The Palestinians may be moved physically, but Palestinian villages, old and new, will never die so long as they remain alive in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people and all their supporters worldwide…
Bab Alshams – We Shall Not Be Moved
250 men and women from across Palestine establish this morning
a new Palestinian village named “Bab Alshams” (Gate of the
Sun). Tents were built in what Israel refers to as area E1 and
equipment for long-term living was brought.
The group released the following statement:
We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout
the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams 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 Alshams 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 Alshams,” 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
Alshams” cave, where she gives birth to their children. Younis
returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in
Bab Al Shams.
Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab
Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to
our 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.
This is what happened…
Although established on privately owned Palestinian lands, Israel forcefully expelled residents of the village in a pre-dawn raid this morning. Six required medical attention Shortly before 3 AM, hundreds of Israeli cops and soldiers staged a raid on the newly founded Palestinian village of Bab Al Shams (Gate of the Sun), violently evicting its 150 inhabitants. Use of police brutality is even more objectionable in light of the passive resistance offered by the residents. No arrests were made, and all persons detained were released shortly after.
In light of harsh international criticism over the plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement, and in an attempt to draw away attention from the case, eviction took place early this morning. Following its arrival at the scene, a massive police force began by removing journalists from the residents’ immediate surroundings and proceeded to drag people away, beating some of them. Six Palestinians later required medical care at the Ramallah Hospital.
Following his release, Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said, “We will not remain silent as Israel continues to build Jewish-only colonies on our land. Bab Al Shams is no more, but during its short days it gave new life and energy to all who passed through it. Israel continues to act in violation of every imaginable law and human decency. In establishing Bab Al Shams we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier – from now on we shall seize them ourselves.”
Last night the state appealed to the High Court to withdraw an injunction prohibiting the eviction. The state argued, among other things, that the very existence of the village may occasion rioting, despite its remote and isolated location. The state further argued that the village was established by the Committees to Resist the Wall (a body which does not exist), also behind a blockade of Route 443 in October 2012. This claim, backed only by an affidavit signed by an Israeli police chief, has never been supported by any indictments or arrests for the questioning of individuals.
The village of Bab Al Shams was established last Friday by Palestinian activists, on privately owned Palestinian lands, in an area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which Israel refers to as E1. After the acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state to the UN, Israel announced the approval of a plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement by building some 4,000 residential units in this area. Such construction would effectively bisect the West Bank and effectively cutting it off from Jerusalem.**