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  • Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis march to support village encircled by wall

    Israel's separation wall will surround the village on nearly all sides, which will separate its villagers from some 250 acres of agricultural land. Over 500 Palestinian and Israeli demonstrators marched Saturday to protest the construction of the separation wall and house demolitions in the West Bank village of Walaje, south of Jerusalem. The march started at the entrance to the nearby city of Beit Jala and proceeded along the road to Har Gilo settlement, with activists chanting against the occupation and in favor of a two-state solution. As the march got underway, Jews and Palestinians stood together forming a bridge with their hands…

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  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 7: A village turned prison

    There is no place quite like it in the entire West Bank. Residents of the village of Walajah petition the courts, demonstrate, initiate protest theater and music shows - yet still see the wall is expanding and surrounding them from all directions. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills The last time I visited Walajah I left only in the late afternoon, around dusk. It was a Friday, and the car was going downhill towards the checkpoint into Jerusalem, a breathtaking view all around, when suddenly I saw tens of Palestinians carrying bags and walking in the opposite direction. At first…

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  • Report: Busload of Harvard students detained in West Bank

     Activestills photographer Anne Paq has just released the following information: A bus full of US students from Harvard University were stopped by the Israeli army and police during their visit to Al-Walaja, led by Shereen Al Araj, member of the popular committee against the Wall and the local council. The bus with Israeli soldiers who boarded on it was escorted by Israeli military jeeps to a checkpoint where they are all detained now, including Palestinian Shereen Al Araj. This is a clear attempt to stop the solidarity visits to Al Walaja. The bus was stopped in front of the house…

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  • Bit by bit, coverage of occupation disappears from Israeli news

    At first it was only Gaza. Now – it's the West Bank. Bit by bit, without our noticing, the Israeli media has stopped reporting on the occupation. It's been two weeks now that I've been wanting to write this post. I wanted to write two Fridays ago, when it became apparent that two more West Bank villages – A-Diq and Qadum – successfully joined the cycle of popular resistance. Villages like Bil'in, Ma'asara, Ni'lin, Beit Umar and Nabi Saleh have already become known for their persistence in weekly demonstrations against the Wall and the settlements, but these two villages are…

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  • Supreme Court ruling turns village into open-air prison

    The Supreme Court gave the state a green light to continue walling in a village split between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, blocking the villagers on all four sides The Supreme Court turned down yesterday a petition against the construction of the separation wall between the village of Walajeh, so close to Jerusalem it can essentially be seen as an inlet, and the city itself. The opposition to the wall came from an unusual amount of quarters, including the villagers themselves (arguing the wall would block them from their fields, olive groves and the village water spring, as well as…

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  • Breaking: Harsh Israeli response to protest in Palestinian village

    al-Walaje, occupied West Bank - A group of about 30 international, Palestinian and Israeli demonstrators demonstrated in front of Israeli construction equipment Sunday morning, in an effort to prevent the uprooting of olive trees to make way for the continued construction of the separate wall that is to surround this village located just south of Jerusalem. Within 10 minutes of the start of the demonstrations, 1 Palestinian, 2 Internationals and 3 Israelis were arrested. Israeli protestors then negotiated with the army commander for their release. The commander responded to one Israeli by saying: "I'm keeping you here as long as…

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