Barrier Demonstrations This Friday
In Al-Ma’asara, Palestinians were joined by their regular Israeli and international solidarity activists in a march towards the lands belonging to the residents of Al-Ma’asara, Um Salamuna, and Wadi An-Nis. Though there hasn’t been any construction on the actual barrier in nearly a year, the scar of the patrol road that is part of the matrix of the barrier in rural areas can be seen from the edge of the village. As has become routine in Al-Ma’asara, the Israeli army blocked the procession from advancing beyond the edge of the village and onto the main road that runs past their agricultural land. Children from the village tried to move the razor wire that was laid across the road, but were stopped by soldiers.
In Ni’lin, nearly 100 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals continued their tradition of Friday demonstrations by approaching a section of the fence that had not yet been doubled by a large concrete wall, as other sections of the Barrier in the Ni’lin area was, after several successful fence-cuttings during previous demonstrations. This week, damage was done by local youth to the section of the fence, before large quantities of gas and “skunk” spray overwhelmed the group. Israeli soldiers then invaded the olive groves, passing through the fence, forcing the demonstration back towards the village. In other related news, an Israeli newspaper reported that the Israeli settlers of the Hashmonaim settlement, built on Ni’lin’s land and who stand to gain from the land being confiscated by the path of the Annexation Barrier, have complained about being affected by the tear gas used during Friday demonstrations by their own armed forces.