Ramadan began on the first day of August with Israeli violence in the West Bank. On the first holy Friday of the month, weekly village protests were held in addition even more demonstrations. Seemingly eclipsed in international media by protests in Israel against spending cuts, popular resistance against the Occupation has not paused, despite this holy month of fasting and internal reflection.
On Monday, August 1, 2011, the first day of Ramadan, 22-year-old Mutasim Issa Udwan and 25-year-old Ali (last name unknown) were killed by the Israeli army in the Qalandia Refugee Camp. They were shot at close range by Occupation forces. The same day, clashes erupted at the nearby Qalandia checkpoint following he funeral of the two martyrs.
On Friday, August 5, 2011, soldiers fired tear gas at weekly Friday demonstrators in the village of Bilin, west of Ramallah in the West Bank. After Friday prayers, protesters gathered in an area of land that was recently returned to Bilin by Israel. In the village of Nabi Saleh, also near Ramallah, is another site of weekly Friday protests. This week, protesters in Nabi Saleh were “also targeted by Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber coated steel bullets at protesters,” said a local report. The weekly protests were held despite the fasting and reflective atmosphere that is a part of the Ramadan holy month. In addition to the weekly protests in Bilin and Nabi Saleh, a non-violent rally was also held on Friday, which was organized by the residents of Kafr Qaddum. Kafr Qaddum is located east of Qalqiliya. Protesters marched in demand that their main road to the village be re-opened after nine years. The march is becoming a weekly event, this Friday’s being the sixth. Hundreds of residents and international human rights defenders marched from the center of Kafr Qaddum to the blocked entrance.