From Palestine

Dozens were suffocated during the weekly protest against the Apartheid Wall and settlements in Bilin village. The weekly protest was under the title of solidarity with the Palestinian prisoner's hunger strike and the olive harvest, which face a lot of difficulties this year since more than 9,000 olive trees have been cut by the occupation forces and settlers.

The weekly protest in Ni'lin marched after finishing Friday praying on the villagers' lands near the Apartheid Wall, which was in solidarity with the prisoner's hunger strike. Their message was for people to stand with Palestinian prisoners.

Al-Masara villagers and international activists participated in the weekly protest against the Apartheid Wall holding Palestinian flags and chanting "Free Palestine." Their message also included the freedom of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails.

Occupation forces didn’t close the enterance of the village as usual but hid behind trees and surprised protesters upon arrival at the Apartheid Wall with tear gas bombs. They beat the protesters, which caused some traumatic injuries to protesters as well.

Many international activists, organizations and movements are faced with doubts regarding the current debate regarding the initiative for membership of a Palestinian state at the UN and ways forward. Stop the Wall gives answers to some of the most asked questions.

Question: It seems that the initiative to ask for recognition of the state of Palestine as a member of the UN has created much debate among Palestinian people and their organizations. There are voices that say Palestinians have lost another occasion to show unity.

At not more than 15 days from the UN General Assembly session on Palestine, during which the Palestinian official leadership will present an initiative on the Palestinian state to the world community, many pros and cons are being hotly debated. Yet, even without entering these debates, one of the most serious concerns is the fundamentally flawed process underlying the UN bid. It appears to be a distressing dejá-vu of past mistakes.

Original publication: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=415804

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian team responsible for preparing the United Nations initiative in September has been given an independent legal opinion that warns of risks involved with its plan to join the UN.

A number of Palestinian civil society organizations and networks have released a document that is the result of long discussions regarding possible Palestinian statehood in September 2011. This group of civil society organizations has met with progressive political parties in Palestine and also with the Palestinian human rights council to discuss the Palestinian Authority's (PA) planned request to the UN to ask many countries in Europe and the US to recognize Palestine as a nation.

A village study of Battir was conducted by Stop the Wall around December 1, 2010. Battir is a village in the West Bank of Palestine with a population of around 5,000 people. People are employed as farmers or employees working in small projects or businesses. From the 1940s to today, farmers and the community fight against confiscation of their lands by Israel. Battir's is a story of resistance through the court system.
 
Forested hilltops surround the land of Jabai. It is a quiet village that displays the beauty of a typical Palestinian village. Less than one thousand people live here and rely on farming to provide for their basic needs. Yet Israel’s policy of land confiscation and the nearby settlers of Beit Ein have disrupted what would be a serene place to call home. 
 
The sun shines on Nahalin’s jasmine bushes that welcome visitors to this village close to Bethlehem. With a population of 7,000, it is situated on a small fraction of its former 17,000 dunams, about 6,000 dunams. Since the Oslo Accords, only 1,000 dunams of Nahalin is located in Area B, the rest is under the harsh restrictions of Area C.
 

Mazin Qumsiyeh, coordinator of the popular committee against the apartheid wall and the settlements in Beit Sahour and professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, tells the story of his arrest:

Palestine is in the headlines of the Western mainstream media again. The preparations for the elections give everyone enough news to cover – or rather: they give the media enough news to cover up what is actually developing on the ground. But it is this current situation on the ground that will, if it is not stopped in time, more effectively shape the future for the Palestinian people than any electoral process ever could.

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