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Israelis, Palestinians march together against the occupation

The new monthly march is held along a major settler highway, ensuring that Israeli settlers see Jews and Palestinians working together to nonviolently end the occupation.

Text by Yael Marom
Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli activists marched from the Palestinian village of Hussan to the main settler checkpoint in the southern West Bank Friday afternoon, protesting against Israel’s settlements and demanding an end to the 47-year military occupation.

The protest, which took place in an area of the West Bank under full Israeli control and where settlements are situated directly adjacent to Palestinian villages, was accompanied by Israeli army and Border Police forces the whole way. The march followed the southern West Bank’s main north-south highway, which meant it was in plain view of both Israeli settler and Palestinian traffic.

At the start of the demonstration, Israeli police arrested one of the Palestinian organizers, a member of Combatants for Peace, for reasons that were not apparent.

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian organizer of the protest, a member of Combatants for Peace, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian organizer of the protest, a member of Combatants for Peace, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The 200-plus marchers, among them members of Knesset from the Joint List Dov Khenin and Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf, as well as Meretz secretary general Mossi Raz, held signs demanding an end to the occupation, and promoting peace and dialogue. Some of the signs declared that peace is not just a dream, and, “it won’t end until we talk.”

Some of the activists also carried signs in solidarity with a left-wing Israeli activist who was arrested last week as a result of a right-wing hidden-camera ‘sting operation.’ A court gag order forbids the publication of the man’s name.

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Activists hold mock sections of the Separation Wall during a protest against the occupation on the West Bank’s main Jerusalem-Hebron highway in full view of Israeli settlers, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Activists hold mock sections of the Separation Wall during a protest against the occupation on the West Bank’s main Jerusalem-Hebron highway in full view of Israeli settlers, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli settlers are not used to seeing Jews and Palestinians demonstrating together in what is normally an Israeli-army dominated space. That the protest took place in plain view of passersby, mostly setters, was intended to challenge their absolute control over the area.

No small number of Israeli passersby reacted angrily, cursing and even physically threatening the demonstrators.

Israeli settlers react to the anti-occupation protest along a major West Bank thoroughfare, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli settlers react to the anti-occupation protest along a major West Bank thoroughfare, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“This occupation is an ongoing injustice for both nations,” MK Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf (Hadash) said. “This protest demonstrates that there is another way, a path of peace and hope and not despair. You can’t find another occupation like this in the 21st century. We need to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state along ’67 borders — two states for two peoples.”

Combatants for Peace co-director Sulaiman Khatib called on both Palestinian and Israeli activists to join the monthly protests marching on the “Tunnels Checkpoint” near the Bethlehem-area town of Beit Jala.

“We all know that there is no military solution,” Khatib said. “We need a third way, which is not just Israel and not just Palestine — a path of dialogue and joint nonviolent struggle.”

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Israelis and Palestinians march along the major Hebron-Jerusalem highway in the southern West Bank demanding an end to the occupation, Beit Jala, West Bank, January 15, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Yigal Elhanan, whose sister Smadar was murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, said at the protest: “We in the Bereaved Families Forum don’t want more families to lose their loved ones. Let’s stop this before that happens.”

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    1. carmen

      “We all know that there is no military solution,” Khatib said. “We need a third way, which is not just Israel and not just Palestine — a path of dialogue and joint nonviolent struggle.”

      Amen to that!

      Reply to Comment
    2. ayoub rajabi

      Good work .fantastic

      Reply to Comment
    3. Yvette Olof

      Yes!! Let everybody in Israël take an example in this!! Hope!!!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Gustav

      This sums up the attitude of the Palestinian Arabs…

      No, no, no we won’t sign a peace deal which is not a dictate for terms of surrender by Israel…

      No, no, no, we refuse to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people….

      Yes, yes, yes we will commit violence until we succeed to convince you that you have no other option but to bow to our wishes….

      Oh, poor us, the occupation, oh how Israel makes us suffer for no reason at all…

      Add water, stir and repeat This sums up the attitude of the Palestinian Arabs…

      No, no, no we won’t sign a peace deal which is not a dictate for terms of surrender by Israel…

      No, no, no, we refuse to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people….

      Yes, yes, yes we will commit violence until we succeed to convince you that you have no other option but to bow to our wishes….

      Oh, poor us, the occupation, oh how Israel makes us suffer for no reason at all…

      Add water, stir and repeat ad nauseam…

      Reply to Comment
      • Aussie Mark

        What a lot of nonsense. Israel has already been formally recognised as a sovereign state, well over 20 years ago (during Arafat’s time), so how many times do they want the Palestinians to repeat this? And you conveniently left out that it was Israel that said “NO” over 12 years ago to the Arab League peace plan in which peace was offered with the whole Arab world and not only the Palestinians. The plan is still on the table today and has US support with minor changes. Israel made peace Jordan and Egypt years ago, so there is no excuse it cant be done with the Palestinians. Unlike Egypt and Jordan, the Palestinians would have no military. Israel continually uses “security” as an excuse for the occupation. The truth is it has nothing to do with security but rather that Israel is “addicted” to the occupation. I just don’t understand why, with all that happened during world war 2, the Israelis would continue to subjugate and humiliate an entire population for almost 50 yrs. I suppose the only glimmer of hope is that websites such as this show the number of people that do not support the occupation, is growing very quickly.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Nonsense. The API includes the right of return demand which is a recipee for Israel’s destruction.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            To this day, the PLO refuses to amend it’s charter which explicitly states their intention to terminate the existence of the Jewish state.

