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Violent Israeli reaction to dignified tent protesters

This posting has these items:
1) Ma’an news: Activists set up new protest village northwest of Jerusalem;
2) Al Jazeera: West Bank activists set up new protest camp;
3) 972: Injured Palestinian photographers Other photos have not been listed separately;
4) Ma’an: Israel blocks activists from returning to E1 protest;
5) PIC: West Bank marches in solidarity with prisoners and Bab Shams village;
6) PIC: Israeli bulldozers demolish Bab al-Shams village again;
7) IMEMC: a href=”#bas6″> Army Invades Bab Al-Karama; UPDATE
8* JfJfP: JFJFP Statement in Support of Bab al-Shams and Bab al-Karama.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) recognises the moral and legal right and duty of Palestinians to protest against and resist the injustice and illegality of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and salutes the bravery of the activists of Bab al-Shams and al-Karama.;

Palestinian activists run during an attempt to return to Bab al-Shams village in the E1 area, January 15, 2013, see item 4. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org



Activists set up new protest village northwest of Jerusalem

By Ma’an news
January 19, 2013

JERUSALEM — Palestinian activists on Friday established a new tented protest village northwest of Jerusalem, the second such initiative against Israeli settlement building in as many weeks.

Activists set up three tents and a small building in the area near Beit Iksa, naming the village al-Karamah (Dignity).

Locals said around 400 Palestinians performed Friday prayers in the open area.

Saed Yakrina, an activist from nearby village Beit Ijza, said the camp was “a message to Israel and all democratic societies that we are human, and we want peace.”

Activists from across the political spectrum, mainly from nearby villages, have gathered and will sleep in the tents overnight, he told Ma’an.

Beit Iksa, surrounded by Israeli settlements, is set to be entirely encircled by Israel’s separation wall, cutting it off from Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities ordered the confiscation of 500 dunams of the village’s land three weeks ago, and do not permit any new building in the town, Yakrina said, noting that Israeli settlements were still expanding.

“We are looking for a life without checkpoints, walls and settlements,” he said.

Israeli forces immediately shut down the military checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Iksa to prevent more activists and supporters from accessing the protest site, witnesses said.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces tore down the tented village Bab al-Shams, set up to protest Israel’s plans to build the “E1″ settlement on the land, severing the West Bank from Jerusalem.

Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi on Friday said Bab al-Shams and al-Karama were a new dimension in the Palestinian struggle and that more protest villages would be established.

“The spirit of popular resistance which Bab al-Shams disseminated is being strengthened today in other areas including Izbat al-Tabib and Beit Iksa,” the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative said in a statement.

A rally was held in Izbat al-Tabib in the Qalqiliya district of the northern West Bank on Friday to protest Israeli plans to demolish a school in the village.

The rally showed that popular resistance against Israel’s occupation is spreading, Barghouthi said.



West Bank activists set up new protest camp

Mosque and several tents erected in village of Beit Iksa near Jerusalem to protest against Israel’s illegal settlements.

By Al Jazeera
January 19, 2013

Palestinian activists have spent their first night at a protest camp set up in the occupied West Bank to demonstrate against Israel’s illegal settlement policy.

A mosque and several tents were established in the village of Beit Iksa near Jerusalem on Friday.

The protesters have named the camp “al-Karamah”, meaning “dignity” in Arabic.

The move comes a week after activists set up a similar camp, Bab al Shams, in a strategic West Bank corridor known as E-1 where Israel has said it plans to build a large illegal settlement.

The activists were evacuated a day later.

In a statement, Friday’s activists said they were securing land from Israel, a tactic adopted from settlers, who establish communities hoping the territory will remain theirs once structures are built.

“We are here in the al-Karamah village … to affirm the Palestinian right to be here in this place,” said Palestinian protester Mohammad Rabie.

“We won’t allow for this brutal occupier to roam freely and implement their plans of settlement.”

The Israeli military said soldiers were monitoring the area to prevent disturbances.




