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Nabi Saleh remember Battle of Karameh & march in support of Druze anti-draft campaign.

Report and photos by Haim Schwarcenberg: 21 March 2014

This Friday’s demonstration was titled “Palestine is our mother and our freedom is our dignity” commemorating mother’s day, as well as the 46th anniversary of the Battle of Karameh, in which the Fateh resistance fighters defeated the IOF. Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international solidarity activists, marched from the centre of Ramallah-district village of Nabi Saleh is solidarity with the jailed Druze draft refuser, Omar Sa’ad. Protesters held banners and chanted slogans in support of the Druze anti-draft campaign and national unity in the face of occupation.

The IOF attempted to disperse the march with barrages of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades. A medic suffered injuries from rubber bullets to his chest and leg and required medical attention. A few other demonstrators, including minors, were also injured from rubber bullets while other suffocated from tear gas.

 haim - banners    haim - marchNabi Saleh residents carry Druze anti-draft campaign banners

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Nabi Saleh mark International Women’s Day and protest the killing of Mu’taz Washaha by IOF

Photos and Report by Haim Schwarczenberg: 7 March 2014

Honoring Mu’taz Washaha from Bir Zeit, an activist murdered by the IOF a week prior, Palestinians and solidarity activists marched from Martyrs’ Square at the centre of Nabi Saleh towards the main road. Marking also international women’s day, prominent female protesters also confronted the soldiers who attempted to brutally disperse the march. One woman was severely beaten and transferred to a Ramallah hospital. Several other protesters were injured from rubber-coated steel bullets.

Video by David Reeb

 

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Israeli Occupation Forces invade Nabi Saleh; search cars; fire live ammunition

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 4 March 2014

Israeli Occupation Forces have invaded Nabi Saleh on 4 March. The IOF fired teargas and rubber coated steel bullets. Cars were also  stopped and searched. At least two injuries have been reported.  According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committe, the IOF fired live ammunition, as well as teargas and rubber coated steel bullets.

tamimi press - 4 march - iof invasionIsraeli Occupation Forces invade Nabi Saleh, stop cars and search them. Photo by Tamimi Press.

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Bil’in marks 9th anniversary of it’s popular struggle against the wall and occupation

By Claire Matsunami -  Palestine Monitor: March 06, 2014


This past Friday approximately 500 people gathered in the West Bank village of Bil’in to commemorate the 9-year anniversary of theirweekly Friday demonstrations.

Demonstrators began at the mosque and marched in a procession towards the wall surrounding the neighboring settlement of Modi’in Illit. People came from all over Palestine to participate, including many demonstrators from other villages participating in the popular struggle protests such as Nabi Saleh.  It is worth noting that numbers were minimized due to the scores of people who chose to attend the public funeral of Moatazz Washaha.

Demonstrators reached the wall and broke open the gate meant to deter protesters from the rest of their land and the neighboring settlement.  Several young Palestinian men scaled the wall to secure Palestinian flags at the top. The Israeli military responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades. Youths scattered throughout the hills, hurling stones over the wall towards the soldiers.

Settlers from the neighboring Jewish settlement gathered in the streets to watch the events unfold. Clashes lasted for a few hours, before the army came out and arrested two demonstrators: Sameh Tayseer Sa’adar and Kufr Nimeh.

Nine years of demonstrations

Bil’in is a small village located in the West Bank about half an hour north from Ramallah.  The local economy relies primarily on olive trees for income. Citizens of Bil’in began staging these weekly protests in February of 2005 after Israel set up a separation barrier (then just a fence) that cut the residents of Bil’in off from 200 acres of their agricultural land. The settlement of Modi’in Ilit, illegal under international law, now sits on a portion of the village’s land.

Demonstrators adopted the method of popular resistance, choosing to partake in unarmed protests and coordinated action by demonstrating every Friday after prayer ended.

The Israeli military categorized (and continues to categorize) the weekly protests in Bil’in as “violent disturbances of the peace,” according to B’Tselem.

Under Military Order 101, created in 1967 when Israel began it’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, Palestinians in the occupied territories have no right to the freedom of expression or assembly. The order contravenes both Israeli and International law.

The demonstrations in Bil’in have been met with brutal repression by the Israeli military as well as the settlers. Siblings Bassem and Jawaher Abu Rahmah were killed in separate occasions during clashes with the Israeli military. Night rides are a common occurrence in the village; olive trees have been burned, homes are raided, children are taken to jail, and unarmed demonstrators are often subjected to beatings and bullets.

