Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: Palestinians launch “Melh Al-Ard” campaign by reviving Ein Hijleh Village in the Jordan Valley

gennaio 31, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley.

Campaign organizers and participants declared:

We, the daughters and sons of Palestine, announce today the revival of Ein Hijleh village as part of Melh Al-Ard campaign in the Jordan Valley. The action aims at refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.

Accordingly we have decided to revive an old Palestinian Canaanite village in the Jordan Valley next to so called “Route 90” linking the Dead Sea to Bisan. The action is part of a continuous step against the Israeli occupation’s plan to take over and annex the Jordan Valley. This step is a popular act against Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and the constant Judaization of the land.

From the village of Ein Hijleh, we the participants announce that we hold tight to our right to all occupied Palestinian lands. We refuse Kerry’s Plan that will establish a disfigured Palestinian state and recognizes the Israeli entity as a Jewish State. Such a state will turn Palestinians living inside lands occupied in 1948 into residents and visitors that can be deported at anytime. We affirm the unity of our people and their struggle wherever they are for our inalienable rights.

Ein Hijleh village is located in what is called “Area C” in the Jordan Valley, which is under threat of annexation by Israeli policies and Kerry’s plan. Therefore, we have decided to take charge and call for a national action to protect the Jordan Valley and put an end to the constant Judaization of Palestinian lands.

Based on our support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) we call upon our friends and international solidarity groups to stand with the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies including Israeli factories and companies that work in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources.

For instance, we ask you to boycott Mehadrin, the largest Israeli exporter of fruits and vegetables, some of which grown in the Jordan Valley. In addition, Hadiklaim, that exports dates produced by Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley. We also call on you to boycott both Ahava and Premier, cosmetics companies that use Dead Sea minerals to produce its products.

Our Palestinian village is located near Deir Hijleh or St. Gerassimos monastery, on land that is property of the Orthodox monastery. The land mainly consists of few deserted old houses and palm trees. The white soil is highly concentrated with salt, and the area is surrounded by lands taken and used by Israeli settlers. An Israeli base is separating the land from Deir Hijleh monastery which owns a property of about 1000 dunams, some of which are taken by Israeli forces for the excuse of “security reasons.”

The campaign, “Melh A-lArd” (Salt of the Earth), quotes a phrase from the bible, Matthew 13:5, which says, “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.” The name of our village, Ein Hijleh, is based on the original Canaanite name and the water spring (Ein) present there.

We 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.

Video: January 24, 2014 Settlers of Karmel chasing away Bedouin shepherds and flocks

gennaio 27, 2014 at 9:54 am

Video by Ta’ayush Arab Jewish partnership (www.taayush.org)

Settlers stopped Bedouin shepherds on their way to grazing

gennaio 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

January 25, 2014

In the mornings of January 24 and 25, settlers from Karmel prevented Bedouin shepherds from crossing the hill in front of the Umm Al Kheer village in the South Hebron Hills.

On January 24, some fifty settlers were planting olive trees on that hill. When the Bedouins tried to cross it with their sheep, they were stopped by settlers and forced to move down the hill. Although the Israeli army arrived on the scene, the soldiers did nothing to stop the settlers. Israeli activists arrived to the area and spoke with officers from the District Coordination Office (DCO) and police, asserting the Bedouins’ right to cross the hill.

On January 25, some twenty settlers stopped Bedouin shepherds, Israeli activists and a B’tselem staff member who were crossing the same hill. Several settlers also chased the sheep. After 15 minutes the Israeli army declared the area a closed military zone and forced everyone to leave the place.

La mattina del 24 e 25 gennaio i coloni di Karmel hanno impedito ai pastori beduini di attraversare la collina antistante al villaggio di Umm Al Kheer.

Il primo giorno, circa cinquanta coloni stavano piantando degli alberi sulla cima della collina in questione. Nel momento in cui i beduini hanno cercato di attraversarla con le loro pecore sono stati fermati dai coloni, i quali li hanno obbligati a spostarsi sul fondo valle. In quel momento l’esercito israeliano era sul posto e non ha preso nessun provvedimento nei confronti dei coloni. Subito dopo, sono arrivati gli attivisti israeliani e hanno discusso con i funzionari della DCO (District Coordination Office) e la polizia, affermando il diritto dei pastori di poter transitare sulla collina.

