A group of Palestinian protesters on Sunday evening held prayers in front of the 300 Israeli military checkpoint which is annexed to the apartheid wall north of Bethlehem, to protest against Israeli practices in Jerusalem.
The prayer went on for approximately 15 minutes in silence, and from then on the demonstration began. In light of the recently installed metal detectors in Al-Aqsa mosque compound, similar detectors had been placed in front of the wall and set on fire to symbolize objection to monitoring movement into and out of the mosque.
Posters with the words “Jerusalem4palestinians”and “Palestinian people, Muslims and Christian are united for freedom are against the Israeli aggression” captured the core of the demonstrations that were trying to send a message to the government of Israel that the Palestinian people will continue to fight and resists the occupation.
Munther Amira, Chairman of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee against the apartheid wall and settlements elaborated on this, saying “today’s activity, which was the setting up of electronic gates and burning them, aims to send a message to this occupation that any action against our people in Jerusalem, and against Al-Aqsa Mosque, is unacceptable. Our people will not tolerate any attempt to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
As the fire and the eagerness of the demonstrations were reaching its high, IOF opened fire and teargas towards the protesters from within the military gate, causing several injuries.
Amira was hit by a teargas grenade in the back and taken to hospital.
The demonstration went on for a couple of hours but the faces of the Israeli soldiers remained out of sight.
Mohamed Lahham, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, commented on the situation,” Metal detectors in Jerusalem do not mean safety and security measures, but rather political measures to further isolation of Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to Judaize it,” Lahham said.
“This is a political struggle to protect Palestinian land from theft by the Israeli government for the advantage of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israel wants to turn the conflict from political to religious, Lahham added.