Protests in Palestine mark anniversary

June 9, 2007

On June 5, thousands of Palestinians and international solidarity activists throughout Palestine marked the 40th anniversary of al Naksa (the calamity), the beginning of the 1967 war and the illegal seizure of the Palestinian territories.

In Nablus, hundreds of Palestinians and supporters marched to Huwarra Checkpoint on the outskirts of the city demanding that it be closed. At the conclusion of the demonstration, protesters planted olive trees just metres from the illegal checkpoint. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), there are 528 checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank.

The demonstration — one of dozens that took place throughout the OPT — also called for an immediate end to the illegal Israeli occupation, the dismantling of settlements and the tearing down of the apartheid wall.

In Bethlehem, more than 100 people rallied at Nashash checkpoint, which is located between Bethlehem and Hebron city in the southern part of the West Bank. According to reports by the International Middle East Media Centre, the checkpoint was forced to close for 20 minutes.

The Israeli group Peace Now reports that hundreds of its activists travelled to Hebron to mark the anniversary and to protest continuing "settlement activity", but Israeli occupation forces attempted to prevent the demonstration from going ahead. In Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces surrounded a number of venues preventing planned protests.

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