Friday, May 19, 2006

Tanya Reinhart reports on the struggle to stop The Wall: "The army decided to treat this action with the harshest of measures, perhaps to send a signal to Israeli activists to stay out of the Palestinian struggle. The soldiers immediately started firing live rounds. A sniper, identified in Ha’aretz as N.,[16] aimed carefully at the knee of one of the protestors, Gil Na’amati; Na’amati was shot in the knee, and the thigh of his other leg. This careful targeting of the smallest parts of the body, like the knee, requires extensive training and it is part of a technique developed by the Israeli army in the occupied territories since the early stages of the present intifada. It is designed to severely injure and disable people, without killing them."

"This Saturday evening hundreds of furious demonstrators, many of them young, blocked the road in front of Tel Aviv's Defense Ministry for hours... "

"Paradoxically, the army’s attempt to scare the Israeli activists, and put an end once and for all to their presence in the Palestinian villages, gave considerable momentum to the struggle against the wall in Israel. This was the first time the army had used live ammunition against Israeli demonstrators - and this in a situation where there was absolutely no danger to the soldiers. There was a widespread feeling that a line had been crossed. Though Israeli society tolerated such violence against Palestinian demonstrators, and even remained relatively passive over the cases of the various internationalists shot earlier in the year, this episode could not so easily be ignored. The event, the anarchist participants, their parents and the subsequent protests, were covered heavily in the Israeli media."

"The people of Budrus did manage to organize, unite and sustain the struggle, despite the lack of support, and even obstacles, put in their way by the Palestinian Authority. Indeed this time, unlike in Mas’ha, the village’s Fatah party joined the struggle. Budrus provided the first successful model for a popular grassroots struggle in the West Bank, clearly defining the principles of non-violent civil resistance."

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