In response to the Israeli military assault on the town of Beit Hanoun
that left over 75 Palestinians dead in one week, including 18 civilians
killed in an artillery strike Wednesday, Palestinian people throughout
the West Bank and Gaza have responded with large non-violent protests
and marches demanding an end to the violence, and a pullout of Israeli

Yesterday in Beit Hanoun, a mass funeral for the victims of Wednesday's attack became a political rally, in which many of the thousands of attendees chanted slogans vowing revenge against Israel for their ongoing killing of Palestinian civilians.  Marches also took place in Gaza City, Rafah, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus and Jerusalem.  The Jerusalem protest was repressed by the Israeli border police, who beat a number of protesters and took several as prisoners.

And today, the weekly nonviolent protest in the village of Bil'in, near Ramallah, became a rallying cry for an end to the Israeli violence in Gaza.

In addition, protests in the Jerusalem area have again been beaten down today by Israeli border police, and Israeli authorities have closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque to anyone under 45 years old on this, the weekly day of prayer for Muslims.

At the same time, the Palestinian factions have formed a committee to finalize the terms for a national unity government that they hope will finally end the impasse that has followed the Palestinian people's election of the Hamas party in January.  The latest Israeli violence seems to have united the Palestinian people, as no Palestinian political leader had been able to do, behind the unity government effort.