Israeli occupation forces arrested three Palestinians yesterday and wounded thirty others in a brutal attack against residents of al-Walaja as they resisted the construction of the apartheid Wall in their village.
Hundreds of Palestinians and international activists gathered on Sunday morning at al Walaja to march in the direction of the lands where the Wall will be built. They stood in front of bulldozers to stop them from razing the land belonging to the villagers. A great number of Israeli forces were present, heavily armed, charging against demonstrators with sticks and batons and injuring a number of elderly, women and children. The military used tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and sound bombs against the demonstrators. Twenty Palestinian and international protestors were detained. Five Palestinians were taken to a police station where they were severely beaten and later released.
Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli occupation forces sprayed a new kind of gas directly into the eyes of activists. Handcuffed youth were dragged from the ground for long distances between thorns and stones. They were then thrown into military vehicles and taken to an interrogation post. Eyewitnesses said that “the young people were dragged on the ground like sheep.” The action was successful in halting the construction of the wall during an entire morning.
In Beit Jala, a parallel protest was organized to condemn the construction of the apartheid wall and the theft of Palestinian land. As soon as the demonstrators attempted to access the land threatened with confiscation, the Israeli occupation forces stationed there fired tear gas at demonstrators. Several people suffered from breathing problems.