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Occupation magazine - Activism

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Settlements still occupying minds in the West Bank
Donald Macintyre
The Independent
2 September 2010

As long as there is occupation there will be resistance. This is a reaction to what the Israelis do

Even with tension high in much of the West Bank after Hamas gunmen killed four Israeli settlers on Wednesday night, Sana Shabitah, 40, had been determined to come here yesterday to register her disapproval of Mahmoud Abbas`s trip to Washington. Saying that angry settlers protesting about the shootings had blocked the road between her home in Nablus and Ramallah and thrown stones at Palestinian cars, she declared: `I don`t support the negotiations. We don`t have anything tangible on the ground. The settlements are still being built, the prisoners are still in jail. I know Abu Mazen [Mr Abbas] was under pressure but that doesn`t mean he should surrender.`

As a supporter of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (the first Palestinian faction ever to support the two-state solution) Mrs Shabitah joined hundreds of other demonstrators – neither Fatah nor Hamas was represented – in Ramallah`s Manara Square. Some brandishing banners proclaiming: `No to Direct Negotiations: against the US and Israeli conditions`, their message was summed up by Bassem Salahi, the secretary general of the leftist Palestinian People`s Party, who told the crowd: `Yes for peace but peace without settlements... We tell Abu Mazen come back from Washington. Don`t complete this farce.`

Across the West Bank, Palestinian Authority security forces continued a round up of some 250 Hamas activists in the wake of the Hebron shootings. Rabbi Dov Lior of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, giving the funeral oration for the four victims, declared: `This is a grave tragedy for the families, for the people of Israel and the state. God, avenge the spilled blood of your servants. There is an army, which must be used. The mistake is to think that an agreement can be reached with these terrorists.` And settlers` leaders prepared to carry out their threat to start building again in protest and in pre-emptive defiance of the moratorium on construction that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau has promised them will end on September 26.

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