Valentine’s Day protest in Nabi Saleh met with teargas and rubberbullets from IOF

Report and photos by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 14 February 2014

Video by David Reeb

Israeli forces have brutally suppressed today’s protest in Nabi Saleh as they fired large quantities of teargas leading to the suffocation of tens of protesters including children and women in the protest.

The protesters chanted for loving Palestine and against the Israeli brutal occupation and its refusal to any forms of justice and peace.

Israeli forces have also fired rubber coated bullets at the peaceful protesters and declared the area a closed military zone.

The protesters who wanted to reach the land threatened by confiscation were not allowed to reach the area and were met with teargas. Clashes between the youth and Israeli forces erupted and lasted for hours.

The protesters have also protested the blocking of the entrance to Nabi Saleh with a large metal gate set up by Israeli forces and the Israeli destruction of a tent set up by the villagers next to their land.

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throwing back teargas - pscc  teargas settlement - pscc

teargas road - pscc  teargas - pscc

teargas - bassem and kids - pscc

slingshot teargas -pscc

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Bilal Tamimi detained after IOF stormed Nabi Saleh on 11 Feb; released after 12 hours.

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 11 February 2014

Israeli Occupation Forces invaded Nabi Saleh on Tuesday, 11 February.  The IOF opened fire with teargas and rubber bullets.  Bilal Tamimi was detained by the IOF after they stormed the village during the daylight hours.   Bilal was detained for approximately 12 hours, with the Israeli occupation forces later releasing him after 2 am because they couldn’t find anything to charge him with.

Video by Bilal Tamimi before he was arrested.

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Palestinian women changing the resistance

 by Eleonora Gatto: Middle East Monitor: 7 February 2014

Palestinian women changing the resistance

On January 31 2014, the Popular Struggle Committees participants united as part of the “Melh Al-Ard” (salt of the Earth) campaign with the objective of revitalising the abandoned village of Ein Hiljeh in the Jordan Valley.

The choice of the location wasn’t random; it’s strongly connected to the political requests of the action: stop the on-going effects of the Occupation’s plan and reconfirm the Palestinian sovereignty over those territories in the Jordan Valley (Area C) that Israel want to annex with the assent of the negotiations carried out by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

More than 300 Palestinians from different villages of the West Bank gathered on the first day. An increased participation compared to that of 2013 in Bab Al-Shams, the Palestinian encampment erected on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where Israel wanted to build 35,000 housing units creating a corridor of settlements with the intent of fragmentising and isolating the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The transformation and appropriation of Palestinian land, implemented by Israel, doesn’t only aim to the establishment of the Zionist idea of “Greater Israel”, it also has a less visible agenda: the control of the Palestinian population and resources.

The Palestinians counteract by refusing the occupant’s authority, reclaiming the Palestinian sovereignty, denouncing the occupation in all its elements and looking for new forms of nonviolent popular struggle.

The aim is to create an alternative grassroots movement able to escape from corrupt government policies but with a national impact. Direct nonviolent actions as Ein Hijleh have a powerful resonance: they raise consciousness and use creative tension as a mean of bringing down an unjust system, replaced by a just and human one.

“Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) refers to a phrase from the bible, Matthew 13:5: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

As the communication of the campaign states: “The sons and daughters of Ein Hijleh call upon our people to join the struggle to revive the village and protect our rights, history, culture and land. Daughters and sons of Palestine be the salt of this earth and stay steadfast on it.”

To this invitation, residents of Nabi Saleh responded by leaving their village, still involved in the weekly Friday demonstrations against the Israeli Occupation Forces, to head towards Ein Hijleh. Nabi Saleh is a small village of 500 inhabitants located near Ramallah and belonging to the Tamimi family.

An essential member of the Popular Struggle Committee, it’s one of the most active resistant villages in the West Bank. Positioned in area C, their struggle is against the illegal expansion of the Halamish settlement. In 2008 Ein Al-Qaws was taken over by the settlers, since then Nabi Saleh has been fighting against the Occupation system.

On Friday, Nabi Saleh’s inhabitants challenged the mobile checkpoints that were blocking the main roads to Ein Hijleh. After taking a secondary road and deceiving the Israeli police, they arrived triumphantly singing their way through the palms that surround the ruins of the old Canaanite village.

In the village of Nabi Saleh, the role of women is fundamental to the popular struggle. The commitment of women is recognised and supported because “they are the educators of the new generations. If women aren’t free nor will the new generations be”, Bassem Tamimi, recognised as Human Rights Defender by the EU, said.

Women are the driving force of the nonviolent movement in Nabi Saleh. Every Friday, while chanting slogans and proudly holding Palestinian flags, they daringly lead the march towards the tower at the entrance of the village or towards Ein Al-Qaws.

“Palestinian women are planting the seeds of resistance,” Manal Tamimi says. She explained that the women raise their children in a culture of resistance and they are teaching them not to be victims themselves but to react.

For this reason, despite the uncertainty and danger, the women of Nabi Saleh brought their children to Ein Hijleh. “We want them to learn the spirit of volunteering. It’s important for children to participate to these actions in order to grow aware of their role in the resistance,” Manal said.

Women and children of Nabi Saleh are well aware of how to act in case of raids from the army, they were born and raised under occupation and they’ve had to deal with it daily.

