January 4th 2004, 8am
About 500 villagers of Budrus, West Ramallah will attempt to return to their land from 10am this morning. They will be accompanied by about 20 International and Israeli activists.
Today will be the 6th day of peaceful demonstrations against the building of the Apartheid Wall through the villages of Budrus, Nihilin and Medea.
Last week, soldiers and police violently broke up the demonstrations using massive amounts of gas and rubber bullets, beating Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals alike (including a Swedish MP) and invading the village and shooting live bullets.
Over 60 people were taken to hospital last week in Budrus from being shot at close range in the head and chest with rubber bullets. Soldiers were seen beating girls and old women with rocks and batons and even throttling one young woman. Soldiers occupied two houses at one point, severely beating the families inside. Although the Israeli Occupation Forces declared the olive groves of the village to be a "closed military zone" and imposed both curfew and closure on Budrus, this did not stop the residents from gathering every morning in the town centre and marching peacefully down the hill to their land.
In the past month, eight Budrus residents have been arrested for taking part in peaceful demonstrations including three boys last week. Over the weekend, the Israeli Occupation Forces conducted night invasions into the town, arresting Na'eem Morar, one of the co-ordinators of the Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall, in his home.
IWPS Press Update, 11:20am 4th January 2004
A peaceful demonstration of Palestinians and Internationals is once again on the verge of being violently attacked by the Israeli army. Right now, soldiers are chasing a demonstration through the streets, and have beaten some people with batons. Soldiers are now aiming their guns at the internationals and have tried to arrest some of them. The internationals are not breaking any law by participating in peaceful resistance to the Apartheid Wall in Palestine.