Demonstrators ‘Sit-in’ in Nabi Saleh, 1 Arrested in Ni’lin During Weekly Demonstrations

30 January 2010

The New York Times this Friday included a large article on page 4 of the front section about the “new” anti-wall demonstrations, which they erroneously say began in Bil’in but have now spread to 4 other villages. In response to questions by the Times reporter about the nature of the protests, and whether they could be considered non-violent, an Israeli spokesman reportedly said, “these are not sit-ins with people singing we shall overcome”. Well, minus the old gospel song, that’s exactly what people in Nabi Saleh did this week during their Friday demonstration. Only after the Israeli military fired on the demonstrators, did youth respond by throwing stones.

Video from Yisrael Putermam

In Ni’lin this week, over 100 people joined the weekly demonstration. The village’s main entrance was closed by the Israeli military so most media did not get in, while international and Israeli activists arrived through the fields. As the Israeli forces chased the demonstration back into the village, one man from Yabroud village, was detained. No other arrests or injuries were reported.

In Al-Ma’asara, Bethelem District, over 50 residents, joined by Israeli and international activists, marched from the center of the village. One military jeep was parked further into the village, nut the demonstrators just marched around, chanting on their way to the main road and the Annexation Barrier, which is to be routed between Palestinian villages and the Gush Etzion settlement of Efrat.
The demonstration was halted at the entrance to the village, as usual, by a line of razorwire and Israeli military where speeches were then made in several languages before the demonstration peacefully returned to the village.

In Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, after a series of weeks with multiple arrests of mostly Israeli citizens, most of which were released by the courts who admonished the Israeli police for disrupting the peaceful demonstrations, there were no arrests. Demonstrators were “allowed” to gather near the entrance to the neighborhood, while residents of Sheikh Jarrah joined them and gathered on the other side of the police barricade, which was set up to prevent supporters of the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah from entering, while at the same time allowed “visiting” extremist right-wing settlers to enter freely.