Il secondo giorno, circa venti coloni hanno impedito il passaggio ai pastori beduini, agli attivisti iraeliani e ad un operatore di B’tselem durante l’attraversamento della medesima collina. Alcuni tra i coloni hanno scacciato le pecore facendole ritornare verso il villaggio. Dopo un quarto d’ora l’esercito israeliano ha dichiarato l’area “zona militare chiusa” costringendo tutti i presenti ad allontanarsi.

January 24, 2014

P/R: Six arrests in three days in South Hebron Hills

gennaio 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm
In the last three days Israeli police and army arrested four Palestinians and two Operation Dove volunteers
(Segue versione in italiano)

January 20, 2014

At Tuwani – Between January 18-20, four Palestinians and two Operation Dove (OD) volunteers were arrested by the Israeli police and army while Palestinian shepherds were grazing their flocks.

On January 18 at 1.04 pm seven settlers came out from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833), entered the Humra valley while two of them crossed the Palestinian-owned fields, trespassing in an area to which entry is prohibited for Israeli citizens. In the meanwhile two Palestinian shepherds, accompanied by three OD volunteers, were grazing their sheep in this area. At 1.14 pm the shepherds left for their homes and encountered another group of five settlers. After one minute Israeli soldiers arrived, telling the settlers to move away and declaring the area a closed military zone. Subsequently arriving to the area were an additional nine settlers, several Palestinians and Israeli activists, the Israeli police, Border Police and officials from the District Coordination Office (DCO). Once the Israeli forces start to push the people away from the area the shepherd, Mfaddi Ahmed Rabai, refused to leave the area, claiming his right to remain on his own land. While a policeman and a group of soldiers tried to arrest him, he collapsed on the ground. At 13.43 the Israeli army forced everyone to leave the area. Palestinians, Israeli activists and OD volunteers slowly came back to At Tuwani. The Israeli police arrested Mfaddi Ahmed Rabai and brought him to the Kiryat Arba police station before the ambulance arrived to check his health. Rabai was released after some five hours of detention.

On January 19 five Palestinian shepherds from Umm Al Kheer and Tuba villages were grazing their flocks in the Umm Zeitouna valley, accompanied by two OD volunteers. At 10:58 am an army jeep arrived and three soldiers chased the shepherds along the valley. After several minutes the soldiers were situated very close to a Palestinian child, so an OD volunteers placed himself between them. The soldier then forcibly took the passport of the OD volunteer. Afterwards the same soldier caught a Palestinian man and asked the other OD volunteers to give him their passports, but he refused. The soldier threaten the OD volunteers with arrest and ordered the other soldiers to bring him to the jeep. The soldiers, the OD volunteers and the Palestinian walked toward a gravel road inside Ma’on. Once there they encountered three settlers, including the settlement’s security chief, and two policemen. The police officers collected every detail about what happened and declared that the OD volunteers and the Palestinian were under military arrest. At 12.40 pm the army brought them to the Kiryat Arba police station by jeep. Those arrested waited several hours inside the police station without knowing the charges against them. At around 5.45 pm the Palestinian shepherd was released after the policeman took his fingerprints. The OD volunteers were released at around 8 pm after been interrogated for 45 minutes total.

On January 20 at around 8.20 am two Palestinian children from Umm Al Kheer were chased by Israeli soldiers while leading their flocks to the grazing areas in the nearby valleys. Meanwhile another Palestinian went up the hill facing the village to tape this chase. To that hill arrived two settlers, three soldiers, seven women from the Palestinian village and at 8.44 am the Israeli police also arrived. The security chief of Karmel settlement told the police that two women on the hill tried to stone him. After half an hour the police arrested the Palestinian women and brought them to the Kiryat Arba police station. They were released at 3.35 pm without any charge.

