Hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis participate in a joint demonstration to protest the occupation, marching along a settler highway to an Israeli checkpoint.
Photos and text: Keren Manor / Activestills
Around 400 Palestinians and Israelis marched on an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank on Friday, protesting the occupation and marking a year of joint monthly demonstrations.
The march proceeded along Route 60, the main north-south highway in the southern West Bank, which connects Jerusalem, Beit Jala, the Gush Etzion settlements and Hebron. The demonstrators were escorted by Israeli soldiers and police for the entire march, which took place in full view of the Israeli settlers and Palestinians driving past.
Israeli and Palestinian activists from Combatants for Peace gave speeches at the end of the march, as did Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi. He told the marchers: “You are the response to hatred, colonialism, repression, exclusion and aggression,” and said they were a message of “peace and hope and a different future for our sons and daughters.”
Tibi also criticized a proposed law that is currently working its way through the Knesset, which would retroactively legalize West Bank outposts, currently considered illegal even by the Israeli government. The law, he said, would make legal “the biggest land grab in modern history — the 1967 occupation.”
After the speeches, a group of young Palestinian rappers from Qalqiliya performed. They were followed by Palestinian rap artist Tamer Nafar, who was joined by Israeli spoken word artist Yossi Tzabari for the song “Ana Mish Politi” (“I Am Not Political” in Arabic).