Manal Tamimi: My Feelings About the Settlement of Halamish

by Manal Tamimi : 24 January 2013

translated Jo MacNiven and Annie Hasan

manals article on halamish

When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand anything in the world except for laughter, and playing games. I used to adore my small village that was of one family, united in its happiness and sorrows. I used to adore every inch of that land. I used to adore the season for the olive harvest and waking up early to prepare food for the entire day, since we were to spend our day picking. I adored getting up at 6 in the morning to go with our neighbor and his children to pick grapes and figs from his vineyard, for there is nothing in life which compares to the taste of grapes and figs in the early morning, coated with water from morning dew.  I adored going to the spring in the valley to pick wild mint during the winter to make mint pastries. There are no other pastries that even compare in taste to that of a mint pastry.

As I grew up, so grew my love for this land and the large passion for its soil, its trees, and its stones. I grew and so grew my worries as the settlers reached the heights of the mountain that stands before my house. It is the place that contains all my worries. I used to go there to scream, cry, laugh, and then sit under a carob tree and I would look at the valley with its water and wonderful green color. I would gaze at the hills on the opposite side covered in olive, grape and fig trees. Just looking and staring at that mountainous landscape, I would forget my worries and sorrows. It would gladden my chest as though it had been washed with soap and water, restoring me back to life and making me active again.

Today everything has changed. Our land had already been stolen and colonial Zionist settlements have been built upon it. I am no longer able to reach the vineyards and fig trees. They have now been taken by the settlements and we are prevented from going there…but even more than that, they have uprooted and taken down the grape vines and fig trees to keep them from us. They stole our olive orchards and have uprooted the olive trees, which have existed since Roman times (thousands of years). I believe they are trying to kill/destroy our roots from our lands and break our glory. The worst part is that they have planted new olive trees they claim began growing on their land, which they inherited from their forefathers. When I sit on the mountain and look out in front of me, I no longer see anything but hills which have been deformed, robbed of their beauty by the hideous white houses with red roofs. I look into the valley to see the color has turned from vibrant green to pale yellow as if the earth has also felt the disaster that affected us and killed it, so that these thieves can take full advantage of it. When I look at the water, which was once clear and brought back life, I see it has now turned to green as if it too was hit and turned into toxic water that kills anyone who drinks it…as if it now knows we can no longer reach it.

No one can reach it except the aggressive settlers.

Today, at the height of our struggle to recover our land, we drown in our sorrows after we have lost, in less than a year, two of the most precious and dearest of our youth while they were defending their land and their dignity, sacrificing their lives in the process. Now we have received breaking news that settlers are digging up more of the land and have placed/set up 50 trailers for 50 new homes in the settlement.

Fifty more homes means 50 more families who occupy our land.

Fifty more homes means more pain and suffering.

Despite the grief over the loss of land, despite the pain we feel from our separation from loved ones, despite the humiliation, we will stay loyal to our land, we shall hold to the land just as the olive tree spreads its roots deep into the ground. We will raise our issues/concerns/worries high and loud and we will scream with our loudest voices, so that the world can hear us.

We are here and here we will stay. For this is our land and no one will remove us from it.

Illegal Israeli Settlers and Israeli Occupation Forces expand Halamish colony on Nabi Saleh land

Witnesses: Settlers, forces expand Halamish settlement

by Maan News: 24 January 2013

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Jewish settlers, accompanied by Israeli forces, on Tuesday began work expanding Halamish settlement in the central West Bank, witnesses said.

Settlers and Israeli forces arrived at dawn with trucks and bulldozers and set up 50 mobile homes on land belonging to Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah, witnesses told Ma’an.

Nabi Saleh is a center of popular resistance in the West Bank, and holds weekly demonstrations against the confiscation of its land and the takeover of its natural spring.

Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal under international law.

Nabi Saleh dedicates weekly demonstration to 16 year old Samir Amad killed in Budrus by Israeli Occupation Force

18 January 2013

Nabi Saleh on Friday, 18 January dedicated its weekly demonstration against Israel occupation and apartheid to martyr Samir Awad from Budrus, the 16 year old boy killed by the IOF earlier in the week.

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Israeli Army Shoots Dead 16 Year Old Palestinian in Budrus

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 18 January 2013

Sameer Awwad (16) was shot today with 3 live bullets at the West Bank village of Budrus, west of Ramallah. Awwad is the fourth to be killed near the Barrier in five days.

