Bethlehem: Activists injured, arrested in protests leading up to the 6th anniversary of the ICJ decision
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Bethlehem: Activists injured, arrested in protests leading up to the 6th anniversary of the ICJ decision

On Friday July 2nd, 2010, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested activists and assaulted 15 demonstrators with batons during the weekly protest against the Apartheid Wall and settlements in Wadi Rahal (Bethlehem District).

The protest began in the center of the village and included the participation of international solidarity activists. When the demonstrators tried to reach the area isolated by the Wall, they were attacked by a large Israeli Occupation force, including eight military vehicles and dozens of heavily armed soldiers. The IOF fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators and beat them with batons in an attempt to disperse the protest. However, in spite of the violent suppression, the demonstrators held their ground and sat by the Wall for three hours.

The coordinator of the popular committee of Wadi Rahal, Shady Fawaghra, stated that this protest was launched in the name of national unity and he ensured that popular resistance would continue until the liberation of all Palestinian land is achieved.

A few kilometers away, a similar demonstration occurred in the village of al-Ma’sara (Bethlehem District) where the IOF violently suppressed demonstrators who tried to reach the confiscated lands of al-Ma’sara. The protest included farmers who have suffered immensely as result of the confiscation of their lands for the construction and expansion of the Efrat settlement. Thus, the farmers, accompanied by fellow villagers and solidarity activists, blocked the settler road that connects the settlements of Tekoa and Efrat during this protest.

The coordinator of the popular committees in Bethlehem district, Muhammad Brejiyeh, noted that this coming July 9th will mark the sixth anniversary of the ruling of the International Court of Justice which condemned the construction of the Wall in 2004. He stressed the importance of implementing the ruling and the need for the Palestinian Authority to establish serious steps in aiding this process. He also added that the Palestinian Authority must rely on the support of the popular resistance and the Palestinian people must know that they are backed up by their leadership in their efforts to have the ruling acted upon in the international arena.