- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinians mark "Apartheid Week"
- Date: 10th March 2010
- Summary: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (MARCH 04, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIANS GATHERING UNDER AN ARCH DECORATE WITH A HUGE KEY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN REFUGEE AND MEMBER OF AIDA CENTRE, KARIM AMIRA, SAYING: "This project was launched in many countries around the world to acquaint people with the meaning of apartheid. The idea is to explain that Israel is a state of racial segregation, and it is important that people understand what racial segregation is."
- Embargoed: 25th March 2010 12:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVABBI1I2XKS49SM63A1QMO99DBM
- Story Text: Palestinian youth organizations launched a campaign to boycott Israeli products and also protested against the separation barrier as part of 'Apartheid Week'.
In a bid to raise awareness of their mission, young Palestinians drew posters of the barrier which Israel is currently constructing in and around much of the West Bank.
Karim Amira is one of those who participated in the event. He said the aim is to raise awareness for what he says is Israel's racial segregation against Palestinians.
"This project was launched in many countries around the world to acquaint people with the meaning of apartheid. The idea is to explain that Israel is a state of racial segregation, and it is important that people understand what racial segregation is," Amira said whilst other young Palestinians set about making banners.
As part of the 'Apartheid Week' dozens of Palestinians demonstrated in Al Masara village against Israel's barrier.
Israel credits the barrier -- a network of fences interspersed with concrete walls, projected to be 720 km (450 miles) long when complete -- with stemming Palestinian suicide bombings that peaked in 2002 and 2003. But Palestinians condemn the project as a land grab for looping around settlement blocs in the West Bank, where they want to set up a state.
One of the men taking part in the event said it is a global campaign of awareness, not just one which is being carried out in the West Bank
"This week is observed in forty-five cities around the world. It started in 2005 when Palestinian refugees in Canada launched it, as part of a boycott of Israel and taking investments away from it and impose punishment on it. The boycott has had many achievements, some of them humble, but we also found out that trade union in places like South Africa, Britain, Ireland and Scotland boycott Israel. Also some European investments have been withdrawn from Israel because of its violation of Palestinian human rights," Hazem Jaboua'a said.
As part of the week's events, Palestinians initiated a campaign to ban Israeli products in Bethlehem.
They identified Israeli products in shops and requested that people clear their houses from all Israeli-produced items.
Stickers calling for the boycott of Israeli products were also distributed throughout the city.
The week's events are held largely in university campuses in the Palestinian territories and parts of the U.S. and Europe, and have drawn angry responses from pro-Israeli groups at the some of the campuses.
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