This morning, while children were clearing out of their classes in the village of Budrus, Israeli soldiers who convened by the Barrier near the school shot and killed 16 year-old Sameer Awwad.

According to eyewitnesses, Sameer was walking away from light clashes that had erupted by the Barrier when he was shot from the back with three bullets, from a distance of about 100 meters. One bullet hit his leg, another at the back of his neck and exited near his eyebrow, and the third entered his rib cage and exited from his chest.

Awwad was immediately transferred to Ramallah Hospital, where he was pronounce dead shortly after. He is the fourth Palestinian to have been killed this week by Israeli forces in the vicinity of the Barrier. Anwar al-Mamlouk, 21, was killed last Friday in Gaza , near the Barrier in Jabalya. On Saturday, Oudai Darwish from Dura near Hebron was killed in the South Hebron Hills, when trying to cross the barrier to find work in Israel. Another Plaestinian, Mustafa Abu Jarad, 21, was killed yesterday near the Barrier in Beit Lahia.

 

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Video by David Reeb

Video by Israel Puterman

Haaretz: IDF probe: 80 bullets fired without justification in death of West Bank Palestinian, Rushdi Tamimi

Rushdi-Tamimi

By Chaim Levinson and Jack Khoury | Jan.16, 2013

|Investigation finds no reason to use live ammunition in the November shooting death of Rushdie Tamimi, 31, in Nabi Saleh, in the West Bank.


An IDF probe has concluded that in November, Israeli soldiers fired 80 bullets without justification causing the death of a Palestinian man shot in the back during clashes in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Rushdie Tamimi, 31, was killed when a group of Palestinians in the village began throwing stones toward a road from a long distance, and an army reserve unit tried to disperse them.

The army probe of the November 19 shooting in Nabi Saleh arrived at harsh conclusions regarding the conduct of the IDF company commander and the reserve unit called in to disperse the stone-throwers.

While events were still unfolding, Channel 10 reported that the commander had been relieved of his duties following the shooting. The probe conducted by the army’s Central Command found that the commander had been driving in the vicinity when he saw some 10 youths throwing rocks from a hilltop.

The probe determined that the youths were too far from the road to constitute any real danger. Nevertheless, the commander summoned about 10 reserve soldiers from a nearby army outpost and instructed them to disperse the youths.

However, he neglected to report this immediately to battalion headquarters, which was only 50 meters away.

It turned out that the commander did not report the shooting incident at all, until
Haaretz approached the IDF spokesman two days later for a response to the incident. The army investigation found that the soldiers had fired tear gas at the stone-throwers for an hour and a half. When they ran out of canisters, a medic was sent by jeep to the adjacent outpost to bring back some more. At that point, the commander instructed the soldiers to use live rounds.

They fired 80 bullets, one of which hit Tamimi in the back. For several minutes, the soldiers prevented anyone from giving him medical aid, until they relented. Tamimi was evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah, where he died two days later.

The investigation found there was no reason to use live ammunition. Even when the order was given, the commander did not clearly indicate the target and the reason for opening fire. In professional terms, the troops did not “control the fire.”

The commander claimed the soldiers had not noticed that anyone had been hit, which is why they prevented anyone from approaching Tamimi to provide medical aid. This seemed a dubious claim, though, since the victim was bleeding from the head.

Nabi Saleh has been the scene of frequent weekend protests against settler incursions on villagers’ water supply. The stone-throwing that preceded Tamimi’s death took place during Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.

The army sees the incident as a “failure of values,” and the Military Police’s investigation branch has opened a formal inquiry into the fatal shooting.

On Tuesday, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot to death by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the West Bank village of Budrus, Palestinian sources said. Samir Awad was shot four times in the torso and legs, sources said. He is the fourth Palestinian killed by IDF fire in the last week.

The incidents came a day after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya near the border with Israel. Gazan officials said Mustafa Abu Jarad, 21, was a farmer. He was taken to Shifa hospital, where doctors said he died from his wounds.

