Monday, February 23, 2009

What the "Status Quo" looks like from the wrong side of a wall (reprise)

Reprise on a theme --the status quo which isn't one -- this is about the West Bank. Remember, where Hamas does NOT rule but the US-supported and Israeli-recognized Fatah government of President Abu Mazen and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad? So, that's where there's no threat from the Palestinians, no rockets, no enticement to violence. What does the status quo look like?

Read the report from Gush Shalom - and consider taking action.


Nightly invasions to Palestinian villages in the West Bank
Imagine being awakened to the sound of a stun grenade. Imagine such a grenade landing in your front yard every night. This is the reality that residents of Palestinian villages who are struggling against the apartheid wall are forced to deal with since the attack on Gaza.

These nightly invasions by the army, which terrorize villagers, are becoming ever more frequent. Invasions take place three to four time a week in the villages of Beit Likia and Bil'in. In the last week, the villages of Ma'asara, Ni'ilin and Jayus too have joined the list, as troops have been harassing those who participate and organize the village protests.

During the invasions soldiers shoot tear gas and stun grenades into civilian's houses. They also use rubber coated bullets and live rounds. On 13.2.09, two children were injured in their homes in Beit Likia, and a 60 year old woman was hit in the stomach. On that same night, soldiers reached the homes of Ma'asara popular leaders Muhammad Barjia and Mahmoud Zoahara, kept them for hours outside their homes in the cold with very little cloths, and caused damage to their property, threatening to arrest the two if demonstrations in the area were to continue. A report by Zoahara is attached hereunder.

The media does not report these incidents, which have become a tiring routine of the reality of occupation. It seems that under this media blockade, army commanders feel free to carry out these crimes.

A link to a video from Wednesday 18.2.09. The army invaded during the day to set a checkpoint and later at night, just to shoot some teargas and bullets.

Background to the Villages
The village of Bil'in has become renowned for its on going struggle against the wall, and Beit Likia too has been known to participate in the struggle. Three Beit Likia children were killed by soldiers and private security guards. The village of Ma'asara has for two years now been leading the popular struggle of the Beit Lehem district villages, in quite demonstrations against the land grabs committed by both settlements and the wall. Jaaus was the first village that conducted a struggle against the wall, back in 2003 and Ni'ilin is protesting for the last year. Four people were killed by the army in Ni'ilin, two of them were children.

Testimony: The night after the demo in AL-Ma'sara village
At the mid of the night 7 Israeli army cars entered the village, they have two target places to attack on is the house of Mohammed BRYJYA The spoken man of the popular community against the wall in the village and the second is the house of Mahmoud Zwahre the coordinator of the popular community against the wall.

Around 12:30 at night the solders knock the door of my house asking me to open the door in a non pilot way then I opened the door more than 10 solders entered my house without my permission, then they asked for my ID and my wife also, and then the check the house putting everything on the other destroying the furniture of the house , at that time they push me out side in the cold weather wit very light clothes, asking the same questions for the demonstration many questions, they told me that they are going to arrest me and they blind me and they tied then they remove the things on my eyes and they start taking pictures for my, while im on the ground on my knees at that time I thought that im in Gwantanamo , then they tied off me and then he told me this week we came and we will not arrest you, the massage this week take care we are going to arrest you next week we are going to come in more difficult way.

So don't come to demonstrate, don't organize demos.

At that time I preferred to be quite no answers and I refuse to talk to them because I know the mode that they are in at that time.

While they was checking in my house they found emails for many friends from solidarity associations from Europe I dint know if they are going to use them or not?

After three hours they left me then I phone Mohammed and I found that they did the same to him.

All of what they are doing we expect it since long time.

All of that is a sign of victory.

Today or tomorrow we are going to win because we have the faith.


Visit Gush Shalom and write a letter to the Israeli Ministry of Defense (Gush Shalom provides a sample letter). In the US, write to your representatives (Congress.Org makes it easy for you) and ask them to request State Department action.
If you wonder how exceptional this is, view this older video:

Photo Source: Gush Shalom /

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