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15/02/2013 Friday Demonstration

ma'sara1In Ma’asara two demonstrations were held, in solidarity with Samer Issawi and all the other palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers.

The first one was a secret action that took place before the pray around 11 am. Thirty activists reached the entrance of the nearby Efrata illegal settlement, the second biggest settlement in the West Bank, in the Etzion area. At first, fronted by only two security guards, the demonstrators managed to enter through the main gate, raising a Palestinian flag and sticking posters of Samer Issawi.

After few minutes many policemen and border-policemen came, joined also by members of the IOF special forces – a demonstrator said – closing the road and starting to throw sound bombs and teargas at the demonstrators. Five of them were injured, including 1 palestinian, 1 international activist and 3 journalists. The settlers, who were staring at the scene, started also to act violent after the police came.

The action lasted for 20 minutes. After that the demonstrators headed back towards al Ma’sara and Jorit Ashama, followed by almost 200 soldiers and police man.

After the pray, around noon, the demonstrators tried to make the usual action towards the junction road in front of the village. Most of them, though, didn’t attend this demonstration afraid to be recognized and arrested after taking part to the first action.

The IOF soldiers had already closed the road and were ready to shoot tear gas. So the demonstrators, cut down to 15 people, made a small sit in lasting about one hour.

Graduation Day for the Women Cooperative


Today at the Al Shmoh Cultural Center took place the graduation ceremony for the Women Cooperative of al Ma’sara. After an intensive needlework course, organized by the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans organization, the women have been awarded with a vocational diploma.

IMG_6524The purses, wallets and other accessories produced will be sold in an open day of the Al Shmoh Center, by the women themselves, in order to set up an example for the other people of the village and to demonstrate their empowerment as women.

This is one of the first courses that will take place in the Al Shmoh Center, one small step on the path to make it become a place of cultural gathering for the people of al Ma’sara and of the surrounding villages.


Friday by Friday – 4th January





Al-Ma’sara, 4th January 2013 – The first demonstration of the 2013 started with the bang of two sound grenades. This is the way in which today the Israeli soldiers decided to block the non violent demonstration in Al-Ma’sara. Despite the non-violent behavior of the demonstrants, almost 25 soldiers surrounded the entrance of the village, blocking the attempt of some demonstrants to reach the main road.

Al-Ma’sara and the 8 surrounding villages are threatened by the expansion of Gush Etzion settlement block and the preparation of the infrastructure for the illegal apartheid wall started in 2006. The segregation wall will be a 14km electrical fence with armed support and military guard and will annex an additional 35.000 mq. Further, the new wall will effectively isolate Al-Ma’sara and the other villages from the rest of the Palestinian communities and cuts off their main water supply, negatively impacting health and income of the villages.

Friday by Friday – 7th of December


Al-Ma’sara, 7th december 2012 – People of Al-Ma’sara village joined by international and israeli activists organized the weekly demostration, that take place every Friday from the October 2006 to protest against the Israeli occupation.
This has been the second demonstration after the UN recognition of Palestine as non-member observer State.
Despite the non-violent behavior of the demonstrants, almost 25 soldiers surrounded two entrances of the village not allowing people to reach their land. Israeli army tried to push away the demonstants using shields and harassing them but the peaceful crowd remained in front of them.


Friday by friday. Part II, one week later



This morning, as each Friday, a demonstration took place in Al-Ma’sara village. Despite the non violent behavior of the demonstrants, almost 35 soldiers surrounded the entrance of the village not allowing people to reach their land.

After the UN vote of yesterday, the demonstrants showed to the soldiers some posters with this words: “WARNING! This is illegally occupied land. STATE OF PALESTINE!”.

Friday by Friday


Al-Ma’sara, 23rd November 2012 – People of Al-Ma’sara village joined by international and israeli activists organized the weekly demostration, that take place every Friday from the October 2006, to protest against the Israeli occupation. This time the action was focused on the recent events in Gaza, to stress the point that even if a cease-fire’s agreement has been achieved (in any case a good result for Gaza’s population) it does not mean that the sources of the conflict have been eliminated. It is necessary to recognize by the part of the international community the inhuman Israel’s policy regarding Gaza and the West Bank, and most importantly, to address the right of the Palestinian population to self-determination, sovereignty and dignity.

