[againstwall] Friday demonstration in Al-Khader
From: Kim Yuval
For Immediate Release
Nonviolent Anti-Wall Protest in Al-Khader near Bethlehem
Bethlehem – Palestine / Friday February 8th, 2008 - The Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonization in Al-Khader is organizing a nonviolent demonstration to protest the construction of the annexation wall in the town of Al-Khader, located south of Bethlehem. The protestors will also call for an end to the killing of children, thousands of whom have fallen victim to the 40 year old Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian
The construction of the wall in this town will expropriate more than 20000 dunams (5000 acres) of the town's land, which will make life intolerable for this predominantly agricultural community.
The demonstration will start Friday February 8, 2008 at 11:30 in the main road (Jerusalem-Hebron road). The Friday Prayer will take place on the main street, and the march will continue on to the construction site near bypass road 60.
We invite you to join us in this joint struggle for peace and justice.
For more information, please contact, for English; Samer Jaber, at: 052-253-1172
For Arabic; Bassam Ghneim at 0599-396-939
Note: if the weather become rainy, the demonstration postpone to next Friday.
Samer B. Jaber
Mithaq- Cultural Forum for Development
Advocacy Disk- YMCA
Tel. & Fax: +972 2 2774540
MAAN NEWS AGENCY
Six injured at mass demonstration against Israeli separation wall near Bethlehem
Date: 08 / 02 / 2008 Time: 15:10
Bethlehem – Ma'an – About 500 Palestinian demonstrators, joined by a handful of Israeli and international supporters, marched towards the construction site of Israel's separation wall in the village of Al-Khadr on Friday, in what organizers say is one of the largest weekly
demonstrations in the West Bank.
At least 30 heavily armed Israeli soldiers and riot police in six jeeps had already blocked the road with barbed wire. At the conclusion of the Friday prayer and just two minutes into the demonstration, the soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades, dispersing the vast majority of the protesters and injuring six people.
Among the injured was 60-year-old Khalil Salah, who was hospitalized after a sound grenade exploded next to him. Abdullah Khalil was also injured by a sound grenade. Witnesses said three young children were hit by teargas canisters. Their names could not be confirmed at the time of writing.
Organizer Samer Jaber said that his intention was to keep the march peaceful, so as to avoid a confrontation with the Israeli military, but, he said, "[the soldiers] don't even need an excuse," to start shooting.
The Israeli government says the wall is intended to keep Palestinians out of Israel for security reasons, but in many cases, the 8-meter concrete barrier keeps Palestinians from other Palestinians, and from their own land. In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled the wall illegal under international law.
Al-Khadr's mayor, Ramzi Salah said that the completion of the Israeli wall will be devastating, resulting in the confiscation of 90% of the village's land. Salah said 65% of Al-Khadr residents rely on farming for their livelihood. The wall will also cut off the main road linking Bethlehem to Hebron, affecting a half million Palestinians in both cities, by Salah's estimate.
Salah said he is proud of the people of his village for "defending our land. Land represents something major for us—something sacred."
The mayor estimates that the barrier is about one month away from
completion in Al-Khadr.
Asked whether he thinks peaceful demonstrations will succeed in stopping the wall, organizer Jaber paused for a second, then answered, "We will do whatever we can—it is a duty."
Earlier, men and boys from Al-Kadr attended the Friday Muslim prayer on the road leading to the construction site. In a passionate sermon, the Imam denounced Israeli occupation, and also called on the Palestinian Authority leadership, who are currently engaged in peace negotiations with Israel, to visit the village and witness the confiscation of their land. He also chided Arab leaders for "staying silent" in the face of the oppression of Palestinians.
Dany, a 27-year old Jewish Israeli from Tel Aviv said that he and 10 other Israelis attended the protest because "we feel that what is happening in the Occupied Territories is cruel and wrong."