Palestinian photographers pose for a photo after they were beaten and injured by Israeli police during the attempt of Palestinians to get back into Bab al-Shams village in the E1 area, January 15, 2013. Photo by Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org



Israel blocks activists from returning to E1 protest camp

By Reuters/Ma’an news
January 17, 2013

E1 — Israeli police, using stun grenades, blocked about 50 Palestinian activists who tried on Tuesday to reoccupy a tented protest camp they pitched last week in the West Bank.

Israel has drawn strong international criticism over plans to build settler homes in the area, known as “E1″, which connects the two parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem.

On Sunday, hundreds of police officers evicted the protesters from the “Bab al-Shams” encampment, and activists said six were hurt in the process. The large, steel-framed tents remained standing at the site pending the outcome of Israeli Supreme Court hearings on Israel’s intention to remove them.


Israeli police arrest Palestinian activists during an attempt to get back to Bab al-Shams village in the E1 area, January 15, 2013. Photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org

Protesters who tried to return to the tents on Tuesday were confronted by police officers who told them the site had been designated off-limits by the army.

One activist wore a white bridal gown and their cars were decked out in bright ribbons, making the protest look like a traditional Palestinian wedding.

“The protesters continued to make their way up. Police pushed the protesters back down the hill,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. “Two stun grenades were used to disperse the protesters and prevent attempts to climb back up.”

Twenty Palestinians were detained for questioning, he said.

For years Israel froze building in E1, after coming under pressure from former US President George W. Bush to keep the plans on hold.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans late last year to expand settlements after the Palestinians won de-facto statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

Jewish settlement building in areas captured by Israel in a 1967 war are illegal under international law. World powers have slammed the E1 settlement plan, echoing Palestinians concern such construction could deny them a viable and contiguous state.

E1 covers some 4.6 sq miles and is seen as particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow “waist” of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, the capital of the promised independent Palestinian state.

Ma’an staff in Bethlehem contributed to this report



West Bank marches in solidarity with prisoners and Bab Shams village

January 19, 2013
By Palestinian Information Centre

RAMALLAH– The West Bank’s weekly anti-settlement and apartheid wall marches were launched on Friday in solidarity with the prisoners and the village of Bab Shams.

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacked the participants in the march of the town of Ma’sara which started after Friday prayers.

The demonstrators raised Palestinian flags, photos of hunger striking prisoners and banners condemning the occupation, its crimes against the Palestinians people and their properties and its practices against Bab Shams village.
The marchers roamed the streets of the village and arrived near the apartheid wall, where dozens of Israeli soldiers assaulted some of them. The soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas grenades at the demonstrators, causing breathing problems among dozens of them.

Other clashes erupted at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of al-Khalil, on Friday afternoon, the activist Mohamed Awad from Beit Ummar told the PIC.

He added that the soldiers fired metal bullets and tear gas grenades towards boys and young men who responded by throwing stones and empty bottles at the soldiers. The confrontations resulted in cases of suffocation among the youths.
Clashes also broke out on Friday afternoon between the residents of the village of Budrus, west of Ramallah, and IOF troops after the suppression of a procession in memory of martyr Samir Awad, who had been killed by Israeli bullets few days ago in the village.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC that hundreds of citizens participated in the march of Burdus and raised the Palestinian factions’ flags.

They added that the IOF soldiers fired tear gas grenades and bullets towards the citizens which resulted in breathing difficulty among many participants.

Israeli occupation forces have also quelled the peaceful weekly march in the village of Bil’in, as they fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas grenades and stun grenades towards the villagers and the foreign peace activists, who participated in the march, which caused dozens of them to suffer breathing difficulty.

The demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and photos of martyr Samir Awad. They marched in the village’s streets, chanting slogans calling for national unity and stressing the need for adhering to the Palestinian constants, resisting the occupation and releasing all prisoners.



Israeli bulldozers demolish Bab al-Shams village again

By Palestinian Information Centre
January 18, 2013

RAMALLAH, – Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished the Palestinian village of Bab al-Shams under the protection of an Israeli large force, after being set up by Palestinian activists on Palestinian land threatened with confiscation within the so-called “E1″ area.

Eyewitnesses said that hundreds of Israeli soldiers arrived to the scene accompanied by bulldozers, and began demolishing, dismantling and removing the village’s tents.

