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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Marda Villagers Under Attack as Resistance to Occupation and Apartheid Wall Steps Up

Several villagers were injured on Tuesday 21st July, as resistance to the Apartheid Wall and Occupation continued in Marda. Occupation Forces attacked Palestinians attempting to reach their confiscated lands, and fired tear gas canisters into houses and at demonstrators. Villagers remained steadfast in their rejection of the Apartheid Wall, which will work in conjunction with the settler-only bypass road system, to ghettoize villagers and steal a further 900 dunums of their land.



Gathering in the centre of Marda at 11 am, around 300 protestors marched towards the north of the village where 300 dunums of land have been confiscated for a new settler-only bypass road. Chants, slogans and speeches denounced the Apartheid infrastructure that the Occupation Forces are trying to impose upon Palestinians. They also focused on the Apartheid Wall, which will take at least 600 dunums of land in Marda.



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As demonstrators approached their confiscated land Occupation Forces blocked their path, with around eight jeeps forming a chain to close off the village. Marda villagers continued their defiance of the Occupation and its Apartheid project and forced several of the jeeps back. Occupation Forces then declared the village to be a “closed military zone”. Clashes ensued as Occupation Forces went on a rampage through the village, firing tear gas canisters at houses and demonstrators. Several Palestinians, including young children, were injured. In retaliation rocks and stones were hurled towards Occupation jeeps, causing them to retreat with several smashed jeep windows. Villagers also responded by assembling a road block of rocks on a nearby settler bypass road, disrupting the Occupation for the second time in two weeks. Last week the road was shut-down as villagers gathered on the road during a protest.



Marda, a village of around 2,000 people was originally located on an area of 9,160 dunums. The village had 3,600 dunums confiscated for the construction of the settlement of Ariel, which overlooks the village from the immediate south.The Apartheid Wall will steal a further 600 dunums of Marda's land in the south for the footprint of the Wall and the annexation of the land behind it for Ariel’s expansion.



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Occupation surveyors and Wall path technicians have already begun the initial work for the construction of the Wall with land due to be destroyed over the next few months. In addition, 300 dunums have been confiscated in the north of the village where a new bypass road is under daily construction. Slicing through the lands, the settler road will provide a corridor from Tel Aviv to Jordan forming part of the Zionist project for the continual colonization of Palestinian land. Located between the Wall and related Apartheid infrastructure, Marda will be virtually encircled and ghettoized.



Villagers remained undeterred by the Occupation brutality and vowed to continue their resistance to protect their lives and lands. In the last two weeks Marda has been the scene of intense demonstrations, with over 40 villagers injured and massive deployment by the Occupation Forces throughout the area.



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