Bethlehem District Peacefully Protests Annexation Barrier

20 June 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010 – Today between 30 and 40 Palestinians, internationals and Israelis marched from inside of Wad Rahal to the outskirts of town where the Annexation Barrier is being built, cutting off expropriating agricultural land to the Efrat settlement which is currently expanding. The demonstrators peacefully walked along the road, carrying flags, chanting songs and banging on drums until they were prevented from going further by Israeli soldiers. Beit Sahour resident Mazin Qumseyer gave a speech in English to the soldiers stating that they were 12-15 km within the 1967 green line, and therefore were breaking international law under the Geneva convention. He also described how the expansion of the settlements was taking the local Palestinian land and explained that the local community simply wanted access to their land and to the trees they had planted and farmed.

The aims of the protest thus fulfilled, the demonstration concluded and the protesters returned to Wad Rahal.

The weekly action in Al-Ma’asara was today allowed to continue further along its route than is normally permitted. The demonstrators walked to the Al Ma’asara land on the edge of the town to which they usually cannot gain access. Once there the demonstrators – Palestinian, International and Israeli – sat on some rocks and talked about the success of their peaceful demonstration. Once the talk was over, everyone left.