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Palestinians Face Down Bulldozers

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    Umm Salamuna Villagers face the bulldozers Najib Farag Wednesday, 27 December 2006 Palestine News Network
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2007
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      Umm Salamuna Villagers face the bulldozers
      Najib Farag
      Wednesday, 27 December 2006
      Palestine News Network

      Twenty Israeli military vehicles stormed Umm Salamuna Village south of
      Bethlehem to protect four military bulldozers. The bulldozers were
      massive and there to bulldoze Palestinian land for Wall construction.
      What they needed protecting from was the nonviolent demonstration that
      farmers and residents began in order to save their land.

      Hundreds of farmers rushed to the area, with people coming from
      surrounding villages to advocate for the citizens of Umm Salamuna in
      defending the land.

      Village resident Mohammad Brijeh alerted the local media to what was
      happening at 11:00 am on Tuesday. Quickly confrontations began as the
      people refused to allow Israeli forces to destroy the Palestinian
      land. Fist fights and scrambling, rifle butts and fire were the
      Israeli responses to the farmers.

      Six Palestinians were injured, including 70 year old farmer Mousa
      Mohammad. Israeli soldiers beat him in the head with clubs. He was
      wrested away by fellow demonstrators and rushed to a neighboring
      village's medical center for treatment.

      Twenty seven year old Amer has bruises all over his body and internal
      injuries due to a violent beating with clubs and rifle butts.

      President of the Umm Salamuna Village Council, Mahmoud Rashid, said
      that the Israelis intend to overtake 700 dunams of this area for the
      Wall. "The land is planted with trees, grapevines and olives, which is
      all for the families of the village, with a population of about 1,000

      The Village Council President reiterated a sentiment becoming more
      common in international, and even in some Israeli, discourse. "Israeli
      forces aim to confiscate more Palestinian land with this Wall. Their
      claim that it has anything to do with security reasons is false."

      After half an hour of Palestinians putting their bodies in harms way
      to stop the land confiscation, the Israeli bulldozers did stop. A
      group of people created a human chain, holding hands and facing the

      A woman raised her hands skyward and prayed for protection of the land
      "from these malicious plans. They want the land without the people,
      and we prefer to be buried in the mountains by the bulldozers than to
      see the land leave our hands and be overtaken by the settlers."

      Farmers were visibly ecstatic when the huge bulldozers halted the

      Eighty year old Mohammad Issa was wearing a coat and head cover to
      protect himself from the bitter cold. He leaned on a stick and cheered
      on the others to resist, encouraging citizens to not back down, to
      "move forward into the face of Israeli forces that aim only to destroy."

      Elderly Mohammad said, "We are defending our land full of olive trees
      and grapevines. We will not allow for the Wall that eats our lands."

      When PNN approached him, he said that this is the land where his
      mother gave birth to him eight decades ago while collecting wood. "My
      birth and life is here, where the olive trees are planted. How could I
      leave? I prefer death than to see the Wall eat this land."



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