Palestine-Israel, the joint struggle against occupation and the separation fence continue
mashriq / arabia / iraq |
community struggles |
Saturday April 05, 2008 17:57 by Ilan S. - AAtW ainfos Tel Aviv
Qaddum, Apartheid highway 443, Bil'on, Um SAlmuna, El Hader
The main actions the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall participated in were in Qaddum (Wednesday) and the Friday demonstrations - Against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in (the 163rd), and these of the Bethlehem region - Um Salmuna, and El Khader. We also were invited by the regional comity to the demonstration against the Apartheid highway 443 connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but pass through Palestinian occupied and confiscated lands (The Palestinians of the region are forbidden to travel on). [
The main actions the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall participated in were in Qaddum (Wednesday) and the Friday demonstrations - Against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in (the 163rd), and these of the Bethlehem region - Um Salmuna, and El Khader. We also were invited by the regional comity to the demonstration against the Apartheid highway 443 connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but pass through Palestinian occupied and confiscated lands (The Palestinians of the region are forbidden to travel on).
Following is a mail distributed as a call for action - A call to action: Help the village of Qaddum!
Settlers are evicted from their illegal settlement on Qaddum lands TODAY. People are needed to come this afternoon, evening, and tomorrow. The army is declaring a closed military zone, and only our people will be allowed in.
If you can make it – please contact A. ASAP (A detailed background can be found below)
Settlers have recently taken over lands of the Palestinian village of Qaddum. Unlike certain similar cases – here the Israeli army is willing to admit that the lands are privately owned, and is willing to evict settlers from a house they've occupied on the land. But the settlers keep coming back.
(However, this was already done superficially several times, the teens who are staying there just go few hundreds meters away and after a while return. I.S.)
At the invitation of the land owner (to the AAtW) we plan to take over the house and keep it for a limited period after the settlers are next evicted.
To do this we'll need a great deal of help from as many volunteers who can get to the house and stay in it in shifts. We'll also need license and/or car owners to help with getting people to and from the land.
To join, and for more details, please contact us at - email@example.com
Or call S. or H.
The village of Qaddum is located between Quliquilia and Nablus, near Al-Funduq. Since the beginning of the Intifada in 2000 access to some of the village's lands has become virtually impossible due to there vicinity to the Israeli Settlement of Qdumim.
Most affected by new movement restrictions was the land of Badria Amar. Badria's land is at the foot of Qdumim, and since the road that went near the settlement was closed access to the land has become very difficult. The family has therefore hardly reached the land in the passing years.
Several months ago the land and a small empty house on it were taken over by settlers from Qdumim, who dubbed their new outpost "Shvut Ami" ("My People's Return"). Badria, the NGO "Yesh Din" and Adv. Michael Sfard began a legal struggle over the land. The army acknowledged the fact that the land is privately owned, and agreed to evict the settlers. However, its actual course of action has since been to evict the settlers back to Qdumim, let them go, and allow them to walk the 10-minute distance back to the "outpost".
This little game has been played out some 10 times already, and each time requires more stress being laid upon the army for it to agree to re-evict. The army refuses to make sure the settlers don't return to the land, which is why the land owner and the village council turned to us and invited us to take over the house ourselves once it's next evicted, and to keep hold of it for a while so as to send a message to both the army and the settlers. The village's support is guaranteed, although many in the village fear going to the land themselves due to the nearness of the settlement.
Each time the settlers build extensions to the house and start laying out infrastructure for water and electricity – and each time the army re-demolishes them. In one of these demolishes a part of the original house was damaged, and the army promised to fix the damage in coordination with the land owner. This means that the army has to evict the settlers AND in fact give us at least a day's notice on this. At first the army was hesitant about this, fearing they cannot control the tension between us and the settlers. However - this eviction is happening now.
We are now planning to get to the land, attempt to hold a joint ceremony with the village celebrating the re-take-over of the Palestinian land, and start holding continuous presence there.
As mentioned above – we need a great deal of help in order to maintain this presence. Please spread this message to as many people as you can, so that we can seriously deal with the challenge at hand, and reaffirm Palestinian ownership of the land.
After "coordination" with the Israel occupying administration, part of our activists were allowed to enter the area the house is on - as the place was declared a closed military zone. Afternoon, when we arrived, the state force at the entrance checked our ID to see if we are on the list of permits. Then, they let us enter but refused to allow the car with the equipment.
When we entered the area we have seen that some of the settlers youth had already returned. We applied some pressure on the commander of the state force and the made the teens live the howse and move a hundred meter away.
Gradually, the teens summoned settlers adults to their help. At the beginning the state force detained two of them but soon released them and stop blocking the others who came soon. These, seeng the state force do nothing, started to pressure us to go away - first with words and soon with pushing. Due to bad balance of power - us only 8 and they nearly 100, we decided to go away.
Another round is expected as there was a legal scandal and each state force agency blaming the other for the lousy functioning of theirs and promising that next time they will do their job.
Qaddum event - link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq_33tSp6JE
In Bil'in, we experience again the gradual deescalation of the Israeli state forces suppression of the Friday demonstrations.
This time, after the non violence demonstrators arrived at the gate of the route of the separation fence, they announced as usual the area as closed military zone and warn us not to touch the fences. In spite of it, few comrades opened the gate to the route the electronic fence run in its Middle. A warning shot initiated the stone throwing of the youngsters who do not share with us the non violent mode. For a while, there were some minutes of shooting of the state force - mainly tear gas canisters. The majority of us stayed near the fence, but when the state force renewed with intensity its shooting we returned to the village.
Al along the confrontation, the state force remained (the first time ever) on the other side of the route the fence is on, and did not come to our side to harass the stone throwers and the non violent demonstrators who stayed near by.
THE APARTHEID HIGH WAY 443
The previous verdict of the Israeli high court of "justice" that authorized years ago the confiscation of the Palestinian lands for the 443 road was based on its being also for use by the Palestinian villages along it.
However, for years the villagers were not permitted to use it. When it was brought before the Israeli high court of "justice", it changed its opinions and authorized the de facto preventing the use of the road by the villagers.
Following the recent very negative high court decision, the demonstrations that started few months ago but did not continue whole waiting to the decision, started again. The AAtW was called to renew the joint struggle and we did.