In Khan al-Ahmar, I found renewed hope for resisting the occupation

Oren Ziv, an ActiveStills photojournalist, spent the last 4 months in Khan al-Ahmar. On Saturday night, their struggle finally bore fruit.

Oren Ziv, sending off photos after a police raid in Khan al-Ahmar on October 15, 2018. (Ahmad Al Bazz/

Oren Ziv writes in 972 Magazine, “Ever since Israel’s High Court of Justice gave its stamp of approval for the Israeli army to demolish Khan al-Ahmar nearly two months ago, I have slept in the village almost every single night. In that time, a number of people (including at times my editors) have asked me, and sometimes I even asked myself, what is the point?

The first answer is entirely technical: my fear that Israeli authorities might completely block off access during the demolition. If that were to happen, any journalists who weren’t already inside the village when the bulldozers arrived would not be able to document the eviction and destruction.

While Palestinian journalists maintained a constant presence at Khan al-Ahmar these past few months, aside from a few photographers, I was the only Israeli journalist consistently reporting from the village over the past four months. My presence in the village taught me that despite all of its previous losses, the popular struggle in the occupied territories is still alive.

Throughout the summer, and especially since the final court ruling in September, hundreds of Palestinian activists remained in the village day and night. The Palestinian Authority Committee Against the Wall and Settlements provided the infrastructure for their stay — from bus rides to blankets to meals to electricity for charging phones.

A month ago, not a single person in Israel, the West Bank, or even around the world, would have believed that the struggle of a few hundred activists could succeed in delaying — if not defeating completely — Netanyahu’s decision to demolish the village.” (More…)

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