(Photo: Fadi Arouri)
About 50 Palestinians joined by number of international activists blocked today the Apartheid Road 443 (known as Modi’in, which passes on West Bank lands, connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem). The road was blocked for about 30 minutes to Israeli and settler traffic.
Soldiers and Border Police who arrived on the scene physically attacked protestors and journalists, and used pepper spray and sound bombs. One Palestinian protestor was detained and beaten. He was released an hour later.
The direct action today was organized in light of the increasing settler terrorism against Palestinians and their properties during the current olive harvest season, including the torching, uprooting or setting fire to olive trees, the theft of harvested olives, and the attacking of Palestinian families while picking olives.
(Photo: Marshall Pinkerton)
Mohamad Khatib, of the PSCC emphasized, “We organized this action today to stress that as long as Palestinians suffer under the daily practices of the occupation and settler terror, Israeli daily life can’t continue on as normal.”
Khatib added, “We call on people of conscience around the world to support the Palestinian struggle by engaging in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, and to take serious actions to boycott companies that are complicit with the Israeli apartheid, such as Veolia, which operates transportation routes that use Road 443, which is built on Palestinian lands.”
Background, Road to nowhere: During the occupation of the West Bank in June 1967, the Israeli army destroyed the villages of Yalu, Beit Nuba and Amuasse in the Latrun enclave. ”Canada Park” and a number of settlements were built on their lands.
Most of the residents of these three displaced villages currently live in villages near Highway 443, such as Beit Liqya, Beit Sira and Beit Ur. In the eighties, thousands of acres were confiscated by Israel along the road, claiming that the road will serve as the main traffic artery for these villages to Ramallah.
However, the road has been closed for years to Palestinian vehicles. Following the High Court ruling on Route 443, a small section of the road was opened last week for Palestinian traffic, but is still nearly useless for the villagers, as access to Ramallah from it is prohibited, turning it into a highway to nowhere for Palestinians.