The villages of At Tuwani and Umm Al Kheer are situated in the South Hebron Hills, defined as area C. According to the Oslo accords, area C is part of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control. As like many of the Palestinian villages located in area C, At Tuwani and Umm Al Kheer suffer from settlers and military intimidation and violence. As a result, the Palestinian residents encounter great difficulties in accessing their own lands for their everyday farming activities.
Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

Pictures of the incident: click here

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma’on (Hill 833), are considered illegal also under Israeli law.]


gennaio 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Finalmente hai potuto vedere, finalmente hai potuto toccare con mano, sentire sulla tua pelle cosa si prova, trovarsi in questo silenzio, sopra questa terra stanca e sotto il cielo pastello tuonante. Forse ora ti senti anche te parte di questa vita in bilico, certo, con il tempo è facile qui, altro che muri, quelli li vogliono solo loro. Aspettavo questo momento, lo aspettavo da prima che arrivassi, da prima e prima ancora, mi ascolti? Abbiamo mangiato lo stesso sale, è vero la tua lingua si contorce ancora, gli occhi ti si strizzano, ma piano piano passerà vedrai, la tua faccia si stenderà, niente più smorfie o sbuffi, tutto passerà, tutto sarà normale. E’ così da sempre, da quando sono nato, quindi cosa vuoi da me? No, non chiedermi cosa starei facendo a quest’ora se blablabla, solo te hai tempo per pensare a queste cose! Ma torniamo a noi, ti dicevo, mi fa piacere che ci sia anche tu. Voglio chiederti una cosa, sì insomma, riguardo a prima, pensi che sia veramente normale? Io vivo con la paura, tutte le mie emozioni sono sfasate dal costante pericolo, poi ci sono anche le botte… ma quelle il più delle volte passano, la paura invece resta.
Lo sai, queste cose te le sto dicendo perché siamo amici, ma vedi, anche adesso, quest’ingiustizia che ti sto raccontando io la racconto come la mia giornata, con gli occhi fermi e lo spirito fiammante. Avrai capito come viviamo qui, il peso che abbiamo sulle nostre spalle noi lo portiamo fieri, dritti con la schiena, e quando questo ci piega noi rialziamo la testa, guardiamo fisso l’orizzonte e cantiamo una canzone che troviamo sempre in fondo al nostro cuore. Loro, quelli che ci fanno la guerra, non l’hanno ancora capito, ma noi siamo già vincenti. Come dici? Ahah forse sì dovrebbero rilassarsi e bere del tè in compagnia. Lo sai perché ti sto facendo questo discorso? E’ per avvicinarmi a te e farti riflettere. Il mio presente è fatto di limiti, quelli veri, li hai visti anche te i muri che abbiamo davanti, ma nonostante tutto, io ho deciso di combatterli. Credo nelle mie radici e non nei confini imposti e, soprattutto, non voglio arrendermi dando per scontata questa violenza, detto in poche parole, resisto. Ma arriviamo al punto.
Dimmi, dopo che hai mangiato con i nostri figli, sei stato curato dalle nostre madri e benedetto dai nostri padri, dopo che hai respirato tutta questa polvere e hai visto il nostro sangue sulle pietre, che cosa pensi di te stesso? Non voglio una risposta subito, riflettici sopra e in tranquillità mi dirai la prossima volta, ma tieni a mente questa cosa, la tua più grande ingiustizia sarà quella di essere infelice.


P/R: twenty olive trees destroyed in the South Hebron Hills area of At Tuwani

gennaio 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm
(Segue versione in italiano)

January 13, 2014

At Tuwani – This morning Palestinians discovered 20 olive trees destroyed alongside bypass road 317 in the South Hebron Hills area of At Tuwani.

The olive tree groves belongs to the Al Amor family from At Tuwani and had been planted 34 years ago. At 9.35 am the owners, Operation Dove volunteers and B’tselem staff members gathered near the destroyed trees, waiting for the police. After one hour the Israeli police and army arrived to the area and spent four hours documenting the incident.

Members of the Al Amor family testified that another 10 olive trees were damaged in the same orchard only two months ago. This field is located alongside bypass road 317 on the way from Ma’on settlement to Avigayil outpost and is not visible from At Tuwani, thus rendering it easier for vandals to damage trees over the past few years in this area.

The number of Palestinian-owned trees uprooted and damaged in the South Hebron Hills area in the last five months stand at 195. Olive trees are an essential resource for the Palestinian community, and their damage causes serious economic loss.

