Standing Strong Against the Wall – Beit Sira Maintains Popular Resistance
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Standing Strong Against the Wall – Beit Sira Maintains Popular Resistance

***image2***Popular resistance in Beit Sira continued to challenge the attacks of the Occupation bulldozers which are razing the village’s lands for the Apartheid Wall. This weeks protest sparked clashes with Occupation Forces as Palestinians refused to accept their ghettoization and the destruction of their communities.

Around 400 villagers gathered in front of the village council and marched to their lands to confront the destruction and ghettoization caused by the bulldozers for the path of the Apartheid Wall. Amassed outside of the village – to the southwest where razing of the land has begun – was a large platoon of Occupation Soldiers. Unperturbed, and standing strong against the contingent of soldiers, Palestinians conducted a symbolic prayer session on the land and reaffirmed their vow to resist the attacks being made on their lives.

Villagers then moved on to the site of the bulldozers, where uprooting of the land takes place on a daily basis. Palestinians broke through the razor wire meshes which cut them off from their lands, before Occupation Forces unleashed a torrent of violent attacks. Beginning with sticks and the backs of their guns and ending with tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets, several Palestinians were injured while defending their lands. Mahmud Munir Khatar, 18 years old, was sent to the hospital after a sound bomb canister hit his neck, while Adnan Khatar suffered two broken teeth.

In Beit Sira, the Apartheid Wall will isolate 400 dunums of land along a distance of 3 km in the south-western part of the village. Until today, the Occupation has already uprooted some 2000 olive trees belonging to the village. If the Wall will be completed, Beit Sira will lose a total of 70 percent of its lands.

***image3***Before 1948 the village owned 6150 dunums of land. The subsequent dispossession of the people during the Nakba, for the construction of Modi’in and Makkabim settlements, the Jewish-only road 443, the watch towers overlooking the village lands and now the Wall, leave Beit Sira with no more than 1150 dunums of land. 750 dunums of these remaining lands are already residential areas, leaving just 400 dunums for agricultural use. The people of Beit Sira thus face the destruction of their agricultural community, and their ability to sustain livelihoods with dignity.

Faced with a similar threat, the neighbouring village of Bil’in has also continued their resistance with weekly demonstrations. Standing strong against dispossession and the theft of their lands for the Wall and settlement expansion, Palestinians continue to challenge Israeli Apartheid while the international community stands idle and complicit with the Occupation’s crimes.