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‘A year with no checkpoints’: Handing out flowers in the West Bank

In one of the first Palestinian protests of 2015, demonstrators call for 2015 to be the year of no occupation and no checkpoints.

A Palestinian man dressed as Santa Claus hands out flowers cars passing through the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, during a protest against Israeli occupation, January 1, 2015. One protester was arrested during the action. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian man dressed as Santa Claus hands out flowers cars passing through the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, during a protest against Israeli occupation, January 1, 2015. One protester was arrested during the action. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Dozens of Palestinian and international activists, some dressed as Santa Claus, protested at the Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus in the West Bank on the first day of 2015. Some of the demonstrators distributed flowers to people passing through the checkpoint.

Signs carried by the demonstrators called for: A year without occupation; A year without checkpoints; and the realization of the Palestinian right of return.

The Israeli army arrested one activist.

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A day later, Friday, the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh held its weekly demonstration. A number of demonstrators climbed onto a military bulldozer parked at the entrance of the village and waved PLO and Fatah flags on it.

The demonstrators then marched toward the village’s spring, which has been taken over by settlers. Two soldiers entered the village and a soldiers in a jeep later positioned themselves at a gas station at the entrance of the village.

Soldiers used .22 caliber bullets along with other more traditional crowd dispersal weapons to repress the demonstration.

Protesters place Fatah and Palestinian flags on an Israeli army D9 bulldozer of the during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Protesters place Fatah and Palestinian flags on an Israeli army D9 bulldozer of the during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian children argue with Israeli soldiers during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian children argue with Israeli soldiers during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli army sharp-shooter stands guard in a gas station during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli army sharp-shooter stands guard in a gas station during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Related:
On heels of small victory, tragedy strikes in overcrowded checkpoint
At West Bank checkpoint, a fleeting victory for Palestinian laborers
Segregating the evening commute to the West Bank

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    1. Pedro X

      Handing out flowers is a complete disconnect of what Palestinians have been doing in 2014. A little over a week ago Palestinians tried to burn to death an eleven year old Israel female child and her father. The child lays in an Israeli hospital with burns over 75% of her body. Her father escaped with minor burns. Only a week previous Palestinians tried to burn the child’s mother to death in a fire bombing of her vehicle.

      You may have heard of these attacks on other sites than 972mag. However you rarely hear of the rock and other Molotov cocktail attacks which happen on a daily basis. Uri Plichowski’s daughter was one of many children targeted in a rock throwing attack against Israeli children traveling home on a bus. Mr Plichowski:

      “Someone out there targeted my 11 year old daughter. They saw a school bus driving down the highway, they picked up rocks, saw my beautiful and innocent daughter smiling and laughing with her friends and made a decision to hurt her and her friends. Someone out there in a dark place wanted to hurt my daughter, and there was nothing I could do to stop them.

      I also felt shocked. Admittedly, I am a news junkie. What I found shocking about my daughter’s attack was that this incident wasn’t reported – anywhere. I understood though, after all, the attack itself wasn’t shocking; Arabs throw rocks at buses with Jewish passengers everyday. No one got hurt, the bus was bullet proof, and there wasn’t anything new to the story. Of course the only reason I paid attention or even knew of the attack was because the victims were my daughter and her classmates. This was the first terrorist attack aimed at our family.

      How sad and pathetic of a world do we live in that terror attacks have become acceptable?”

      How sad that 972mag never reports them. Instead it tries to sell an image of flower power Palestinians peacefully opposing the horrible Israeli soldiers who are attempting to protect the Israeli public from murderous Palestinian attacks, such as the killing of the worshipers at Har Hof Synagogue or the running over of a 3 month year old baby or the the knifing to death of a father of five or the killing of infants and their parents in their sleep.

      If readers want to see the real face of Palestinians, one should have gone to the Fatah Home page on which Fatah posted a picture of a rifle flying a Fatah flag positioned on top of a mound of skulls tattooed with the Star of David. Fatah since Jewish organizations brought the world’s attention to this incitement to genocide has taken the picture down from its website. Meanwhile not one mention from 972mag about Palestinian hatred and incitement to murder and genocide.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben Zakkai

      Be careful when you try to tear off masks, Pedro Hasbara! Because maybe the real face of (Jewish) Israel was revealed when 80-90% of those polled, not content with killing thousands (including hundreds of children) during Operation Protective Edge, maiming additional tens of thousands and rubbling countless homes and critical irreplaceable infrastructure, were still angry at their government for not “finishing the job.” Maybe the real face of Israel is revealed every time we steal another thousand dunams of land or hundred thousand liters of water from people who are already poor. Oh, those real faces are frightening, Mr. Pedro!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben Zakkai

        Oh, and now we’re withholding tax revenue from the PA — in other words we’re stealing (at least temporarily) money that is not ours (of course), and which is supposed to pay salaries and social benefits to many ordinary people, some of whom are already poor and just about all of whom will be struggling as long as they have no income — because Palestine had the temerity to join the ICC and threaten to hold Israel accountable for its vicious war crimes. Another real face of Israel! And then there’s the Palestinian worker who just got crushed to death at a checkpoint because we can’t be bothered to man it sufficiently. Yet another true portrait of Israel 2015! Happy New Year!

        Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        The rest of the article you cited is telling. There is a description of price tag attacks, of demolitions of homes built on lands owned by the Palestinian Israelis since before 1948, of the fact that while Jewish towns have been built not one town has been built for the Palestinian population. Roses are nice but discrimination is not.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Jan

      What the hell is the IDF doing in the villages? Why do they want to incite the people?
      Why do they want to throw tear gas, skunk water and bullets at them?
      Why do they want to beat and arrest them?

      Is it because they are ordered to do so to show the Palestinians that they have no rights under Israeli rule or is it because they are sadists?

      In either event actions on the part of the IDF create the incitement which Israeli leaders conveniently blame on the Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Should we be applauding and supporting anyone on EITHER side who is handing out flowers? Shouldn’t we be trying to reach out to this little girl and boy in a way that will reinforce their non-violence? I agree with Jan – IDF/Border Police actions only incite and intimidate. And I believe that is not by accident – but by POLICY.

      Reply to Comment
    5. It is ruger 10/22

      Reply to Comment