Fifty Gather to Commemorate 44 Years of Occupation
On Saturday, June 4th, a group of 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists met in Beit Ommar to commemorate Al Naksa Day (literally, the “day of the setback”,) which for the Palestinian people marks the displacement and occupation that accompanied Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. The purpose of the demonstration was to bury the settlements, the American injustice and the racism of the Israeli state. A coffin made out of paper with slogans on its sides was carried in the front, followed by the rest of the protesters. The group marched towards Karmei Tsur, chanting slogans against the occupation and waving Palestinian flags.
Within a few minutes, Israeli soldiers showed up, trying to stop the demonstrators and end the protest. Around ten soldiers stood in front of the demonstrators, denying any entry, and on the hillside towards Karmei Tsur were more groups of soldiers, watching and waiting in groups of three. When the assembled demonstration refused to turn back, the soldiers made their way through the crowd, trying to take a Palestinian boy with them. Activists managed to free man of the soldiers’ grip, and the soldiers backed off.
The demonstrators sat down, refusing to go. Members of the popular committee in Beit Ommar and a member from Combatants for Peace gave speeches about Al Naksa and truly demanded an end of the occupation. When the speeches were finished, the protest disbanded peacefully.