On 31 January, some 300 Palestinian activists established the protest village of Ein Hijleh in a cluster of palm trees and houses in the Jordan Valley, north of the Dead Sea, that were forcibly depopulated when Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.
Ein Hijleh was created in the face of pledges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would not “uproot any Israeli citizen” from the occupied West Bank, and his insistence on retaining control of the Jordan Valley amid talks brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The village was organized by the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, with aim of “refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.”
During the seven days of the encampment, activists began to make the crumbling houses inhabitable, planted trees, installed solar panels, hosted political, religious and diplomatic leaders, screened films and held cultural and political discussions.
But in the early morning hours of Friday, 7 February, one week after the village was re-established, hundreds of Israeli occupation soldiers descended on the remaining activists.
Dozens were arrested and as many as 41 were injured according to reports that emerged from the early morning chaos.
Hamde Abu Rahma, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv are members of the ActiveStills collective.