JAYOUS, WEST BANK: Military Turns Peaceful Protest into Stone Throwing Near “The Security Wall”

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CPTnet

December 31, 2002

JAYOUS, WEST BANK: Military Turns Peaceful Protest

into Stone Throwing Near “The Security Wall”

by Jerry Levin

A nonviolent demonstration in a West Bank town turned

to stone throwing by angry Palestinian boys when

Israeli border police moved in on the demonstrators.

The planned procession of 300 Palestinians and

internationals, including CPTers, began in a

schoolyard in the northern West Bank town of Jayous.

The group walked peacefully toward what Israel terms

the “Security Wall” and Palestinians call the “Wall of

Hate” — the wall Israel is building to separate the

West Bank from Israel.

Three Israeli border policemen and three armed civil

security guards from a local settlement halted the

procession when it was a third of the way to the wall.

After a brief but polite discussion, the procession

was allowed to continue for another third of the way

where it was stopped again.

This time the group learned that it could proceed in

half an hour; however, 20 minutes later, an Israeli

military jeep and a police jeep rolled down on the

group of protesters from behind. The two vehicles

started to push through the people to the front of the

crowd. When they had almost reached the front, two

soldiers there who were brandishing batons climbed out

of a jeep and walked through the group to their

comrades. After some seconds of angry shouting, they

fired off a percussion grenade. Then they fired four

tear gas canisters at the group.

The demonstrators began running back up the hill to

escape the tear gas. The Israeli soldiers fired shots.

Frustrated, angry Palestinian boys threw and slung

stones back down the hill at the soldiers, policemen,

and guards. Older Palestinian men tried to get the

boys to stop but did not succeed.

Israeli troops answered the stones with intermittent

retaliatory gunfire for half an hour. Reportedly, one

Palestinian was wounded, and one Palestinian was

arrested. As the demonstrators dispersed, Israeli

soldiers and police imposed a curfew on the

Palestinian residents in the area.

The “Security Wall,” when completed, will run the

length of the West Bank. In most areas it will be

built on the Palestinian side of the Green Line, which

since 1967 has marked the border between the West Bank

and Israel. Several Israel settlements and 35,000

dunams (a dunam is approximately ¼ of an acre) of

Palestinian fields and orchards in the Qalqilia

district will be confiscated and unilaterally absorbed

into neighboring Israeli settlements. As a result,

considerable income will eventually be lost to the

already hard-pressed Palestinian communities being

forcibly detached.

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