The occupation forces surrounded a large area in the vicinity of the village, and closed the roads leading to the Bab al-Shams village, while Israeli soldiers have started the demolition process, the sources added.

Meanwhile, Judges of the so-called “Ofer and Magistrate” courts decided on Wednesday evening, to release all detainees of Bab al-Shams village, who were arrested yesterday afternoon after they have managed to return to the village.
Twenty activists, between 17 and 50 years old, were arrested from the village by the Israeli forces, including a foreign activist, a Jerusalemite, and the rest were from the West Bank, where they were released on bail after paying a thousand NIS for 15 activists, and being removed from the village of Bab al-Shams for a whole month, the lawyer Bassam Bahr said in a press release.

He noted that the Ministry of Prisoners has paid the bails for the detainees, where a lawyer from the ministry and the Palestinian Prisoner Society and a lawyer representative for Bab al-Shams Village had attended the trial.

Furthermore, Magistrate’s Court has extended yesterday the arrest of Amer Zeddani, 17, from the town of Silwan until next Sunday pending further investigation, and the arrest of Khalil Abu Sanad, 17, and Mahmoud Sarhan, 17.

In a related context, the court released Ibrahim Odeh, 23, Samah Sarhan, 19, and Mohammed Abu Sanad,18, after paying bail of 2,500 shekels for each one, and 10 days house arrest.

Wadi al-Hilweh Information Center indicated that the four were arrested earlier this year, and charged them with numerous counts, including throwing Molotov cocktail in Silwan.



Army Invades Bab Al-Karama

By IMEMC News
January 20, 2013

Israeli soldiers invaded the Bab Al-Karama village (Gate Of Dignity), that was installed by Palestinian activists on privately-owned Palestinian lands in Beit Iksa village, northwest of Jerusalem.

In a press release, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, Nabil Hababa, stated that Israeli soldiers invaded the area, and photographed the activists in the village.

Hababa added that the soldiers also photographed the mosque that was built from brick in the new village, and told the Palestinians that they are not allowed to build without “a construction permit from Israel.”

The activists said that this is village is on Palestinian lands, and that Israel, as a state that illegally occupies Palestine, has no legal or moral authority.

They added that they will remain in the new village, and voiced an appeal to the Palestinian people and international peace activists to head to Bab Al-Karama in order to protect it from the occupation.

Furthermore, Hababa called on local and international peace activists to come to Bab Al-Karama, adding that despite Israeli roadblocks and closure, the activists can still come to the village through the mountains.

He said that the Palestinians and their supporters reject the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation, and the illegal Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities in occupied Palestine, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Bilal Gheith Kiswani, spokesperson of the activists in Bab Al-Karama, called on international peace activists to be continuously present in the village to prevent the army from demolishing it.

Kiswani stated that the residents are determined to remain in the village, and that they will remain steadfast despite the cold and despite their very limited resources. He also called on the media to be constantly present in the village to document the Israeli violations.



JFJFP Statement in Support of Bab al-Shams
January 18, 2013

The tent village of Bab al-Shams was set up on Friday January 11th, 2013, on land in E1, which is an area between East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumin.

Bab al-Shams was set up as a “fact on the ground”, in protest against the Israeli government’s authorisation of 3,000 settler homes in E1, in response to the UN’s acceptance of Palestine as a non-member observer state.

The new Israeli settlement would link East Jerusalem with Ma’ale Adumin, thus splitting the West Bank in half and foreclosing the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel’s illegal, punitive and unjust authorisation has been strongly criticised by European governments. The governments of Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain summoned their Israeli ambassadors for an explanation.

Although the Bedouin owners of the land had a court order that said the presence of the villagers was legal and that the owners had six days to appeal against the Israeli government’s confiscation of their property, soldiers moved in early on the morning of Sunday January 13th, on the orders of Prime Minister Netanyahu in defiance of the courts, and destroyed the camp and arrested the villagers.

On Friday, Palestinians created a new village, al-Karama – Dignity – beside the village of Beit Iksa, near Jerusalem.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) recognises the moral and legal right and duty of Palestinians to protest against and resist the injustice and illegality of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and salutes the bravery of the activists of Bab al-Shams and Bab al-Karama.

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