A womenâs demonstration organized by the Niâlin Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall marched yesterday from the center of Niâlin to the land threatened by confiscation by the Occupation forces. Headed by female activists and organizations from all over Palestine, hundreds of demonstrators including town locals, other Palestinians, and international solidarity activists took part in this first popular demonstration of women in Niâlin. The Woman Against the Wall Society (Tulkarem), Women of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, the Working Woman Society and the Woman Initiative took part in the demonstration.
***image2***Participation in the demonstration of the women from the north was decided after over a hundred women and several womenâs grassroots organizations took part in workshops and meetings organized by the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign the last few months to discuss the roles women can and have to play in resisting the Wall and strategizing effective ways forward. They decided participating in Niâlinâs demonstrations is the best occasion to launch the Womenâs Movement against the Wall.
The participating women confirmed that they are a vital half of society and they want to participate in anti-wall demonstrations because Occupation oppression and violence is aimed at every part of Palestinian society regardless of gender or any other variable; every Palestinian is a target of Occupation forces. They also acknowledged the importance of Palestinian social and political unity in order to fight against the Occupationâs colonialism and construction of the Apartheid Wall as well as the tunnel that will be built to control the entrance of Niâlin. The demonstration headed toward Occupation bulldozers, which have ruined and vandalized thousands of dunums of Palestinian lands via uprooting thousands of olive trees and razing agricultural lands that are the main source of livelihood and income for the Palestinian farmers living there.
***image3***Reem Khawaja, the Womanâs Coordinator in Niâlin, stated that âthis unique type of activity should transform into an integral part of the Palestinian struggle because the Occupation does not distinguish in its suppression of the Palestinian peopleâ. Reem added that âall Palestinians should stand together side by side with the farmers who are fighting the Occupationsâ oppressive practicesâ¦ the demonstration is an opportunity to restore the place of Palestinian woman, who played an enormous role in the first Intifada and who have participated in every stage of the long struggle against the Occupationâ.
The women tried to break through the razor wire that Occupation forces erected on both sides of the road to prevent them from reaching the bulldozers and razed lands on the other side of the road. Tens of gas and noise bombs were shot at the protesters, which resulted in one woman in her 50s to suffer from heart trouble and had to be taken to the local clinic and then to Ramallah Public Hospital. In total, three protesters were injured and another two arrested.