Jayyous is the focal point of non-violent demonstrations against the separation wall crawling across the West Bank. In response to the ongoing weekly protests against the construction of this aparthied wall (which appropriates 8% of the West Bank) have been met with a swift and brutal Israeli response. From a report by Mohammad Ethman posted on Mondoweiss (and with additional reporting from the Palestine News Network):
In the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, Occupation forces raided the village of Jayyous and arrested at least 65 people. Both entrances to the village have since been blocked off with mounds of dirt and stones, and an indefinite curfew has been imposed. Soldiers have also occupied 10 homes throughout Jayyous, and have erected Israeli flags on each of these houses.
Just after midnight, 25 Jeeps and 75 soldiers on foot entered the village and began conducting house-to-house raids, forcing their way into homes at gunpoint and arresting dozens of youth, including the son of the mayor of Jayyous. The soldiers beat whoever tried to prevent them from breaking into the houses, including at least one elderly woman.
After conducting the raids, the Occupation forces brought a bulldozer into the village to seal off the two entrances to the village with mounds of dirt and stone. They then began shouting in loudspeakers throughout the village that Jayyous had been placed under curfew, and they proceeded to occupy 10 houses, enabling them to control the village from strategic rooftops.
For several weeks now, Jayyous has been the site of intense repression at the hands of Occupation forces, who have not hesitated to enter the village and indiscriminately fire live bullets and tear gas. However, this operation conducted by the soldiers is the most large-scale crackdown to date. On Sunday evening, soldiers entered the village and destroyed a newly-painted mural on the Jayyous municipality building, for no other reason than to harrass and anger the people. The aim of the Occupation forces is to threaten and intimidate the entire village, in order to stop the strong weekly demonstrations that have been held in Jayyous for the past several months.
Despite this repression, however, the people of Jayyous refuse to end their resistance. On Friday, Jayyous will hold its demonstration as usual, and activists from surrounding areas will come to the village as well to join in the protest, making it even larger and stronger than in past weeks.
The people of Jayyous urge you to come to the village today to see the occupied homes, the ongoing intense repression, and the massive military presence. The media is also urged to come to the village on Friday to cover the demonstration, as well as the repression and clashes that are sure to take place.
This isn’t an isolated case. International Solidarity Movement provides footage and a journalistic account of the occupation of Nil’in, which has also been a center for non-violent protest against the wall.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are three major obstacles to non-violent resistance in Palestine:
1. Palestinians don’t have access to the mainstream Israeli citizens who need to see what their country is doing,
2. Their efforts are met with brutal military repression (I’m not sure you can call teargassing children and shooting at ambulances anything but brutal), and
3. The media is largely silent on this repression.