Weekly protests against the Wall are continuing as old struggles reappear in Bethlehem. On Friday, in addition to the ongoing actions in Beit Jala and other areas, the villages of al-Maâsara, Bilâin, Nabi Saleh and Niâlin held their weekly demonstrations. Protestors faced tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds, and one young boy was seriously injured in Nabi Saleh.
In al-Maâsara, 130 protesters, accompanied by international solidarity activists took part in the weekly Friday march. As usual, their attempts to reach their land to cut off by the Wall was blocked by soldiers and armored jeeps. Soldiers forced the marchers back, beating several residents. At the end of the march, protestors made speeches condemning the annexation of Palestinian holy sites and stressing that popular resistance would continue in the face of repression and the
Occupation forces closed off the entrances to Niâlin this Friday for the second consecutive month in an attempt to isolate the village and the popular committee. Despite the closure, several hundred residents marched to the Wall after Friday prayers, where they were met by tear gas as well as live and rubber ammunition. Scores suffered from tear gas inhalation, and were treated on the spot. Later, Occupation forces raided the local school, taking to the roofs and firing gas and sound bombs among houses.
In Bilâin, protestors marked the Global Week Against Racism and were led by prominent figures in the global struggle against racism and occupation: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. Carrying Palestinian flags and shouting slogans against the Wall, demonstrators approached the Wall. Occupation forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and organizers reported that Palestinian media covering the event were deliberately targeted.