The Israel-Gaza frontier has been mostly calm since November, when eight days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Since then, four Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli troops along the Gaza border, most of them in an area Israel has deemed off-limits for several years, citing the risk of attacks on soldier

Nabi Saleh residents join Bab Al Sham resistance village

 

sit in

 

Return to Bab Al Shams, Monday14 January 2013

nariman - return running

Return to Bab Al Shams, 14 January 2013  Photo boy Hamza Burnat

manal and boshra

Return to Bab Al Shams, 14 January 2013  Photo boy Hamza Burnat

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mass sit in

Palestinians Establish a new Village, Bab Alshams, in Area E1

January 11th, 2013 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee , Bab Alshams, Occupied Palestine

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.

Bab AlShams

 

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.

 

prayer in Bab AlShams

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.

IOF shoot Nabi Saleh resident in face with rubber coated steel bullet

11 January 2013

shot to face - 11 jan 2013

Mutaz Tamimi shot by Israeli forces with a plastic coated steel bullet today in NabiSaleh. Mutaz was taken to Salfit Hospital to have the bullet removed. He is reported to be in a stable condition and is okay. Photo by Miriam Barghouti

soldiers attacking - Haim Schwarczenberg

Photo by Haim Schwarczenberg

israeli activists arrested - Haim Schwarczenberg

Photo by Haim Schwarczenberg

soldier - Haim Schwarczenberg

Photo by Haim Schwarczenberg

Nabi Saleh legal victory: Israeli High Court tell illegal settlers to remove illegal structures from spring

Settlers removing illegal structures near Nabi Saleh

By YONAH JEREMY BOB Jerusalem Post: 06 Jan 2013

State tells High Court that settlers begin removing recreational structures near disputed Nabi Salih well.

Spring near West Bank village of Nabi Saleh

Spring near West Bank village of Nabi Saleh Photo: REUTERS
Settlers have begun removing illegally built recreational structures near the disputed Ein al-Kis well in the Nabi Salih area, the state informed the High Court of Justice during a hearing on Thursday.The state said it would provide a progress update on the removal of the structures within 30 days.The hearing was one in a series involving a June 2011 petition against the well, filed by Yesh Din on behalf of the villagers of Nabi Salih and Deir Nidam, for removal of the recreational area that residents of the Halamish settlement built nearby. An earlier petition against the well was also filed by Yesh Din in December 2010.According to Yesh Din, the controversy started about three years ago, when Jewish settlers from the West Bank settlement of Halamish attempted to take over the well by turning it into a tourist and recreational site and by building illegal structures around it.

Yesh Din said that recently a new pool was excavated near the well, whose walls were lined with concrete, ignoring the impact on any potential archeological finds.

In the first petition, Yesh Din said the land was private Palestinian land and the new recreational facilities were an attempted land-grab, preventing Palestinians from accessing their land.

Following Yesh Din’s filing of the first petition, the settlers and the state responded by having the site declared an archeological site in March 2011.

According to Yesh Din, the March 2011 response by the state also recognized an obligation to guard the status quo on the land, to comply with Israel’s obligation under international law to preserve historical sites.

That announcement led Yesh Din to withdraw its first petition, under the rationale that the declaration of the area as a historical site meant an end to the illegal building.

But Yesh Din eventually filed the current petition saying that the settlers were building again, harming the archeological site and violating their earlier commitment with their recreational construction.

Besides the case before the High Court, the controversy has led to weekly demonstrations by the Nabi Salih villagers, frequent altercations between the villagers and the IDF, and even some deadly incidents.

Eventually, the IDF started to prevent Palestinian villagers from approaching the well, as well as a newly created security zone near the well.

In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Rushdi Tamimi was killed while the IDF was trying to do crowd control of an anti-war demonstration.

The Tamimi family is one of the most important in the village, and includes protest leader Bassem Tamimi, who has been arrested repeatedly by Israel, and Mustafa Tamimi, who died after being hit in the face by a tear gas canister while chasing an IDF jeep during a protest in December 2011.

At an earlier hearing on September 5, 2012, the court issued an interim order prohibiting the Halamish settlers from doing any additional building in the area of the well.

Recently, the settlers filed a formal request to build recreational structures around the well, but the request was denied.

According to Yesh Din, the state itself said in hearings related to the current petition that the settlers had failed to prove that they owned the land where they wished to build.

It also said that the land was outside the designated area for building relating to the Halamish settlement.

Yesh Din attorney Shlomi Zachariah praised the state for starting to enforce the law “regarding the illegally built structures” that were pushing more “Palestinians off their land.”

Zachariah criticized the state for what he called the delay in enforcement, but added it was “better late than never.”

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this article.