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Anarchists Against the Wall

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Anarchists Against the Wall

Anarchists Against the Wall (AAtW), sometimes called "Anarchists Against Fences" or "Jews Against Ghettos", is a direct action group comprised of Israeli anarchists and anti-authoritarians who oppose the construction of the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and Israeli West Bank barrier. Although AAtW has no official membership, it claims to have around 100 active participants who coordinate with Palestinians and groups like the International Solidarity Movement to organize nonviolent marches, civil disobedience, and direct action.

A member of Anarchists Against the Wall has described the construction of the barrier as part of a strategy of ethnic cleansing, "one of the greatest threats the Palestinian population has known over the last century... which is to make life so appalling for the Palestinian people that they will be left with one choice: move out."[1]




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Anarchists Against the Wall was formed in April 2003 in the village of Mas'ha, where activists gathered to create a protest camp. The camp lasted for four months during which time it was visited by thousands of foreigners and Israelis. AAW went on to coordinate anti-barrier actions in Salem, Anin, and Zabube.[unverified]

On 26 December 2003 during an AATW demonstration near the village of Mas'ha, the Israeli Defense Forces shot and wounded Gil Na'amati, an anarchist and former paratrooper.

Shots were fired after demonstrators started to shake the locked gate in the fence. Video clips of that incident were shown on all Israeli TV channels. Following this, the chief commander of the army, Ramatkal, was forced to visit Na'amati in hospital and apologize.[unverified]

On 12 March 2004, during a demonstration against the Wall at the village of Kharbatha, Itay Levinsky was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet. Levinsky was shot while shouting to the soldiers to stop shooting, through a bullhorn. He suffers from permanent damage to his eyesight.[unverified]

In August 2004, Anarchists Against the Wall, in cooperation with Palestinian residents of the West Bank, broke through the barrier during a march from Jenin to Jerusalem.[unverified]

On April 3 Jonathan Pollak was shot in the head with a tear gas canister from an M-16, at a distance of approximately thirty meters, at a protest against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, leaving him with internal brain hemorrhaging and a wound requiring 23 stitches [2]

In February 2006, Matan Cohen, a 17-year-old member of Anarchists Against The Wall, was shot with rubber bullets by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in Beit Sira village, after stones were thrown at security forces. Three soldiers and Border Police officers were injured by rocks thrown at them, and one police officer was taken to hospital. Cohen, whose left eye was injured, later told reporters, "My feeling is that the blood of left-wing activists and the Palestinians is cheap." [2]

On August 11th, in the midst of the second Israeli war on Lebanon, marked the most severe injury to an Israeli activist yet. During a demonstration against the wall in Bil'in, an Israeli border police officer shot Limor Goldstein in the head with a rubber coated steel[3] bullet from a distance of 10 to 20 meters. Shooting rubber bullets from such a short distance is prohibited and video evidence indicates that the shot was unprovoked.[4] With border police officers at the scene initially refusing to provide medical treatment to his injury, or let others treat him properly, it took two hours to complete the evacuation.

Goldstein, who suffered brain damage, later told a Haaretz reporter: "I'm not depressed, but I feel an ongoing helplessness and disorientation. I have nightmares in which I relive what happened .”[5]

All four of them, and other injured "only with less serious damage" continue with the joint Israeli-Palestinian struggle against the separation fence and occupation.

AAtW issued a call for support in July 2007, owing more than $40,000 in expense for over 60 indictments [6].


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