Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Demonstration to open road at Qariut Checkpoint

By Lien S. - September 13, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Apartheid] [Popular Struggle Coordination Committee ] [Qariut]

All photos by Eugene Peress.


On Tuesday 10 September, around 100 protesters tried opening the road that leads from Qariut village, situated between Ramallah and Nablus, to the main road that connects these two cities. Ever since the Second Intifada, the road has been closed for Palestinians by the Qariut checkpoint, supposedly for security measures. Today, the road can only be used by the Israeli army and settlers living in the neighboring Shilo settlement, built on land belonging to Qariut. As a result, settlers can reach the main road in five minutes, whereas Palestinians need to take a detour of up to an hour. 

The action was organized by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.. “In the past, every committee would organize actions separately, but for the past year and a half, we have been working together and coordinating our activities,” one of the coordinators explained.

A number of roadblocks and flying checkpoints were put in place by the Israeli army to prevent the activists from reaching the demonstration. The soldiers even had a list of the activists’ names ready to arrest them when trying to pass. Five activists were arrested at the second flying checkpoint, about a dozen at the third. According to the volunteers, the military might have deducted the time and place of the action by monitoring their phone calls or Facebook accounts. “We try to arrange everything face to face to avoid these situations, but when you are coordinating with a big group of people, you have to communicate some details over the internet or on the phone,” one of them added. 

Salah Khawaja, the coordinator of Ni’lin’s Popular Struggle Committee, being arrested at the protest.

By the time the second group reached the place of action, around 100 demonstrators that had arrived to the meeting spot beforehand had already been driven up a nearby hill by Israeli soldiers. Salah Khawaja, the coordinator of Ni’lin’s Popular Struggle Committee, was arrested at the place of the demonstration and would be released again the next morning. 

At the end of the day, the activists did not succeed in opening the road, but according to Mahmoud, coordinator of al-Massara’s Committee Against the Wall, opening the road was not the most important thing that day. “The rope has eaten (sic) from the rock,” he said. “When you pull up water from a well using a rope and a bucket, after a while, the rope will start to fray from rubbing up against the rock. That is what we did today.” 

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