Demonstration by Palestinians in the Jordan Valley against house demolitions (Humsa) and other Occupation injustices.

Observers: 
Rachel A., a group from Ta’ayush Translator: Charles K.
Nov-24-2020
|
Afternoon

Demonstration by Palestinians in the Jordan Valley against house demolitions (Humsa) and other Occupation injustices.

This demonstration wasn’t covered on social networks nor in other Israeli media and was solely a Palestinian initiative.  Some say it was the Palestinian Authority’s initiative.  A notice was posted on the WhatsApp group that escorts shepherds in the Jordan Valley.  The gathering’s location and time were transmitted informally so the army won’t prevent the demonstration.  Eventually, only a few dozen Palestinians came, from throughout the Jordan Valley, and a few Israelis from Ta’ayush.  Many Palestinian journalists, almost more cameras than people.  The meeting location changed when the army prevented a large group of Palestinians from traveling down to the Jordan Valley, so the demonstration was held at the Tayasir crossing.  It wasn’t a demonstration of local residents, nor were there participants who lived in the Jordan Valley.  No women, no youths.  It did appear to have been organized by a higher authority.  By those who know, and want to make a point.

We were joined by many, many soldiers.  When we attempted to join the group of Palestinians who were coming from Tayasir to the crossing, the army tried to prevent us from meeting them, but it understood they couldn’t.

The Palestinians, with Palestinian flags, signs and a bullhorn – men – marched firmly toward the soldiers.  Very soon the two groups mixed, the soldiers hastily attempting to get organized, and we’re in the midst of it all hearing the commands:  run there, stand here, form a blocking line, run this way and that, come back, go – until a Palestinian threw a redemptive rock that allowed the soldiers to do what they know best, fire shock and smoke grenades (there’s disagreement over whether there was tear gas, but on the evidence of my burning eyes, nose and throat you can bet your sweet ass there was).  I didn’t know where to go because there were Palestinians and soldiers on both sides, while the dance grew even more complicated – sometimes the soldiers pulled back and sometimes they surged ahead.  The photographers stood on the side with their cameras drawn, enjoying every minute.

The military force included female soldiers with weapons drawn.  One defended the homeland with particular valor, yelling, pushing Palestinians who dared cross the imaginary line set by the soldiers.  An older Palestinian decided to confront everyone and came right up to the soldiers who didn’t know how to deal with him until younger Palestinians arrived and pulled him away.  Another soldier fell upon an Israeli member of the Ta’ayush group, screaming he’ll shoot him between the eyes (according to what we were told later).  The disorder was unparalleled.

חיילת, צלם ומפגינים

I’ll never forget this scene:  a line of soldiers and officers, weapons drawn, blocks the road, a group of irate sign-carrying demonstrators stands facing them, and then one of the armed representatives shouts to them, “Why aren’t you wearing masks?” (COVID, remember?), pointing to the Jews, one by one, “Why aren’t you wearing masks?”

Imagine if the army hadn’t shown up and the demonstration had proceeded quietly on Yusuf’s land. What would I write about?  Dozens of people marching, flying banners with venerable slogans, With blood and fire we’ll redeem Palestine.  So what’s new?  A young man from Ta’ayush who lives in Barkan wasn’t able to hide his deep frustration at what had transpired.  But he’ll grow up and understand that we can’t change the world.  Just do what little we can.

You can also see videos and photos on Sabi's Facebook 

https://www.facebook.com/sabi.telavivjaffa/posts/10221977073788900

From reading a Palestinian website, I understood that the demonstration continued after we left. You can read in the following link

https://www.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/13351

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