Dozens of Palestinians, joined by participants from around the world, held a peaceful protest in the West Bank village of al-Ma’sara on Friday demanding an end to the occupation and the construction of the apartheid separation wall.Al-Ma’sara is one of many Palestinian villages to be cut off from access to its agricultural lands and water supplies by illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Peaceful protestors have gathered after Friday prayers every week for the past six years to demonstrate against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
For the most part these demonstrations have been met with Israeli military blockade, but only rarely with violence – the same cannot be said for other peaceful weekly protests around the West Bank. Israeli soldiers often lob tear gas and flash grenades into crowds of demonstrators or fire rubber bullets into the crowds.
Some Israeli soldiers laughed and spoke with a multinational group from the United States and Europe. They spoke of their own begrudging participation blockading the streets of al-Ma’sara each week to squash civil participation in such protests and demonstrations. At least one soldier issues verbal threats and swore at the peaceful demonstration, which included several unarmed children.