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PHOTOS: Palestinian activists dismantle Israeli roadblock

Palestinian activists, accompanied by international supporters, descended on an Israeli military roadblock in the Palestinian village of Al Walaja at noon Thursday, quickly dismantling it before Israeli forces could arrive on the scene.

Palestinian and International activists remove a gate built by the Israeli army blocking the road between the village of Al Walaja and the West Bank town of Beit Jala, October 3, 2013. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

The activists used a sledge hammer to break the lock on a steel gate blocking the road between Al Walaja and the bordering village of Beit Jala. The gate had been installed by the Israeli military in the past year to prevent movement between the two Palestinian villages at the location where the Israeli separation wall will eventually be built.

Activists use the leverage of the opened gate to shift the concrete block on which it is mounted toward the edge of the hillside. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Activists used the leverage provided by the now-open gate to shift the massive concrete block on which it was anchored, eventually sending the entire apparatus tumbling down the steep hillside. The group then made a quick getaway, leaving the site before a single member of Israeli forces could arrive to interfere.

Read part 7 of Haggai Matar’s Wall project: Al-Walaja – A village turned prison

Some participants even drove through the newly opened road, passing through Beit Jala land, including the Cremisan monastery, that will be even further divided by the separation wall if it is built as planned. Many of the activists who participated in this action were attending the Bil’in International Popular Resistance Conference, taking place this week.

Palestinian and international activists move the roadblock inch by inch toward the edge of the hill. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


The block and gate tumble down the hillside in a cloud of dust as the activists cheer. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


Activists celebrate their victory before quickly vacating the scene before Israeli forces arrive. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Supreme Court ruling turns village into open-air prison 

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    1. Vadim

      I just love it when there are move people with cameras than “activists”.

      They must be very brave to do this and not fear the reprisal by the most-brutal-and-savage-and-zionist-military-in-the-world. I mean it wouldn’t require any courage had it been the Syrian army instead, but everyone knows that the IDF is much much worse.

      Reply to Comment
      • I don’t think the IDF is as savage as either the Syrian army or some to much of the opposition there. And I suspect most people who read here, even Palestinians enraged over their history and station (I, know, I, know: always already all their fault), don’t think so either. But their lives are truncated; they will live, and struggle to make a better, and not do so by the rules and logic you might decree. They want to connect with one another. They don’t want to pay for what you say they have done, for many, many have not done what you so say. Just like you, they want a better future.

        Let’s not a priori zero sum futures by declaring the IDF superior to the Syrian army, walking away.

        Reply to Comment
        • Vadim

          Greg, how I wish you were right . How I wish all they would want is to make their lives better.

          Reply to Comment
          • There is no single “them” here, just as there is no single Israeli. I believe many just want to better their lives. But they endure the blocks of occupation and social pressure to define resistance in certain ways. I have come to prefer “refusal” rather than “resistance,” that is, refusal to accept what they are told they must be, on many sides.

            But I do not live this. People see the social world around them and soon there seems only one way to be. True in Israel too.

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            Of course there is no single “them”. I wrote it like this simply because you did (“…their lives are truncated; they will live…”).

            There is a very simple course of action needed to make peace with Israel – come with a desire to make peace. It has worked well enough twice already.

            Reply to Comment
          • Of course there are Palestinians who want to kill. There are also Israelis who want to kill. Do we condemn the majority who do not (and I think that true) for the sake of these minorities?

            What “two times”?

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            Jordan and Egypt.

            Somehow when the other party is actually interested in peace with Israel – there’s peace. Even if it means giving land. Even if there’s a hardliner rightist Israeli leader in charge (from the Etzel, no less). Even following a terrible war.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Itamar

      All they want is to tear down roadblocks illegally placed on their land to separate them from other Palestinian villages to annex land for Israeli-only settlements. And so do I!

      Reply to Comment