On Friday July 9th, 2010, the weekly march of the village of Beitin (Ramallah District) commemorated the anniversary of the July 9th, 2004 International Court of Justice ruling which condemned Israel’s construction of the Wall. As usual, the protest began in front of the Beitin military checkpoint that cuts off the village and 16 other villages from the city of Ramallah. However, this week’s protest, instead of centering on the issue of the injustice of the checkpoint, focused on Israel’s perpetual disregard for the ICJ ruling and demanded that Israel live by international standards of law and be held accountable for its human rights abuses.
During the protest, activists carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for the need to open the checkpoint that is severely restricting the movement of Bittin and 16 other villages. This checkpoint constitutes a common form of collective punishment imposed by the Israel Occupying Force on the citizens of Palestinian communities, and thus represents a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
The vast crowd of demonstrators at the checkpoint tried to cross the barbed wire barrier stopping them from crossing into the city of Ramallah. However, in addition to the presence of Israeli Occupation Forces, armed settlers scouring the area of the demonstration in a provocative manner prevented the demonstration from reaching the area behind the fence. As a result, there were a number of cases of suffocation due to the occupation forces significant used of tear gas to suppress the protest.
The demonstrationÃ¯Â¿Â½s focus on the need to uphold the ICJÃ¯Â¿Â½s decision, which declared the Wall illegal under international law, was part of the nation-wide commemoration of the 2004 ruling. Palestinian communities across the region joined in this effort by adapting their weekly protests to include a demonstration against IsraelÃ¯Â¿Â½s violation of the ICJÃ¯Â¿Â½s decision, which occurred exactly 6 years ago from the day of this Beitin protest.