At least 350 Israeli, Palestinian and international activists joined a nonviolent protest on Friday near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Combatants for Peace Movement, in collaboration with a number of Palestinian and Israeli NGOs organized “The Freedom March the Last Day of Occupation is the First Day of Peace” against the occupation and the violence it creates. Members of Israeli Kemeset Dove Hanin and Abedullah Abu Ma’rouf also joined the protest. The march started from the Batteer village roundabout adjacent to road 60 at 1:30 pm. protesters tried to close the settlers’ road using poppets representing the wall and the famous Handala Palestinian cartoon. Troops then kidnapped Badier Al Hriyine, a member of Combatants for Peace Movement.

The protesters continued along the road 60 until they reached the Israeli checkpoint known to locals as the tunnel checkpoint, that separates the town of Beit Jala from Jerusalem. There troops surrounded the protest and did not allow it to move forward.

Addressing protesters, MK Abedullah Abu Ma’rouf said “ this protest aims to demand an end to the occupation that is suffocating the Palestinian people, the occupation government of Netanyahu is a shot way to death and we want peace and an end to the occupation.”

From his part, Suliman Al Khateeb, from Combatants for Peace Movement said “ we are standing here Palestinians, Israelis and internationals together united against the occupation and the violence it creates, we will organize a similar protest every month to assure that ending the occupation is vital foundation to achieve peace.”

Combatants for Peace Movement is a group of Palestinians and Israelis who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence in the region: Israeli soldiers serving in the army and Palestinians as combatants fighting to free their country, Palestine, from the Israeli occupation.

CFP believes that the conflict cannot be resolved, through military means, by either of the parties, but only through joint action, can we break the cycle of violence and put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The movement calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the border of June 4, 1967, alongside Israel. CFP uses nonviolent means and call on both nations to join us to achieve peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis.