Activists Claim Break In Palestine Wall On Eve Of Berlin Wall Anniversary Is A Symbolic Gesture

Posted: Nov 9 2014, 8:10pm CST | by , in Latest Political News


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Activists claim break in Palestine Wall on eve of  Berlin Wall anniversary is a symbolic gesture
Photo Credit: Getty Images

On Saturday, Palestinian activists broke into the Palestine Wall in solidarity of the Berlin Wall falling. But does the action match the intent of the German wall falling?

While one wall crumbled 25 years ago, another remains up and separates Palestine from Israel. In a moment of Berlin solidarity and symbolism, Palestinians dug a hole in Israel's separation wall.

Al Jazeera reports that on Saturday, the Palestinian activists used hammers to chip away and create a hole large enough to place a flag on the Israel side. Given the current conditions between the two nations, the action is extremely brave. The Middle Eastern wall runs along the West Bank village Bir Nabala, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

In a statement to the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency, the organizers and activists wanted to announce a message.

"It doesn't matter how high the barriers will be, they will fall. Like the Berlin Wall fell - The Palestinian wall will fall."

The Berlin Wall collapsed and then crumbled between East and West Germans sear tired of the political rift that divided families for over a generation. And the fall of Soviet Union resulted in a reunified Germany in 1990.

And the Palestinians are looking to end the same symbolic gesture in an effort to be free of separation.

Referring to the West Bank divider as the "apartheid wall," the Palestinian government says the "wall is a land grab" since Palestinian land has been confiscated by the Israeli government to build and secure borders. Israel "defended its construction as a crucial protective measure, pointing to a drop in attacks inside Israel as a proof of its success."

Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem) claims the wall's construction caused "unnecessary suffering" to the Palestinians by "cut social ties and isolated villages from their farmland and citizens from their livelihoods." And for citizens of both countries, the impact is more localized than two warring nations.

And the International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that wall and associated regime are "contrary to international law." And the International Committee of the Red Cross agrees with the court's decision. The committee feels the wall only "causes serious humanitarian and legal problems" that go "far beyond what is permissible for an occupying power."

Al Jazeera correspondent Tamer Meshal clarifies the action was not a large movement but a small, select group of people looking to express a kind of "symbolic gesture." He noted a similar attempt last year but the action never came into fruition.

Palestinian TV footage of the activists wanted governments to know the construction would not prevent visits between Palestinians visiting Jerusalem and seeing al-Aqsa mosque, a holy site for Muslims.

Demanding that citizens be ready join "to the final, fateful intifada to liberate Palestine," the group wanted to make sure the Intifada, or uprising, reminded the world the cost of walls as global citizens watched balloons fly in the wind and carrying hope into the future.

Mic reports more about the television appearance. The group wants to "stress that Jerusalem is an Arab and Palestinian city, and that neither the construction of the separation wall nor Israeli military reinforcement could prevent Palestinians from reaching Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque."

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, the international community never recognized the action and Palestinians would like the see the area be the capital of a future state.

And the world is watching the conflict and the action, hoping the uneasy peace isn't broken after the cut into the Israeli wall. Mic reminds readers that the world watched in horror as almost 1,500 Palestinians died on the Gaza Strip conflict, including over 500 children, during the summer.

Recently, terroristic acts have increased by both sides of the conflict. Twice in recent weeks, Palestinians drove cars into waiting civilians at Jerusalem light rail stops. This comes after a spree of high-profile shootings, including radical rabbi Yehuda Glick.

And Israeli plans to set up 1,000 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem has sparked an aggressive response by Palestinians since new laws would punish stone-throwers with up to 20 years in jail. And the Jerusalem Post reports that right-wing Israeli politicians are “agitating for a greater Jewish presence on Temple Mount.”

In the middle of all the conflict, the message of peace seems to be lost. Throughout the weekend, Berliners honored the deaths of East Germans trying to escape communist regime. Change never comes easy but people fear the third intifada will be more gruesome than the last. And global citizens throughout the war wait, wondering what the next tactic will be used.

Similar walls with very different regional histories; yet forever tied together because of one regime’s need to control and shape the world, wrecking the line of falling dominoes.

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