Israelis and Palestinians organize a non-violent protest against Israeli settlement near Bethlehem

January 3rd, 2008 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine, Independent Media, Politics, Repression, Resistance
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    Wednesday January 2nd, 2008 International Middle East Media Center.

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    Photo: Israeli settlement in Palestine.

On Wednesday afternoon a group of 50 Palestinians, Israelis and international Human Rights activists gathered at Har Homa settlement, known to Palestinians as Abu Ghinim settlement, which is built on land illegally taken by the Israeli army from the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The non-violent action was organized by the Israeli communist party, it came to protest against the expansion of the settlement, which comes weeks after the Annapolis Conference, and is in clear breach of the 2003 USA sponsored Road Map Peace Plan.

Har Huma was built on land illegally taken in 1995 from its Palestinian owners who lived in the city of Bethlehem; Israel annexed the land to the city of Jerusalem which it has continued to occupy since 1967.

The Israeli Premier Ehod Olmert recently denied that Har Homa is a settlement, but his views are not in tune with international law. He also recently approved 300 housing units to be added to the settlement. The UN defines any construction east of the 1967 borders as an illegal settlement, and they are widely viewed to be an obstacle to peace.

The Roadmap to Peace, which was freshly endorsed again at Annapolis, states there must be a freeze on all settlement construction, including natural growth of existing settlements. This has not happened; the cranes and bulldozers still operate daily in the streets of Har Homa.

Today the protest reached the main gates of the settlement, protesters held signs demanding the halt of construction inside this settlement, Israeli police were there but did not intervene to stop the protest.

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