Around 300 demonstrators â most from the nearby village of Bil’in – gathered in downtown Ramallah during the evening of May 23rd to protest the ongoing colonization of their lands by the Apartheid Wall. Congregating at the cityâs Al Manara central square, demonstrators lit torches and marched to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Muqata Compound with a message for Mahmoud Abbas on the eve of his trip to the US, voicing their anger at the international support and complicity for the brutal Occupation and its Apartheid Wall.
Villagers mobilized for the demonstration in Ramallah to highlight their struggle and ongoing resistance to the Wall. A large crowd congregated at 8 pm at al-Manara Square before lighting torches and marching through the city centre to the Muqata, chanting for an end to the Wall not only in Bil’in but also in solidarity with the neighbouring village of Saffa, which is similarly affected.
Clashes broke out as protestors were initially prevented from entering the compound. A volley of warning shots were fired but demonstrators refused to leave, staging a brief sit-in before being allowed into the Muqata. They noted in their message:
âWe send this letter from Bilâin, a small Palestinian village that is being killed by the Wall that the entire world condemns. [â¦] Our 1600 residents depend on our ability to farm and harvest our olive trees to sustain our livelihoods.â
They denounced the vital backing the United States provide for Israeli apartheid and called for the Wall to be torn down. Construction of the Wall has been relentless over the last few months, and unless stopped, will soon lead to the total ghettoization of the Palestinian population.
Bilâin has been the scene of intense resistance to the Apartheid Wall over the last three months. Around a dozen bulldozers are currently destroying the land of the village, where the Wall will annex around 2500 dunums of agricultural land. Much of this land will be used for expansion of the nearby settlements of Menora and Mattityahu East. Occupation Forces also intend to construct a new colony on this stolen land as part of the continuous Zionist-Israeli project for the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their lands.
On a daily basis protestors have entered the confiscated lands, resisting the Occupation bulldozers that are carving out the path of the Wall. Violent attacks by the Occupation Forces have left over 120 people injured, including one woman who aborted during an attack where tear gas was thrown into her home. Over 100 people have been arrested in anti-Apartheid Wall activities, with two Palestinians still under detention.