Resistance against the Wall widens in the north
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Resistance against the Wall widens in the north

The protests against the Wall expanded this week, as villagers in the isolated communities of Wadi Rasha and Ras Tira turned out to fight the re-rerouting of the Wall in Qalqilya. Weekly protests against the Wall were also held in Jayyous, Ni’lin, Bil’in and al-Ma’sara.

In Ni’lin, the demonstration was fired upon shortly after the completion of Friday prayers, and clashes ensued between youth and soldiers. Occupation forces later invaded the village in an attempt to surrounded local youth, taking up positions on rooftops in the village center. A total of eight people were injured over the course of the day, three from live bullets.

Demonstrations continued this Friday in Bil’in, where protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners condemning the Wall and settlements, especially the recent plan to build 75 new housing units. Protesters also condemned the recent house demolitions in al-Bustan and Ras Khamis in Jerusalem. Three people were shot with rubber bullets during the demonstration, and a number of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation.

In the Bethlehem area, the people of al-Ma’sara and Um Salamuna marched to their threatened lands. A considerable number of women joined the action, and two elderly women were assaulted by soldiers who blocked villagers from reaching their land.

Clashes lasted until the evening in Jayyous, were 75 youth from the village held a weekly protest at the Wall’s south gate. Soldiers invaded the village, occupying three homes and firing at youth from the rooftops. In the early afternoon, two young boys were seized, bound and blindfolded, and were released just prior to the army withdrawal. Soldiers also attempted to arrest a third youth, but were blocked from doing so by local women. Border police and regular army also tried to put the village under curfew, but this order was ignored by many of the villagers, who remained in the streets until the army withdrew at seven in the evening.

Also in the north, the people in the isolated villages of Ras Tira, Wadi Ar-Rasha and Dhab’a began to mobilize against the re-rerouting of the Wall in the area. It was announced that 50 – 60 trees would be uprooted on Friday, and demonstrators made their way to the construction area early in the morning and managed to halt work for several hours. In response, a large contingent of soldiers arrived and began beat demonstrators and fire sound bombs.

The new path of the Wall in Qalqilya will affect a total of 2,500 dunums, which will either be razed for construction or isolated. 70% of this land is planted with olive trees, while the remainder serves as natural pastures and agricultural areas. The Popular Committee in the area has vowed to organize daily action in response.