Some 200 Palestinians and international solidarity activists faced blockades, aggression and intimidation from Occupation forces, as they gathered in Jayyous on November 16 to protest the re-route of the Apartheid Wall.
***image2***Eight armoured jeeps full of Occupation forces came into the village itself to set up blockades before the demonstration began, in an effort to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Wall to carry out their protest. About half of the protestors were able to get through the first blockade, but they were met by another blockade several hundred metres down the road. They were therefore surrounded on all sides by Occupation forces, with blockades preventing them from going forwards or backwards. As this group of demonstrators attempted to move forward, the forces took out their batons and threatened to beat anyone who tried to go further.
Eventually, the demonstrators on the front lines sat down, refusing to move even as more Occupation forces arrived, driving up to them in their armoured jeeps and stopping only a few feet away from where the protestors sat. This was one of several tactics used to try and incite and intimidate demonstrators, as they also tore down Palestinian solidarity posters, continually pushed protestors, and cocked and loaded their guns in full view of the demonstrators. Furthermore, they attempted to arrest several people without cause, chasing them down the village streets.
***image3***The Occupation forces especially targeted the children of Jayyous, as they threatened several children, saying that they would return at night, once the international activist presence had left, to teach the children a lesson. They also frightened young school children who were not involved in the protest, as they prevented them from going from their school in the north of the village to their homes in the south. Many of these schoolchildren were reduced to tears as a result of the intimidation tactics that were being used against them.
The demonstration took place as a protest against the Occupation High Court decision to re-route the path of the Wall in Jayyous. This decision is merely an attempt to undermine the International Court of Justice decision on the illegality of the Wall, and to legalize the uprooting of more trees and more destruction of land.