“Let them come. The army comes everyday to my house stepping on my land,” Rouan Tamimi said. Women also join these events to help deter the use of excessive violence towards the activists.

It is pivotal to involve children and women in the construction of the foundations of society in order to assure an inclusive community. The strength of the nonviolent movement is the equality of responsibility, regardless of affiliation, gender or social class. Anyone can give their contribution to the struggle.

The author is a Servizio Civile Internazionale Italia (SCI) volunteer with a Master’s degree in International Cooperation. She is currently living in Nabi Saleh and reporting about the Popular Struggle.

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Israeli Occupation Forces invade and raid Nabi Saleh; 6 injured.

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 3 February 2014

IOF invaded and raided Nabi Saleh today, injuring 6 people with one person hospitalised. IOF began firing live ammunition near the tower at the entrance of the village and then invaded the village firing teargas into houses. Manal Tamimi has reported her family has had to leave her house because it is filled with teargas.

Wa’ed Tamimi, the son of Nariman and Bassem Tamimi, was hit in the head with a rubber coated steel bullet fired by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Wa’ed was been evacuated to hospital after collapsing due to dizzyness caused by the head injury. Doctors later stated that his injuries were not life threatening and that he would be okay. According to Manal Tamimi, at least 6 people have been injured as the IOF invade and raid the village.

waedWa’ed Tamimi being carried after being injured by IOF. Photo by Eleonora Gatto

Photo by: Eleonora Gatto

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Video: From Nabi Saleh to Ein Hijleh

Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 31 January 2013

After the weekly rally in Nabi Saleh, residents travelled to the Jordan Valley to participate in the Mileh al-Ard campaign and the repopulation of the Ein Hijleh in opposition to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and occupation.

Video by Bilal Tamimi

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Nabi Saleh protest against Israel’s settlement policy

 

Video by Israel Puterman

Video by David Reeb

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Nabi Saleh stands in solidarity with Ein Hijleh

Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 31 January 2014

Late on Friday afternoon (Palestinian time), more than 300 Palestinians from across the Occupied West Bank repopulated the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan valley in opposition to Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing and occupation.  By early evening the number had grown to more than 500 people, with Palestinians from Nablus, Jerusalem, Bilin, Nabi Saleh and many other towns and villages joining the protest camp.

ein hijleh activestills group shot500 Palestinians repopulation Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Activestills
nabi saleh arrive - diana alzeerNabi Saleh residents arrive in Ein Hijleh. Photo by Diana Alzeer.
nabi saleh in ein hijleh - bilal tamimiNabi Saleh residents arriving in Ein Hijleh. Photo by Bilal Tamimi

The Popular Struggle Coordination Committe release the following statement:

PRESS RELEASE Friday, 31 January 2014

PalestiniansLaunch “Melh Al-Ard” Campaign by Reviving Ein Hijleh Village inthe Jordan Valley

Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley.

Campaign organizers and participants declared,

We, the daughters and sons of Palestine, announce today the revival of Ein Hijleh village as part of Melh Al-Ard campaign in the Jordan Valley. The action aims at refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.

Accordingly we have decided to revive an old Palestinian Canaanite village in the Jordan Valley next to so called “Route 90” linking the Dead Sea to Bisan. The action is part of a continuous step against the Israeli occupation’s plan to take over and annex the Jordan Valley. This step is a popular act against Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and the constant Judaization of the land.

From the village of Ein Hijleh, we the participants announce that we hold tight to our right to all occupied Palestinian lands. We refuse Kerry’s Plan that will establish a disfigured Palestinian state and recognizes the Israeli entity as a Jewish State. Such a state will turn Palestinians living inside lands occupied in 1948 into residents and visitors that can be deported at anytime. We affirm the unity of our people and their struggle wherever they are for our inalienable rights.

Ein Hijleh village is located in what is called “Area C” in the Jordan Valley, which is under threat of annexation by Israeli policies and Kerry’s plan. Therefore, we have decided to take charge and call for a national action to protect the Jordan Valley and put an end to the constant Judaization of Palestinian lands.

Based on our support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) we call upon our friends and international solidarity groups to stand with the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies including Israeli factories and companies that work in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources.  

For instance, we ask you to boycott Mehadrin, the largest Israeli exporter of fruits and vegetables, some of which grown in the Jordan Valley. In addition, Hadiklaim, that exports dates produced by Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley. We also call on you to boycott both Ahava and Premier, cosmetics companies that use Dead Sea minerals to produce its products.

Our Palestinian village is located near Deir Hijleh or St. Gerassimos monastery, on land that is property of the Orthodox monastery. The land mainly consists of few deserted old houses and palm trees. The white soil is highly concentrated with salt, and the area is surrounded by lands taken and used by Israeli settlers. An Israeli base is separating the land from Deir Hijleh monastery which owns a property of about 1000 dunams, some of which are taken by Israeli forces for the excuse of “security reasons.”  

The campaign, “Melh A-lArd” (Salt of the Earth), quotes a phrase from the bible, Matthew 13:5, which says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” The name of our village, Ein Hijleh, is based on the original Canaanite name and the water spring (Ein) present there.

We the sons and daughters of Ein Hijleh call upon our people to join the struggle to revive the village and protect our rights, history, culture, and land. Daughters and sons of Palestine, be the salt of this earth and stay steadfast on it.

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