Palm Sunday protest in Bethlehem manages passing through checkpoint
Around 200 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals walk from Bethlehem to the direction of Jerusalem, marching for freedom of movement and right to worship. They managed to cross the checkpoint non-violently but were then attacked by Israeli army.
About 200 demonstrators set out from the Church of Nativity today on their way to Jerusalem to mark Palm Sunday, protest Israeli-imposed restrictions on movement and demand that Israel respects Palestinians' freedom of religion. The protesters, who overwhelmed the soldiers at the checkpoint in their numbers, managed to nonviolently pass through the Bethlehem checkpoint and enter Jerusalem. They were blocked by a massive police force shortly after and could not advance further.
Once blocked, the demonstrators, who all remained peaceful throughout the protest, held speeches, and then began heading back. It was at this point that the police staged its unprovoked attack on the retreating protesters. Among the 15 arrested were four Israelis, one international activist, PLO Executive Committee member Abbas Zaki and AP photographer Fadi Hamad, as well as four members of local Popular Committees.