The People of ‘Aboud Re-Claim Their Lands, Setting Fire to the Apartheid Wall Foundation
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The People of ‘Aboud Re-Claim Their Lands, Setting Fire to the Apartheid Wall Foundation

***image2***Several hundred villagers in `Aboud, west Ramallah waged a large-scale demonstration against construction of the Apartheid Wall on their lands. Demonstrators, from the young to the village elders from ‘Aboud and surrounding villages, accompanied by members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, congregated together in the center of the village and marched in a long processional through their olive fields towards the construction area. Protesters chanted against the Wall and demanded its dismantlement in compliance with the ICJ’s advisory opinion of 9 July 2004. As the construction area came in view, the crowd ran through the fields and took over the massive boulders that marked the intended path of the Wall. It was a powerful moment where Palestinians united as one force, as one voice in re-claiming their lands. The people of `Aboud have been organizing weekly protests since Occupation Forces first started bulldozing their lands in preparation for the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the village in November 2005. But this was the very first time that they succeeded in reaching the actual area being bulldozed.

***image3***Demonstrators climbed on top of the boulders and set a wall of fire along its perimeter. Men, both young and old, gathered their strength to push boulders down the steep mountain terrain to show to the Occupation Forces that the village of `Aboud will never accept to give up their lands. Behind and above the boulder foundation laid by Occupation forces, stands a high natural rock cliff face towering over the olive fields. A young boy climbed to the top of the cliff and waved his Palestinian flag to the crowd gathering below. Several village leaders began to talk to the rest of the demonstrators through a mega-phone, sharing words of support, strength and community unity. They shouted, “the Occupation is a shame to the world”, that “Palestinians will not stand beside those governments who oppose the political choices the people themselves have made”. They called for Palestinian-led protests, saying that “before Muslims and Christians, we are Palestinians”, the native people of this land who must stand together in the face of Occupation, in the face of all who finance and support this tyrannical system.

Occupation soldiers infiltrated the area on foot, walking through the fields towards the demonstrators. But the young boys of the village aligned together and pushed towards them, hurling rocks and waving their Palestinian flags. None of the youth were injured. According to the Village Council, the Wall will extend 12 km, and has already confiscated and isolated 5,830 dunums of privately owned village land.