Weekly Report – 12.5.12
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Weekly Report – 12.5.12

Bil'in:  Around 100 protesters gathered to protest the colonial apartheid Wall in Bil’in and show support for the ongoing hunger strike in Israeli jails. In response dozens of tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades were launched into the crowd, setting fire to many acres of land and more than 20 olive trees. Some individuals responded by throwing stones, and one courageous activist caught a soldier in the face with a bag of dung.

    As Palestinian and international activists tried desperately to extinguish fires and save the landscape and the trees, the occupational forces continued to use potentially lethal weapons, which cause temporary blindness and disorientation; doubling the danger of the widespread wildfires. The Israelis then poured from a gate in the wall and proceeded to fire rubber bullets over the protestors, and denying the firefighting volunteers from nearby Nil’in and their truck access to the fires.

       After the eventual withdrawal of the aggressors the battle to save the land continued, but some trees were beyond saving.

Al Ma’sra: Similar tactics were also used against the weekly march in Al Ma’sra, where activist gathered to condemn the apartheid wall and stand in solidarity with the prisoners.
           According to the spokesman of Stop the Wall in Bethlehem, Mohammed Briggah, the participants were able to access to land near the settlement of 'Efrat' built on the territory of citizens of nearby villages, and that the soldiers fired tear gas at the participants, temporarily suffocating dozens. Briggah described how the soldiers chased the participants, citizens, and international activists, from the grove into the valleys and mountains nearby.

Nabi Saleh: Fires raged as well in Nabi Saleh, as tear gas, chemical waste and rubber bullets were fired at crowds who had gathered in solidarity with the prisoners involved in the “War of the Empty Stomachs”. Dozens attended the protest, a weekly event, and were met with intense Israeli aggression.

        According to the information office of the Stop the Wall in Nabi Saleh, the soldiers attacked the marchers upon their arrival at the entrance to the village, and fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and water mixed with chemical waste, which led to the suffocation of dozens, and to the outbreak of fire in the vicinity of the village as the tear gas bombs detonated. The statement said that the occupational forces closed the main entrance to the village and prevented dozens of people and cars from escaping the carnage.

      The Israelis denied access to the scene to an ambulance, citing the safety of Settlers who steal water from the village. Stop the Wall stressed in its statement the need to strengthen the popular struggle in support of Palestinian prisoners in their steadfastness during their “War of the Empty Stomachs”. It called upon all citizens, institutions and political parties to work on mainstream popular resistance and work on increasing the pressure on the Occupation in the defense of Palestinian land, holy places and prisoners. The statement concluded by calling for mobilization and national unity that is necessary for success in the struggle, and demanded that all human rights institutions intervene to stop the suffering of the brave prisoners and secure their immediate release.

Kafr Qaddom: Three journalists were wounded, and dozens of Palestinians suffered from suffocation due to tear gas, as the Occupational Forces escalated the conflict in the peaceful town of Kafr Qaddom, near Qalilya.
          The coordinator of the Stop the Wall in the village of Kafr Qaddom, Murad Shteiwi, said, that the IOF stationed at the entrance to the village and showered the marchers with tear gas bombs and shot rubber-coated metal bullets, which led to the temporary suffocation of dozens of citizens, as well as the Palestinian TV correspondent Ajwad Jaradat, and journalists Alaa Badarneh, Jafar Shtayyeh.
           Eshteiwi said that the Palestinian people are determined end the occupation and build for an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital. He called for continuing displays of solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike and the popular weekly marches organized in all regions.
           The participants in the march, called by the Supreme National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, stressed their determination to continue the peaceful struggle in the project to achieve the stated goals: to end all forms of settlement, and the opening of the main road which connects the village with the outside world
            The occupation forces raided the village of Kafr Qaddom in 2003 and set up a checkpoint at its entrance, declaring a closed military zone in the surrounding area which continues to cause havoc in the local economy.