Protests for the Ma’sara prisoners
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Protests for the Ma’sara prisoners

Nearly 20 people were injured in protests against the Wall this Friday, several of which were held in solidarity for the five activists who were arrested in al-Ma’sara last week. In addition to a large demonstration in the Bethlehem area, the demonstrations in Ni’lin and Bil’in also called for their release. The people of Bi’lin themed the weekly action around “Occupation Flu”, and a demonstration was also held in Jayyus.

In Ni’lin, nearly 500 people gathered to demonstrate against the Wall and call for the release of the Ma’sara prisoners. Occupation forces raided the village several hours before the march was scheduled to begin, and soldiers were positioned so as to prevent the people from holding prayers on the threatened land. Protestors took an alternate route, and soldiers responded by firing tear gas and steel-coated rubber bullets. Five were injured, and clashes continued until five in the afternoon.

The people of Bil’in, playing on the current swine flu scare, themed their weekly demonstration “Occupation Flu.” Demonstrators wore masks and carried signs reading, “Stop the Occupation Flu”, which has been blamed for the death, injury and incarceration of thousands of Palestinians since 1948. Villagers also carried photos of Bassem Abu Rahma, killed three weeks ago at a protest. Eight people were injured this week by rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens more suffered from tear gas inhalation.

In the north, the youth from Jayyus held a demonstration following the relocation of the Wall. Several people were shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.

People from al-Ma’sara and the surrounding villages gathered to protest the Wall and demand the release of five activists who were arrested last week. Demonstrators set out from the local school carrying signs calling for an end to the Wall and freedom for the Ma’sara prisoners as well as the 11,000 Palestinians held in Occupation prisons. Soldiers closed the roads and attacked demonstrators, leaving four Palestinians injured. Several internationals were also arrested. The army also raided the nearby village of Jurat ash-Sham’a.