Thursday, April 06, 2006

Beit Iba Checkpoint Occupied by Peace

This article was taken from the ISM website. I thought it's quite interesting to show that Palestine is an International issue and it is being dealt in a peaceful way with some humour.

Palestinian, Israeli and international activists from ISM and IWPS celebrated the new year and their continuous determination to jointly fight the occupation by peacefully taking over Beit Iba checkpoint, north of Nablus. Following a call of local activists from Nablus over one hundred Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, many of them dressed up as clowns and Santa Clauses, marched to the checkpoint from both sides chanting and playing drums and trumpets.

They succeeded to join each other in the middle of the checkpoint and to deliver their demand for freedom and to end the occupation to the Israeli soldiers on the spot. Activists, including one dressed as Santa Claus, handed out chocolates to the Soldiers, calling on them to drop their guns and join the peaceful struggle against the occupation.

Beit Iba is one of several checkpoints isolating the city of Nablus and its 200,000 inhabitants from the surrounding villages and the rest of the West Bank, and is notorious for daily harassment and other abuses faced by Palestinians. As a result of the continuous siege of Nablus since the beginning of the Intifada, all aspects of live in the area are severely interrupted: teachers and students face daily difficulties on their way to school and universities, patients are delayed or stopped on their to hospitals and doctors and farmers are often unable to bring their products to the market. Recently Nablus residents under the age of 35 are denied their right to leave the city, but depending on what the Israeli army calls the ìsecurity situationsî this can also apply to all Nablus residents regardless of their age.

By taking over the checkpoint and crossing it without showing their ID-cards to the soldiers, the activists confirmed the right of all Palestinians for freedom of movement, without being at the mercy of the Israeli military and its illegal occupation. In an attempt to regain control of the checkpoint the soldiers started closing the checkpoint with barbed wire and pushing the activists, separating them from each other, and prevented many activists from Nablus from coming back into the city.

Two Palestinian activists were detained and arrested by the Israeli military; one is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, the other a Palestinian man from the Nablus region. They were released after paying bail in the amount of 2000 shekels and were accused of having assaulted a soldier, despite the fact that the demonstration was peaceful and non-violent.

For more Information call
ISM Media Office: 02-297 18 24

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