This post is written by Juliette G. (tune in to BB soon for more from Juliette):
For the past few weeks, Israeli Machinery and bulldozers have been working at the northern entrance of Bethlehem city to construct the Segregation Wall. The path of wall is almost complete in the area, confiscating Palestinian lands and olive groves, and segregating Palestinian houses located in the vicinity.
Today, the residents of Bethlehem city were out peacefully protesting against the Israeli policies and the theft of their land for the on-going construction of the Segregation Wall. The demonstration was part of a national day of action to commemorate Yom Al Ard (Land Day) in Palestine.
Approximately 100 Palestinians together with internationals marched at noon through the town of Bethlehem heading to the checkpoint where wall constructions were taking place. The demonstrators chanted, sang songs and waved Palestinian flags and posters.
As the march neared an Israeli military base and a home occupied by the Israeli army, a line of soldiers met the marchers on the street. The soldiers pushed against the leaders but the rest of the march flooded past as the chants and cheers grew louder. The process was repeated 3 or 4 times as the soldiers, realizing they were soon left at the back of the march, ran forward to try again to head off the demonstration. Each time, the march overwhelmed the army and surged ahead.
The march proceeded for several hundred meters in this manner before it was met by a large number of Israeli soldiers who parked military jeeps across the road to block the path. There, in the shadow of the Segregation Wall, the crowd sat in the street and sang songs for Palestine. The soldiers stood in a line and clutched their weapons which were loaded with live ammunition (instead of the rubber coated metal bullets which Israeli soldiers are supposed to use for crowd control).
Palestinians at the demonstration affirmed that their struggle against the Wall and the Israeli policies in the area would continue and condemned any unilateral action taken by Israel to kill the hope of Palestinians to establish their own state and their right to live on their own lands.
songs of freedom