Friday, March 17, 2006


Beit Sira rallies continue but lacking exit strategy.

Sorry I haven't posted for a while but there has been a lot happening and I am playing catch up. The demonstration in Beit Sira on Friday the 10th mobilised a large section of the local population (at least the towns male population), as well as Israelis and Internationals.

The rally in usual fashion marched up the road. The road was half the size it had previously been. Where there was once road the army placed olive trees replanted from a few meters west where the wall is set to be. Yet again a generous act to try and soften the blow of land confiscation.

When we marched down the road instead of being confronted by the regular soldiers or even border police we were confronted by the armies special operations unit. The soldiers formed a thick block on the road a line and declared the area a closed military zone. They instructed the people to leave but the people of Beit Sira refused to be intimidated. However with no plans or any sort of creative action the people of Beit Sira simply stayed for what seemed like an hour and then left. This caused frustration amongst many of the young people who began the usual play of throwing stones.

Part of the problem in Palestine at moment is that there are some small villages that are protesting against the wall but they are small and other villages aren't backing them up. There are internationals and Israelis who travel the country but the only Palestinians who seem to be backing up the struggles in other towns is a handful of ISMers. The Palestinian struggle seems tired after 5 years of intifada and whilst Beit Sira and Bil'in are inspiring at the moment they are isolated.

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