Israeli troops attacked on Friday the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements, in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Troops also attacked similar weekly protests in other parts of the West Bank.The protest was blocked by Israeli soldiers on its way to its destination. In response Palestinian, Israeli and International activists staged a sit down protest, ignoring threats by the Israeli military to physically clear the area.
As the protest was finishing the military made four arrests including two Palestinian and two Israeli activists. Local Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Zwahre, was also arrested.
Al Masara is in the Bethlehem district of the West Bank and is the location of a weekly protest against the wall which is being constructed through the area. The wall would separate the villagers from their farm land. The area has also been subject to encroachment from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat.
Palestinian News Network is also reporting military crackdowns on other anti wall protests today including at Ni Lin, Bi Lin and al Nabi Saleh. Three civilians, including a child, were said to be arrested.
The proposed wall is justified by Israeli leaders as a defensive precaution against Palestinian attacks. Palestinian and International activists say it is a unilateral land grab which makes any future Palestinian state untenable.
The Wall, ruled illegal by the International Law, is built deep in the occupied territories and isolates the residents from their lands. In a number of West Bank villages, the wall completely encircled the villages turning them into an open-air prison controlled by a gate that is open or shut down at the soldiers desire.