Sunday, March 28 2010 Passover and Easter procession in Bethlehem

Sunday 28.3.2010

During the afternoon some 300 Palestinians, Israelis and international activists held a procession on the eve of Easter and Passover during which they marched from Bethlehem to Jerusalem through the Rachel’s Tomb crossing in the separation wall. The demonstrators, among them the mayor of Bethlehem and members of the Palestinian parliament, wished to reach Jerusalem in order to realize their right to worship in the city which is holy to the three religions. Border policemen and the Jerusalem police blocked the marchers on the Jerusalem side of the barrier and started to violently disperse and arrest them. 18 activists were arrested – 12 Palestinians, 4 Israelis and 2 internationals. All the arrests were carried out, with unrestricted violence, after the demonstrators obeyed the police request to return to the other side of the barrier. 4 demonstrators were wounded as a result of police violence.

In response to today’s events the activists state: walls and barriers will not succeed in preventing believers of all religions from exercising their right of worship. Jews, Christians and Moslems, residents of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, held today a peaceful procession and passed from Bethlehem to Jerusalem through barrier 300 on the Jerusalem road as a symbol of the aspiration of the two nations for the reunion of hearts and the abolition of the separation walls. We shall continue to protest together, Jews and Arabs, against injustice and oppression, until all residents of this area will be able to mark the feast of freedom.