Despite the freezing temperatures and rainy weather, villagers and international supporters marched through the village toward their threatened lands yesterday. At the entrance of the village, protestors found soldiers had not only blocked the path with barbed wire, but also were stationed on the roofs of homes.
As they do every week, soldiers barred the people from reaching their lands, and the demonstration ended without any arrests.
Over the past weeks, the military has increased its presence in al-Maâsara, sending additional patrols and threatening popular committee organizers with arrest. Several Fridays ago, soldiers detained a member of the popular committee after the weekly demonstration. While he was released later in the evening, there are worries that Occupation forces will target those involved in the protests.
These fears would not be unfounded. In the past weeks, dozens have been arrested in Niâlin and Bilâin during night raids on the villages in an attempt to weaken the anti-Wall demonstrations. Additional protesters have been arrested during the new demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, which began last month.