Sunday, April 25, 2010
Anti-Wall Protest Expands: Palestinians Blocked Israeli Bulldozers [Injured demonstrator denied medical access]
Press Release - Popular Struggle Coordination committee
Some 200 demonstrators managed to halt the construction of the Wall in the village of alWalaja for almost three hours this morning. Two protesters – a Palestinian and an Israeli – were arrested. The Israeli dislocated his shoulder during the violent arrest, but is denied access to medical treatment at the police station.
More than 200 protesters – Palestinians, Israelis and international activists – managed to block bulldozers constructing Israel's Wall from uprooting an olive grove for over three hours this morning in the West Bank village of alWalaja, south of Jerusalem. Construction of the Wall on alWalaja's lands resumed last Thursday. Once completed, if completed it will surround alWalja from all sides – effectively is isolating the village from the rest of the world.
After roughly three hours, Military and Border Police forces managed to repel the demonstrators, arresting two – a Palestinian and an Israeli. During the violent arrest, Israeli protester Kobi Snitz's shoulder was dislocated by the Border Police officers. He is currently held at the Moria police station in Jerusalem, where he is denied access to medical treatment. Three others, an AP photographer and two demonstrators, were injured and evacuated to a hospital.
Al-Walaja is an agrarian village of about 2,000 people, located south of Jerusalem and West of Bethlehem. Following the 1967 Occupation of the West Bank and the redrawing of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, roughly half the village was annexed by Israel and included in the Jerusalem municipal area. The village's residents, however did not receive Israeli residency or citizenship, and are considered illegal in their own homes.
Once completed, the path of the Wall is designed to encircle the village's built-up area entirely, separating the residents from both Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and almost all their lands - roughly [1,500 acres]. Previously, Israeli authorities have already confiscated approximately half of the village's lands for the building of the Har Gilo and Gilo settlements, and closed off areas to the south and west of it. The town's inhabitants have also experienced the cutting down of fruit orchards and house demolition due to the absence of building permits in Area C.
According to a military confiscation order handed to the villagers, the path of the Wall will stretch over 4890 meters between Beit Jala and alWallaja, affecting 35 families, whose homes may be slated for demolition.
Beit Jala is a predominantly Christian town located 10 km south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Hebron road, opposite Bethlehem. Once completed, the Wall will Isolate [about 800 acres] of the town's lands, including almost [750 acres] of olive groves and the only recreational forest in the area, the Cremisan monastery and the Cremisan Cellars winery.