West Bank villages mark Prisoners Day
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West Bank villages mark Prisoners Day

This week’s protests were dedicated to the fate of the almost 7 thousand Palestinian prisoners and in particular the prisoners of the popular resistance. In particular, protestors called for the liberation of Nael and Fakhri Barghouti, both since more than 30 years in Israeli prisons.

In Bil’in the protestors carried Palestinian flags, and pictures of the martyrs as well as the prisoners. Special attention was given to expose the plight of the imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Nael and Fakhri Barghouti. The march demanded the immediate release of all prisoners in the jails of the Israeli occupation. The Popular Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements further called for public mass rallies to express solidarity with the prisoners and demanding their release.

The demonstrators remembered as well Juliano Mer Khamis who had been killed a few days ago praising his important role in supporting cultural activities in Jenin and beyond. The Committee expressed their condemnation of the killing which served foremost the interests of the Occupation.

As every Friday, the march was violently suppressed by the Occupation Forces, which used again stun grenades, tear gas, rubber coated metal bullets and skunk water against the crowd.

In Ni’lin, the march started with the Friday prayers on the land near the Apartheid Wall during which the preacher Murad Amira stressed the need for unity in Palestinian ranks. He pointed out that the occupation does not differentiate between Palestinians and called on everyone to unite in the face of the occupation and its plans. After finishing the prayer, demonstrators marched to the Wall carrying Palestinian flags and images of the Palestinian prisoners. They shouted greeting to all prisoners and urged them to remain steadfast behind bars in Israeli jails. The coordinator for the Stop the Wall Campaign in Ramallah district praised in his speech the steadfastness of the people despite all the oppressive measures adopted by the occupation forces and called on all Palestinians to unite behind the option of popular resistance.

In al Ma’sara, this Friday’s protest was dedicated to the Palestinian prisoners as well as to the martyrs in Gaza that have been killed by Israeli attacks in the last days. The media spokesman for the Stop the Wall Campaign in Bethlehem district denounced the continuing crimes of the occupation in the Gaza Strip, and called on the international community to break their silence and ensure protection for the civilians in Gaza who are being killed and continuously intimidated by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

In Nabi Saleh, five demonstrators were arrested and three others wounded while the military broke into several homes. The protest started from the village’s Martyrs Square and aimed to proceed towards the land confiscated by the settlers. However, the occupation forces had since the morning hours been stationed at all the entrances of the village and blocked the passage of the protestors out of their village. At the entrance of Nabi Saleh, they started to fire tear gas and sound bombs into the crowd, which led to the injury of dozens caused by severe suffocation.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested three Palestinian protesters but one of them managed to escape. Hamza Obeid and Bashar Abdullah together with three international activists remained in Israeli hands and were then taken to an unknown destination. During the clashes, Israeli forces wounded a youth activist shooting a rubber coated metal bullet in his back and another one at his hand. One other Palestinian and one international activist were both wounded by rubber coated metal bullets. Finally, the Israeli occupation forces detained three youths in the center of the village for several hours and beat them before releasing them when they left the village. Additionally, Israeli Óccupation Forces stormed the houses of Hilmi al-Tamimi and Bilal al-Tamimi and climbed onto the roofs to be able to target the demonstrators from above.