Over 1,000 residents of encaged Qalqiliya City demonstrated on Saturday, December 27, against the Apartheid Wall which has encircled the city for over one year. The demonstrators met in Martyr Abu Ali Eyad Square in the city center and marched towards the southern entrance of the city which is closed off by the 8-meter high concrete Wall which towers over the area and surrounds the entire city. When demonstrators reached the Wall, the Occupation Military repeatedly fired tear gas and rubber coated metal bullets into the crowd as demonstrators threw stones at and over the Wall and towards the 10-foot high sniper towers that encircle the city and hover over its homes.
***image2***Palestinians from other parts of the West Bank, including from neighboring villages, were not allowed to enter the city and join the demonstration as they were denied entrance to the city by the Occupation Military at the only remaining entrance to the city, a military checkpoint.
Qalqiliya was the first to be targeted with the construction of the Wall, as its residents have lived life in this open-air prison for over one year. It is estimated that of the some 42,000 residents of the city, some 15% have been forced to leave due to, among other things, economic strangulation along with the unbearable existence of everyday life. Once a relatively thriving central market for the entire district, Qalqiliyaâs city streets are empty even when the Occupation Military has not called for a curfew as it roams the city for arrests and shoots at passers-by.
Along with Qalqiliya, a number of communities in the Ramallah District have planned demonstrations for this week as the Wall draws nearer to their villages and lands.
Read more on the history of Qalqiliya in the PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign book here and in the guest article by Khalid Shanti.