At noon on Friday May 11, the people from Um Salamuna (West Bethlehem) supported by students from Al-Quds Open University confronted Occupation Forces on the construction site of the Apartheid Wall which is destroying and confiscating their lands.
***image2***Assembling at the top of the valley overlooking the path of the wall, some 70 people marched down to the construction site to be met by a contingent of Occupation Troops descending on them from the Zionist settlement on the other side of the valley. Efrat settlement built on stolen Palestinian land is part of the Gush Etzion settlement block that colonizes the West Bethlehem lands. The Apartheid Wallâs path guarantees further annexation of lands to the settlements and intensifies the stranglehold of the historic Palestinian city and devastation of its villages.
After a tense standoff with the Occupation Forces the protest marched onto the lands on the other side of the path of the wall where they were joined by a contingent of students carrying flags. Prayer was held on the threatened lands and followed by speeches by the mayor of Um Salamuna and representatives of the popular committee against the Apartheid wall in South Bethlehem, which is organizing the popular resistance and protests against the Wall in the area.
Soon after, the protesters pushed back the Occupation troops and proceeded northwards along the path of the wall until the Occupation Forces were reinforced by thirty more soldiers. However, the villagers and students resisted another 30 minutes on their lands destroyed for construction of the Wall.
This protest is part of the ongoing resistance of the people in Um Salamuna and is part of intensifying mobilization, supported by the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, to confront the occupation at construction sites of the wall.