            The PLO promised to amend their charter in letters written prior to the OSLO accord. They never delivered on that promise. That is normal for the PLO. But people like Aussie pretend to remember only the bits they WANT us to remember.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Wrong. As accepted by Likud and Netanyahu himself, the charter was altered in 1998.

            “Like President Clinton, Israel and the Likud party now formally agreed that the objectionable clauses of the charter had been abrogated, in official statements and statements by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Sharon, Defense Minister Mordechai and Trade and Industry Minister Sharansky.[13][14][15][16] With official Israeli objections to the Charter disappearing henceforward from lists of Palestinian violations of agreements,[17] the international legal controversy ended.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Covenant

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Read the rest of your own link and stop quoting selectively from it. Your own link clearly backs up what I said. The PLO did not actually mend it’s charter contrary to their 1998 promise to do so and their previous promises.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Learn to read, zhulik, and stop squawking selectively like a demented Zionist parrot. Felix Reichert’s link clearly backs up what he wrote. And neither the Palestinians, nor “the PLO”, actually owe your precious little mamzer state a favor, beryeh-leh, contrary to what your antipodean mama may have taught you and her previous promises.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            LOL, what have we got here? Super parrot is back. He shed his mild mannered persona of Benny Kent by donning his colorful parrot cape in a phone booth and he is going to aquak us to death. Oh dear, what will become of us? Super parrot fearless guardian of this site is after us… oh dear…. LOL, LOL,LOL…

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            LOL, and what have we got here? Super stupid Zionist mamzer parrot is back, squawking for his precious little mamzer state…and he is going to squawk us all into a coma. What will become of him? Super stupid Zionist guardian of his precious little Zionist mamzer state, after its blight is extinguished…oh dear…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

            Reply to Comment
    5. Felixio

      Is very exiting to see people together for the good of all. Hope to see a solution for this 70 year problem solved soon and the prevail of law and democracy.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      “Israeli settlers are not used to seeing Jews and Palestinians demonstrating together in what is normally an Israeli-army dominated space. That the protest took place in plain view of passersby, mostly setters, was intended to challenge their absolute control over the area.”

      Excellent tactic. Looks like those guys in the car with their middle fingers extended aren’t taking it too well. Such peace seekers, they. Neither are the Israeli Police. They had to go and arrest a peaceful organizer of this nonviolence and do it like gangsters. How dare those Palestinians join Jews in nonviolent protest? The nerve of them. Who ever heard of such a thing? Why it’s a public menace. We can’t have peace and solidarity breaking out. What’s next? A two state solution? Oy vavoy! Arrest them!

      Next time these arm-twisting Israeli police go to arrest a peaceful Arab demonstrator like this Dov Khenin and Mossi Raz should lock arms with the Arab person and tell the police: “You arrest him and you’re going to have to arrest me too.” Let’s see the police twist their arms and throw them in jail too. It needs to happen.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Gustav

      Nothing wrong with marching for peace so long as the lack of peace is not blamed on the wrong party who happen to be the Palestinian Arabs.

      The other thing which is problematic is that I can just smell the nostalgia emanating from elderly hippies and naive youngsters they swayed. Nostalgia for the old Vietnam peace marches. The problem is that the Arab Israeli conflict has nothing to do with the old Vietnam war.

      Reply to Comment
      • Israel

        “The problem is that the Arab Israeli conflict has nothing to do with the old Vietnam war.”

        No shit, Zeyde-leh…LOL.

        The problem has everything to do with mamzer Zionist filth invading and colonizing the indigenous Palestinian Peoples’ Homeland over 100 years ago – and their mamzer Zionist proxies, all of whom hate the indigenous Palestinian people passionately, just for being alive and standing their ground and daring to resist the violent invasion, occupation and colonization of their Palestinian Homeland by deranged foreign Zionist invaders and gangsters, like any people would.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Rage on, stupid. It makes me feel good that I got under your skin, you demented parrot.

          Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Awww, shucks, you poor little Zionist beryeh-leh, always the kimpetoren. Here, have a kimpet-tzettel:

            The problem has everything to do with mamzer Zionist filth invading and colonizing the indigenous Palestinian Peoples’ Homeland over 100 years ago – and their mamzer Zionist proxies, all of whom hate the indigenous Palestinian people passionately, just for being alive and standing their ground and daring to resist the violent invasion, occupation and colonization of their Palestinian Homeland by deranged foreign Zionist invaders and gangsters, like any people would.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Aw shucks, you and your Arabs are the foreign invaders. Go back to the Arabian peninsula, you demented parrot.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Gustav

      I blame the Palestinian Arabs for the lack of peace. That in turn perpetuates the occupation.

      No peace = no end to the occupation.

      Reply to Comment
      • Israel

        I blame your antipodean mother for feeding you Zionism. That in turn perpetuates brain damage.

        Feeding babies and small children Zionism = Child abuse

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Yea, yea, yea, demented parrot. Kus Ommak to you too, LOL.

          Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Do you kiss your your antipodean mamzer mama with that mouth, beryeh-leh…LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Like I said, demented parrot, kus Imchah. Don’t you understand Arabic? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            And like I said, you filthy anti-Semitic Zionist mamzer parrot son of a Zionist shiksa mamzer, do you kiss your antipodean mamzer mama with that mouth…LOL.

            Reply to Comment
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