Partial success

The protester’s persistence paid off in 2007 when Israel’s High Court of Justice found the fence to be illegal and ordered it to be removed.  However, it took three years for the fence to be removed and the new wall is to be rebuilt (this time made of concrete) around the edges of the Modi’in Illit settlement.  During the three-year wait, the settlement had expanded and thus the new barrier still prevents Bil’in residents from accessing 1,500 dunams (about half a square mile) of their land. Protests continue in attempt to regain the remaining land.

Rajai Abu Khalil, an activist at the demonstration, spoke to the Palestine Monitor, explaining that for him the protests are also about resisting the occupation. “The daily oppression, apartheid, segregation, discrimination and daily theft of lands for the benefits of the expansion of Israeli illegal settlements.”

Bil’in has become a rallying point for those involved in the popular resistance movement.  Their non-violent methods and success in moving the barrier have served as an inspiration for many activists throughout the occupied territories.  According to Abu Khalil, “The popular struggle has proven to be a very effective method and I believe it can bring change to the situation [in Palestine]”

The model of demonstration used in Bil’in is becoming increasingly popular as a form of resisting the occupation, notably in villages such as Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin, Kufr Qaddoum and Al-Maasara.

For us it is so important to continue to encourage other people in other places to use this type of resistance.  Through this action we will invite new people, Israeli, International, Palestinian together to give people support to continue their struggle… this is not just a vision for Bil’in, it is a vision for all of Palestine” said Popular Struggle Coordination Committee member and Bil’in leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah in an interview the Palestine Monitor. 

Activists in Bil’in intend to continue their weekly demonstrations until they receive the rest of their land.  For many, the struggle will continue until the occupation has ended entirely.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah expressed his most basic wish: “to have all of our land without any settlers, to live in peace and freedom and independence.”

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Tamimi Press: Night raid in Nabi Saleh – 5 people arrested

by Tamimi Press: 18 February 2014

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Around 2 a.m. the Zionist Israeli forces violently raided the village of Nabi Saleh searching brutally in the houses for ‘wanted’ people by using an album of photos to identify youth from the village.. 5 people were arrested:

  • Mohammad Attaallah Tamimi – from Tamimi Press / 25 years old
  • Rami Hussein Yousef Tamimi / 36 years old
  • Jihad Muhammad Rushdi Tamimi / 23 years old
  • Mahmoud Mohammed al-Tamimi Wagih / 19 years old
  • Basil Abdul Ilah Saleh Al-Tamimi / ONLY 16 years oldThey were brought to unknown destination.

Photos from the wall of Tamimi Press Office and Media were also confiscated. The photos were used to show visitors the violations and abuses carried out by the Israeli Forces against the people and the village of Nabi Saleh.

***Update on arrests in Nabi Saleh***

Muhammad ‘Atallah al-Tamimi, who was arrested last night at his home in Nabi Saleh, was released today on 1000NIS bail. The hearing for Basel Tamimi, 16, arrested during the same raid, is set for tomorrow. However, his father was detained after a verbal altercation with an IOF officer. In addition, Islam Dar Ayub al-Tamimi was sentenced today to 15 months in the occupation prison.

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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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Nabi Saleh remembers Mustafa Tamimi and continues its protests against Israel’s occupation (20 Dec 2013)

Report and photos by Tamimi Press: 20 December 2013

The Israeli occupation forces attacked today the weekly anti settlement and occupation march in Nabi Saleh. The march launched from Martyrs Square in the center of the village went towards the house of the martyrs of popular resistance in the village, Rushdie and Mustafa Tamimi, to deliver at their parents commemorative plates in honor of their sacrifices. Then, the march went to the village’s lands threatened by the occupation forces that attacked the march with massive launch of tear gas canister and rubber bullets, causing dozens cases of asphyxia.

mustafa's parentsMustafa Tamimi’s parents

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Despite snow, residents of Nabi Saleh march against Israel’s occupation

*Nabi Saleh’s regular protest on 13 December was cancelled due to extremely bad weather.

Video by David Reeb, 20 December 2013

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Amnesty International: A Tiny Village With A Big Voice

By Amnesty International: November/December 2013

 

To read the full Amnesty International feature on Nabi Saleh (p 7 & 8), please click here.

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