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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Defying occupier, Palestinians establish “Bab Al Shams” village on land seized for Jewish settlement

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Palestinians erected tents at “Bab Al Shams,” a new village on occupied West Bank land seized by Israel for Jewish settlement.

(Fadi Arouri / Twitter)

Defying an eviction order from the occupation authorities, and with Israeli forces gathering around them, some 250 Palestinians remain at what they say will be a permanent village they established today on land in the occupied West Bank that Israel has seized for new Jewish-only settlements.

A statement from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee explained:

 We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout the land, announce the establishment of Bab Al Shams Village (Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.

A few months ago the Israeli government announced its intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the area Israel refers to as  E1.

E1 block is an area of about 13 square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem.

We will not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of our land continues.  Therefore we hereby establish the village of Bab Al Shams to proclaim our faith in direct action and popular resistance.  We declare that the village will stand steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right to build on their land.

The village’s name is taken from the novel, “Bab Al Shams,” by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury.  The book depicts the history of Palestine through a love story between a Palestinian man, Younis, and his wife Nahila.  Younis leaves his wife to join the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon while Nahila remains steadfast in what remains of their village in the Galilee.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Younis smuggles through Lebanon and back to the Galilee to meet his wife in the “Bab Al Shams” cave, where she gives birth to their children.  Younis returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in Bab Al Shams.

Bab Al Shams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness.  Bab Al Shams is our gate to Jerusalem.  Bab Al Shams is the gate to our return.

For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the International community remained silent in response to these violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the game, for us to establish facts on the ground - our own land. This action involving women and men from the north to the south is a form of popular resistance.

In the coming days we will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and daughters of our people to participate and join the village in supporting our resilience.

Soon after the Palestinians arrived, Israeli occupation forces came on the scene and handed them an eviction notice.

Activist Abir Kopty among others has been live tweeting the events of the day on the hashtag #BabAlShams:

The Bab Al Shams villagers also set up a live video stream.

Follow @AbirKopty and the #BabAlShams hashtag on Twitter for updates.

Comments

Let me preface by saying that I know the US and Israel have a close relationship. However, there are those of us who live in America who know the real story behind the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, and understand your struggle, and we fully support the Palestinians' right to occupy and live freely on their own land. We hope you will be able to live peacefully for years to come. Let us know how we can help you. May your God watch over you... as we will be watching closely as well.

Peace be with you

we will continue to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Onward with BDS!

Call me a sceptic but why does it feel too far-fetched to me that people who are struggling with 'food and blankets' are using social media and 'live-stream' to record this 'resistance'? Of the decades they've been under siege by Israeli forces, they thought of this now? Forces who are notorious for literally throwing women and children out of brick homes for demolition are going by book to let them keep their fabric tents up? Feels more like a bunch of Palestinians were gathered together to pitch tents and show face for this fad movement to distract media attention from the real brutality everywhere outside of this mere 13 km circumference. We all remember the social media trigger to the Egyptian revolution don't we? All fine and well at the time, where's Egypt now?

I may sound like a raging cynic, but past events consistently prove that pictures do not represent reality. And 'realities', like their pictorial counterparts are orchestrated.

If this action is as serious as it appears, worldwide solidarity must be mounted quickly and massively. This must become a major media issue -- as big as Idle No More in Canada, which has spurred support actions around the globe.

i hope there are a thousand new villagers arriving in Bab Al Shams tomorrow 5 thousand sunday, and then exponential growth in the days, weeks and months to come. bring Palestinian refugees home. god speed.

Egypt is in the process of developing a new government. This government will
be crushed by the US and its allies as it is Islamic. The Society of Muslim Brothers
has been against western control since its foundation (1928). The US and Israel
supported the Murbarak government with billions for defense and never said
a word about the jailing and repression of Members of the opposition. The three
biggest recipients of US aid have been Israel, Turkey,Egypt. The US and its
allies will begin to subdue Egypt economically to force the Egyptian government
to fall. After what the US and allies have done to Egypt over the centuries, it
cannot abide any opposition. THAT IS WHERE EGYPT IS NOW !!! For my
part, I wish the new Egyptian government the best .in its endeavors.

In solidarity with you against occupation, racism and its attendant miseries small and big.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you - and we will publicise your non-violent resistance as far and wide as we can!

We will think of your struggle and circulate news of the non violent action
to all our groups.