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Anit-wall rally in Al-Ma'sara prevented from reaching protest site

Aug. 15, 2008 5:41 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 15, 2008 5:41 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Dozens of residents of the village of Al-Ma'sara south of Bethlehem were attacked with Israeli sound bombs, clubs and rifle butts as they tried to reach their protest site outside of Bethlehem.

The group of Palestinians, Israelis and international activists were surprised to find the route to the construction site of the separation wall, where they hold regular non-violent protests, blocked with barbed wire and dozens of Israeli soldiers.

After trying to continue towards the wall several protesters were lightly injured as Israeli troops stopped them from moving forward.

The protest was held where the road was blocked, and three different speeches were given.

The spokesperson of the popular anti-wall committee in Bethlehem Muhammad Breijiyya gave the first speech, which focused on the recent death of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish who was the writer of the Palestinian struggle.

A second speech was delivered in English by local leader Mahmoud Zawahra, who urged foreign solidarity activists to continue partaking in popular activities in Palestine, saying that he believed their participation will lead eventually to a Palestinian triumph over occupation.

Representative of the Bethlehem anti-wall campaign Mazin Al-Azzah delivered the last speech, here he thanked all who participated, and promised the peaceful protests would continue.

The Al-Ma'sara protest was organized by the Palestinian popular campaign and national anti-wall committee. Protests are held weekly where dozens of local residents along with foreign and Israeli solidarity activists gather and try to reach fields where the wall is being constructed.

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