On Friday, the people from Um Salamoneh gathered once again for the demonstration they hold each week in defense of their land and rights. They went to the area where the bulldozers of the Occupation have been destroying the land and uprooting the trees to prepare the soil for the footprint of the Apartheid Wall. There they stopped and started to plant olive tree seedlings in defiance of the Occupation.
***image2***The military, however, confiscated the tools they brought with them to dig the earth and plant the trees. As the people started to dig the land with their bare hands, preparing it for the seedlings and planting them, the Occupation physically attacked the demonstrators.
The demonstration was organized by the local committee against the Apartheid Wall and supported by a range of organizations and forces. For the first time, the people also decided to dedicate the Friday to voluntary work.
The tradition of voluntary work goes back to the 1970s where people joined forces in order to develop their villages and to support each other in the harvesting periods in the face of an Occupation, unwilling to take up its duty to care for the needs of the people its occupies. During the Oslo period, the tradition had fallen apart and is now slowly taken up again by the popular committees in the villages. The people from Um Salamoneh thus gathered to plant dozens of olive trees and to clean the streets and to clean the village walls of the remains of posters and publicity.
Next Friday a day of voluntary work will be called in Beit Ula, in the north of Hebron district. The aim is to plant 2000 olive and citrus trees on the lands under a confiscation order for the Apartheid Wall.
Still in the southern ghetto of Bethlehem-Hebron, a coalition of organizations has organized a conference on Sunday in Aida camp. Under the title of âThe Hague and the Wallâ, the conference was aimed to discuss the decision of the International Court of Justice, the apparent non-compliance with it by either the Occupation or the international community and, finally, ways to resist the Apartheid Wall.