Over the past days, Palestinians in the West Bank have reacted to the Occupationâs massacre in Gaza with outrage with protests and street clashes between youth and soldiers.
***image2***On Saturday, around 250 people marched through downtown Ramallah in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Sunday afternoon saw a similar protest, although the number of demonstrators increased to over 500. The protests were co-organized by the national and Islamic forces along with civil society organizations. The marches transcended party lines, with Fateh, Hamas, PFLP and DFLP symbols all present among the Palestinian flags. People expressed their disgust with Occupation killings in Gaza and the failure of the international community to act. At the Sunday demonstration, protestors also openly voiced their anger at the PA, targeting the minister of information who has stated that the launching of Qassem rockets caused the siege of Gaza. The people understand this statement is both an incitement against the people of Gaza as well as justification for Israeli crimes and have called for his resignation.
Later in the day, more than 150 youth at the Qalandiya refugee camp faced down Occupation soldiers in the streets in front of the checkpoint. On the main road connecting Jerusalem to Ramallah they created roadblocks with rubble, dumpsters and burning garbage. The youth hurled stones and glass bottles at Occupation soldiers and jeeps. The Occupation fired rubber bullets and tear gas, failing to disperse the crowd. Some young men took up positions on the rooftops near the soldiersâ positions, their stones met with more rubber bullets and sound grenades.
***image3***The confrontation at Qalandiya is part of a wider uprising that occurred across the West Bank. Over the past two days, from the north to the south, solidarity protests and clashes have taken place. Yesterday in Bethlehem, Hebron and Bilâin, both organized and spontaneous protests were met with force. In Bilâin and Bethlehem demonstrations were organized both against the Wall and the bombing of Gaza. Occupation forces clashed with youth, injuring a number with rubber bullets. Protests also occurred in Hebron, with soldiers invading the city, killing on young boy and wounding scores of others.
The scenes today were reminiscent of the first intifada. Not only in the centre of Ramallah, but across the West Bank, shops and businesses closed. Youth spontaneously confronted soldiers, and stones and burning roadblocks littered the Qalandiya checkpoint. Palestinian liberation is and remains a peoplesâ struggle.