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Israeli, PA forces disperse Bethlehem rally
Published Monday 29/03/2010 (updated) 31/03/2010 09:00
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Palestinian security forces try to prevent young Palestinians from hurling stones
toward an Israeli watchtower during a demonstration on 29 March 2010 against
Israeli travel resitrictions placed on Palestinians during Easter.
[MaanImages/Haytham Othman]
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Palestinian Authority and Israeli forces cracked down on protesters at a Bethlehem rally Monday protesting the continued detention of the Palm Sunday detainees, and marking Land Day.

More than 200 protesters joined the demonstration, organized by Fatah and PLO members, over the unprecedented detention of a high-ranking Fatah official on Sunday, Abbas Zaki, the first arrest of a high-ranking Palestinian official by Israeli forces during peace time.

Demonstrators included Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisin, Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti, Bethlehem Governor Abdul Fattah Hamayil, and heads of the popular committees in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala and Hebron. Zaki's wife was also present.

The march began at the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque adjacent to Rachel's Tomb, reaching the Gilo checkpoint that separates Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the site of yesterday's detentions. Israeli soldiers manning the military installation fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades toward protesters who, in turn, retaliated by pelting empty bottles and stones.

A spokesman for the Israeli police in the West Bank did not return calls seeking comment.

During the rally, Muheisin asserted the Palestinian right to non-violent resistance and condemned Israeli policy against Muslim and Christian sites and restrictions placed on Palestinian worshipers of both denominations on access to sites in Jerusalem to perform religious rites. "The day Israel destroys Al-Aqsa, Israel will be destroyed," he said.

Barghouti, who often attends anti-wall rallies in the West Bank, said "we came to Bethlehem today, and to this checkpoint that separates us from the city of Jerusalem, to affirm that we reject the apartheid wall, Judaization, and the new siege Israel has imposed on the Palestinians in Bethlehem and Jerusalem."

The detention of the Palm Sunday protesters, including Zaki, was a "tyrannical Israeli procedure," Barghouti said, aimed at deterring non-violent popular resistance. Such acts "will never stop resistance against the separation wall, settlement activity, and the siege ... Resistance will eventually triumph," he added.

Confrontations further erupted near Rachel's Tomb when PA forces intervened in the march, attacking protesters. Heated arguments ensued between journalists covering the incident and PA forces. Journalists began a sit-in near the tomb as a result.

Fatah's Bethlehem spokesman Muhammad Lahham told Ma'an that "Palestinian security behaved improperly, and despite the fact that we take into account security agreements with Israeli authorities, such assaults against journalists and protesters are never justified."

Lahham said he had spoken with Bethlehem Security Services chief Suleiman Umran, who ensured that a committee would be established to investigate the incident, vowing to prosecute any security officer found guilty of assault against journalists or protesters.
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1 ) Saladin / Croatia
29/03/2010 19:51
Well done Abbas,thats the spirit,you just keep up beating your own people and coordinate the attacks against palestinian civilians with zionist entity.What a palestinian patriot you are! About his militia there is realy no point to discus,what kind of discusting people are they,to beat your own people and on the other side pretend that you are palestinian who wants the best for his county,truly discusting!And still there are people from W.B. who says they are good,well go to hell all of you!

2 ) Tarik El Hindi / Palestine
29/03/2010 22:20
Whenever PA Security personnel use force against their own people, they establish a committee to investigate their own actions? Is this right? Why were they preventing their own people from marching against the actions of the Israeli Occupation?

3 ) Sherezade / UK
29/03/2010 22:23
Abbas wonders why he gets no respect anywhere he goes when his militia collude with Israel to allow it hold Palestinian Christians and Muslims in bondage. At holy times Abbas ensures the Palestinians are prevented access to show the almighty their love and this Judas for his ?betrayal accepts shekels in return. What Abbas does not realise is the same destiny as Judas's awaits him. ? ?

4 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
29/03/2010 22:28
Saldin/Coratia

Please tell us how the authorities in your country control a disorderly population, or should I look it up and tell you??

5 ) MICHAEL / BETHEL
29/03/2010 22:38
Mr. Obama... talk is cheap, UNSC can stop this inhuman activity throughout the occupied territories and along with US's alleged "New Policy" toward Israel, show some teeth to your claim of policy change ! The time is ripe!

6 ) Mise Eire / Ireland
30/03/2010 01:49
Shame on the PA - Israel's string puppets - foot soldiers of the occupation - zionist enforcers - SHAME ON YOU!

7 ) Niva dos Santos / Brazil
30/03/2010 07:48
PA forces??? I could swear that they were zionazis!!! The uniform is just the same; the bahavior either and the pleasure of beating young Palestinians equal!! O my Good, it's more than time of vanish Abbas and their thugs from Palestians politics and land!! GO HAMAS, TAKE WB NOW!

8 ) Saladin / Croatia
30/03/2010 15:09
Soory ben jabo i dont speak with insane zionist suporters with genocide minds and an inteligence like a chicken.But dont worry i am sure you have a lot of friends who enjoy to see inocent people getting tortured and killed every day by your zionist genocide entity.So talk to them,but please be free to stay here and continue to comment,your stupid coments always make me laugh,what a pathetic litlle man you are!

9 ) Michael / Beth
30/03/2010 15:44
HALF BAKED PA; look ,no pastry with only half it's proper ingredients is going to taste right... Pa is not a proper government in it's half baked condition. They need FULL STATEHOOD with proper leadership respectable by the people. Then you would not have all this UNCLE TOM HYPOCRISY being exercised against it's own people.

10 ) ISSAM / HOLLAND
31/03/2010 00:34
BEN JABO SHAME ON YOU ZIONIST

11 ) Palestinian activist / Occupied Palestine
31/03/2010 01:01
Ben - why don't you look up "Zoinist colonial occupation regime" instead? You will get ample feedback about "Israel", the world’s most frequently cited violator of international law, a racist state, an occupation state built through violence and slow-motion genocide. The Palestinians have the inalienable right to resist Israel's colonial regime, fool. By the way, how much are you getting paid to post here?

12 ) Ja'abari / Gaza
31/03/2010 01:20
Good job and congrate the PA police from preventing holigans from disturbing the order in neighborhood they do not belong too. Demonstrators can always make a mess in areas where the live and own the land. This city belongs to Jews but mainly to chritionans

13 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
31/03/2010 18:12
Palestinian activist

Why don't you look up the "Timelines Arab Israel Conflict", it will help to alleviate your obvious lack of knowledge

You will find it was the Arabs that first attacked Tel Hai on 31 March 1920,
then the Arab riots of 1929 & 1936, let's not forget how the ARabs intentionally violated the UN Paritition Plan, preferring to attack Isreal instead on 5/14/48

Read the history then then talk, your knowledge is so sparse it would fill a library

14 ) Ben Jabo / Egypt
01/04/2010 21:34
Why don't you just spare us the Zionist BS... Just accept gracefully that your ugly Zionist entity has finally exposed... and no amount of propaganda will now save it from its rotting and decaying self..

15 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
02/04/2010 17:15
14 ) Egypt, at least have the brains to include your name when posting

Since you seem to be from Egypt, how about telling us just why you're persecuting your Coptic Christians?

Or for that matter why you're shooting poor African's that are trying to sneak past your borders?
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