In a telephone report, Alain Ah-Vee, Lalit member participating in the Freedom March with hundreds of other protesters who are walking along the 200 kilometre length of the Israeli apartheid wall, said that some of the groups of Israeli soldiers were very aggressive. One jeepload of soldiers near Schweike drove their jeep right into the marchers, as if they might want to arrest someone. Then, by accident one of the Israeli soldiers dropped a gas cannister right next to his jeep, detonating it. The wind then blew the gas into the jeep, causing distress and panic to the soldiers, who had to retreat.
RADIO PLUS telephoned Alain again, for Le Grande Journal at 4.30 pm, but the line got so bad they could not broadcast the en-direct.
On the way, groups of Palestinian villagers support the march, walking for the day. This is the particular nature of this march. And when villagers need to cross over to the other side of the wall, the marchers help them through, or support them at the Israeli army check-points.
However, this co-operation can give rise to unexpected problems. Some of the very young Palestinian children, as children will, throw stones at the soldiers when no-one is watching them. This then causes the soldiers to give riposte. From today onwards, Palestinian women on the march will concentrate on checking on the children, especially those at the end of the march.
In the sub-group that Alain is in for the march, there are only women plus Alain. One of the women who is 75 years old who is in this sub-group, was very upset after one of the gas attacks by Israeli soldiers. She has been taken care of now, and walks in the midst of a group of Palestinian women.
Earlier in the day, a journalist was wounded in the eye by a piece of metal from an exploded gas cannister.
The anti-communal nature of the march is striking. There are Palestinians and Israelis, as well as anyone in the world who wanted to join in to protest against the wall. One of their slogans reads PEACE IS MADE WITH BRIDGES NOT WALLS.
Please visit the International Solidarity Movement site: www.palsolidarity.org for daily updates.
LALIT has started to send out faxes and letters to trade unions and organizations in Mauritius, to request support for the march and for Alain Ah-Vee.