Despite the peaceful and non-violent root of the demonstration, police and israeli soldiers blocked the demostrators before they reach the main road, trying to move them away with the sound alarm and the shields.

Despite the army and its violent methods, we’ll continue, Friday by Friday, to scream for our freedom.

They call it a farm. But it’ll be an outpost



The 6th of November Israeli trucks started to raze a Palestinian agricultural land between the villages of Wadi Rahal, Khallet al Louza and Artas, in the South Bethlehem Area.

Why this area? From 2004 to 2007, 1382 dunams of this area were expropiated in application of the Military Order 59/967. This Order allows the Israeli Army to take control over all lands defined public, state or any other lands that are not registered to people. But Israel’s manipulation of law is not recognized or validated under international law.

According to the soldiers, this land will host a farm. But it seems like the evergreen strategy of the settlers: to create a new outpost and connect the settlements. In this case, to connect Gush Etzion settlement with the settlements of Tekoa, Nokedim and five more outposts. If the outpost become reality, the Bethlehem Area will be surrounded in the North by the Wall, in the West by the Bypass Road 60, in the East by the Lieberman Road and in the South by the expansion of the Gush Etzion settlements.

Today, 7th of November, trucks continued to work and, presumably, they will continue during the next days.


Friday by Friday

Al-Ma’sara, 2nd November 2012 – Some palestinian people of Al-Ma’sara village with some international and israeli activists organise, as each Friday, a demostration to protest against the building of the Wall and the expansion of the settlements in the South Betlehm area.

The demonstrators managed to pass throght the first block of soldiers at the entrance of the village and to block a part of the junction road 3157. The purpose: to reach some lands of the village expropriated to build a new part of the Separation Wall.

Despite the peaceful and non-violent root of the demonstration, police and israeli soldiers don’t allow the demostrators to reach the lands and strongly pushed them back with the shields. Despite the army and its violent methods, we’ll continue, Friday by Friday, to scream for our freedom.



Monday 29th of October, Israeli Army and Police broke in Ar Rakeez, a village between Al Mufaqarah and Al Twuani. The purpose: to stop the building of a new water cistern. The owner, Said Mohammad Ibrahim Raba’, was beaten up and arrested. According to Palestinian witnesses the soldiers ordered the workers to stop, but Said Raba’ refused.

Nevertheless, any stop working order was never delivered by the DCO (District Coordination Office), the section of the Israeli military that works for the civil administration in the Occupied Palestinian Territories). When the internationals arrived, at 6 pm, three soldiers and a policeman were beating the Palestinian man.

While the soldiers and the policemen were holding the man, kneeled and handcuffed, around sixty Palestinians from nearby villages rushed on the scene. At 6.45 pm the Palestinian was brought to Kiryat Arba Police Station. The charge: aggression to soldiers. His daughter, 21 years old, was hospitalized because of a hit received during the military aggression. She didn’t suffer any internal damage, but she continues to have abdominal pain.

Once the Israeli army left,  about fifty Palestinians started working on the water cistern, that now is completed.
Said Mohammad Ibrahim Raba’ is still in prison and he is waiting for the trial.






On friday 19th of October took place the weekly-demo in Al-Ma’sara to celebrate 6 years of Al-Ma’sara Popular Committee struggle against occupation and the construction of the Apartheid wall.

The demo started at noon from Al-Ma’sara and after passing through the villages of Marah Ma’alla and Jurat ash Sham’a, the colorful crowd of demonstrators headed for the Junction Road 3157, peacefully invading and blocking traffic for about an hour.

The road was built by the Israeli Civil Administration to connect Gush Etzion bloc of settlements with settlements of Tekoa and Nokedim; according to the project of construction of the wall, the road will become for the exclusive use of settlers with the purpose of connecting the settlements in the West Bank with Jerusalem.

Palestinians, internationals and Israelis managed to arrive at the entrance of the road without particular difficulty forcing the blockade imposed by the army. After an initial confrontation, the demo continued its march waving Palestinian flags and posters against the occupation and singing chants to the rhythm of drums. The traffic stop involved several cars belonging to settlers and a bus with Israeli soldiers.

The event was held in the wake of the roadblock Road 443 that took place last Tuesday and organized by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee to focus on settler violence towards Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest and the system of segregation in some West Bank roads.

The demonstration ended peacefully and with the meeting of the participants of the event at the cultural center al-Shmoh.

Happy Birthday Al-Ma’sara!