On Friday 17 July the MPT summer team joined local villagers, Israeli activists and other internationals in Al Mas’sara, south of
Marching to the closed military zone that houses the nuclear weapon
Soldiers lined up behind barbed wire fence
The demonstration lasted about and hour and no one was injured. Although the army threatened to arrest everyone present if ‘they did not leave in five minutes’ no one was arrested and protestors left on their own terms fifteen minutes later. One brave woman crossed the barbed-wire fence to visit her father’s home, which lay on the other side of the closed military zone that housed the nuclear weapons the soldiers were ‘protecting’, demonstrating her resistance to the occupation of her village’s land. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has had a devastating impact on this woman on numerous occasions. Her husband was murdered by Israeli soldiers, her son is in prison serving a 27-year sentence, and her home was also demolished by the military (pictured below).
This woman bravely crossed the barbed wire
Al Mas’sara is a village of one thousand people dependent on
After the demonstration, MPT met with leaders from Al Mas’sara’s Committee Against the Wall where they learned that villagers have been protesting every Friday since November 2006, when the Wall was first being constructed in the
Demonstrators get face-to-face with soldiers in Al Mas'sara
Mahmoud, Mayor of the Al Mas’sara Committee Against the Wall explained that nonviolent demonstration and resistance was the only acceptable way for his village to fight against the Israeli Occupation, and that the hope of the Palestinian people was stronger than any Israeli weapon. Mahmoud also explained that the goal of the Committee is to unify Palestinians through nonviolent popular resistance as well as unify the Palestinian people with Israelis and internationals and show the international community the effects of Occupation and the situation on the ground.
Mahmoud explained that
(Above: Israeli activists stand with Palestinians when the army threatens to arrest protestors.)
On 1 May 2009 seven villagers were arrested for nonviolently demonstrating against the Separation Wall, it cost $22,000
Speech given in Arabic and English
The speech was translated into Hebrew by an Israeli activist so that the soldiers, to whom part of the speech was specifically directed, could understand.