The weekly Friday demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Jayyous was once again met with intense repression from Occupation forces. For several hours, soldiers occupied the rooftops of two houses in the village and fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live bullets at the protesters below. At
least four people, including one pregnant woman, suffered injuries from tear gas inhalation.
***image3***In the morning, several hours before the demonstration began, several jeeps full of Occupation forces had already entered Jayyous to try and intimidate villagers and prevent the protest from occurring. The local commander called the mayor of the village to warn him that if the villagers marched to the south gate of the Wall they would be fired upon with live bullets.
In spite of the intimidation, the demonstration began as usual after the midday prayer, as some 250 villagers and international solidarity activists gathered in the centre of Jayyous. They marched towards the south gate, but were blocked from reaching the gate by two jeeps and at least a dozen soldiers. Undeterred, the demonstrators chanted slogans against the Wall and waved Palestinian flags, shouting at the soldiers to leave their village.
The protesters slowly pushed forward, forcing their way towards the gate, when clashes between village youth and Occupation forces erupted. The youth threw stones at soldiers, who in turn fired a heavy barrage of strong tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets. A pregnant woman had to be taken to hospital as a result of this first onslaught of gas. The crowd disbursed momentarily, but the youth were undeterred, and continued hurling stones.
As the clashes continued, groups of soldiers also entered the village on foot from three different areas, in an attempt to surround the youth from all sides. At least seven soldiers occupied the rooftop of one house, preventing the family living in the house from leaving. At the same time, at least five more occupied another house. Both groups fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and some live bullets at the youth below. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Despite the invasion of the village, Occupation forces were unable to put a stop to the demonstration. Near dusk, soldiers pulled out of their positions and retreated back beyond the gate.