Friday 14 November 2014

Clashes in Abu Dis

Clashes broke out yesterday evening between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. They lasted around one hour, until the Palestinian demonstrators were dispersed with tear gas.

Demonstrations are extremely common in Palestine and occur as a response to the Israeli occupation in general, the Apartheid Wall or when Israel systematically targets and kills innocent civilians across the West Bank and Gaza. 

Palestinians will usually start fires and throw stones - more of a symbolic form of resistance than an actual threat to soldiers that are armed to the teeth with some of the most advanced weaponry in the world. 

When your human rights are violated on a daily basis and your freedom of movement is restricted inside your own country, let alone outside of it, then these kinds of clashes are seen as an opportunity for many Palestinians to feel as though their voice is being heard. 

You may notice from the photos below just how young some of the demonstrators are - many of them I am teaching at Abu Dis Boys School and work with at the community centre. This is because they feel as though they have no opportunities in Palestine. Their studies are constantly disrupted by the occupation and Israeli violence and they feel as though these kinds of demonstrations will help to assist in the liberation of their land.

The kind of "illegitimate" resistance that can be seen in the following photos are used as a tool by the mainstream media to portray all Palestinians as "terrorists". Whether in Jerusalem or Abu Dis, a Palestinian with a keffiyeh wrapped around his face hurling stones is no threat to a soldier in the IDF, in full body armour and a helmet carrying the latest US-made heavy weaponry.

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