“Welcome to Palestine” participants on Saturday took part in demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians protesting against Israel’s Annexation Wall in the West Bank city of Qalandya and the village of Nabi Salih. Demonstrators later took part in a act of civil disobedience when international and Palestinian activists cut and broke through the annexation barrier close to Qalandya.
Members of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ solidarity programme Saturday took part in protests around the West Bank on Saturday including acts of civil disobedience where demonstrators cut through the Israeli separation barrier in the Occupied Territories.
Earlier in the day, participants took part in a protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers on the town of Nabi Saleh. The protest was attacked by the Israeli military forces using tear gas and sound grenades.
Protesters later broke through the annexation barrier near the West Bank city of Qalandia. The protesters cut the fence using pliers and withdrew after ten minutes after placing Palestinian flags in the area behind the barrier.
The protesters later stretched the barbed wire used to separate Palestinians from their lands, homes, and family both in the West Bank and Israel across the road used by the Israeli military to patrol the barrier. Around fifty individuals were involved in the action.
Hundreds of participants of “Welcome to Palestine” were blocked from boarding flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Guriun Airport at the request of the Israeli security forces. 120 participants who made it through to Ben Gurian are currently being detained and awaiting deportation. Under fifty people were able to make it through to the West Bank to take part in the week of activities.
Saturday marked the anniversary of the 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal as well as the Israeli separation barrier which runs deep into Israeli Occupied Territory that Palestinians claim for a future state.