Weekly Demonstration in Beit Ommar
A weekly demonstration took place on Saturday 15th September at the entrance to the Gush Ezion compound, north of Beit Ommar. Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, joined by a large media contingent, assembled on the roundabout on the Hebron-Jerusalem road which marks the turning to the bloc of nine Israeli settlements. A number of occupation soldiers and police were present at the demonstration, which was the first arranged by PSP in this location.
The demonstrators carried banners addressing three main grievances. Firstly, a message was directed at the anti-Islamic film which has sparked protests across the Arab world, refusing to resort to extremism, in spite of the deliberately provocative nature of the film. They added that the film reflects only on the ignorance and prejudice of its makers, not on muslims.
The second message was one of remembrance of the victims of the massacres at Shatila and Sabra, the thirtieth anniversary of which is 16-18th September. The massacre resulted in the deaths of many hundreds of Palestinian refugees at the hands of a Lebanese militia, with both the independent MacBride commission and the Israeli Kahan commission reporting that the Israelis, who controlled the camps, bore responsibility for the atrocities.
The protesters also denounced the continued violence and intimidation which Israeli colonists inflict upon Palestinians, such as the molotov cocktail attack on a Palestinian family which took place last month, for which Gush Ezion settlers were responsible. The Palestinians reiterated that this kind of terrorism would not prevent them from accessing the land which is legally theirs.