Nevertheless the Palestinian communities of the South Hebron Hills area are still strongly involved using the nonviolence as a way to resist to the Israeli occupation.

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

Pictures of the incident: click here

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma’on (Hill 833), are considered illegal also under Israeli law.]

Palestinians succesfully plow and sow their land near Havat Ma’on outpost

gennaio 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

On January 7, at 9.05 am twelve residents of At Tuwani began working their fields in the Meshaha valley with three tractors. Because of the proximity of the their land to the Havat Ma’on outpost, the Palestinians gave advance notice of their work to the District Coordination Office (DCO). Accordingly, two DCO cars and five officers were already present in the area between the Palestinian-owned fields and Havat Ma’on when the Palestinians arrived in the Meshaha valley.

At 9.33 am a settler child began to throw stones at the Palestinians and OD volunteers from afar, although the stones reached anyone. The DCO officers attempted to stop the child settler several times. Additional settlers – two children, one teenager and one adult – were also present in the area. At 9.47 am the Palestinians completed their work and slowly left the place. The settlers followed the Palestinians along the Humra valley until reaching the At Tuwani village. They watched the Palestinians from a distance for some fifteen minutes.

Palestinians and DCO informed the police about the settler child’s attempt to disrupt the field plowing in the Meshaha valley.

Martedì 7 gennaio alle 9.05 dodici residenti del villaggio di At Tuwani hanno iniziato ad arare e seminare la terra di loro proprietà nella valle di Meshaha. A causa della vicinanza di questi campi all’avamposto illegale di Havat Ma’on, i palestinesi hanno avvisato la DCO (District Coordination Office) della loro presenza. Questa, infatti, era sul posto sin dall’inizio dei lavori con due mezzi e cinque agenti che osservavano la scena dalla strada sterrata che separa i campi palestinesi dall’avamposto.

Alle 9.33 un bambino colono ha iniziato a tirare pietre nella direzione dei palestinesi e dei volontari di Operazione Colomba. Tuttavia le pietre non hanno mai raggiunto nessuno. Un agente della DCO ha provato a fermare più volte il bambino che tuttavia è riuscito a tirare qualche altra pietra. Sulla scena erano presenti anche altri coloni: due bambini, un adolescente e un adulto. Alle 9.47 i palestinesi hanno completato i lavori e lentamente si sono incamminati verso casa. L’intero gruppo di coloni ha seguito i lavoratori lungo tutta la valle di Humra, fino a un centinaio di metri da At Tuwani. Lì si sono fermati a osservare il villaggio per circa un quarto d’ora.

Sia i Palestinesi che la DCO hanno informato la polizia sul tentativo del giovane colono di disturbare l’attività di aratura nella valle di Meshaha.

Negligence of the Israeli soldiers exposes again Palestinian children at risk on the way to school

gennaio 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

On January 6, the Israeli military escort failed to accompany Palestinian school children in the South Hebron Hills on the gravel road from At Tuwani to the village of Tuba. The children arrived at the designated escort meeting place at 10.30 am, but the army wasn’t there. The children waited in the winter morning for the army until 11.05 am, and when the soldiers failed to appear volunteers from OD accompanied the children via a longer path.  However, when the group arrived near the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on, they encountered five settlers. The children waited an additional twenty minutes in the Humra valley until the settlers came back to the outpost. The children were frightened of the settlers and felt very unsafe, and OD volunteers accompanied them via an even longer route.

The children arrived in Tuba at 12.10 pm instead of 10.50 am, if the military escort had arrived on time.

Since the beginning of the school year, the children were forced to walk via the long way without a military escort 10 times.

For further information on the military escort and how it was carried out in the past years, the report “The Dangerous Road to Education . Palestinian Students Suffer Under settler Violence and Military Negligence” is available at: http://goo.gl/CXfi9

Lunedì 6 gennaio la scorta militare dell’esercito israeliano non ha accompagnato gli studenti di Tuba che frequentano la scuola di At Tuwani, sulla via del ritorno. I soldati avrebbero dovuto incontrare i bambini nel luogo concordato alle 10.30 ma non si sono presentati. I bambini hanno aspettato i militari fino alle 11.05 ma la scorta non si è presentata. Data la situazione, gli studenti hanno deciso di intraprendere una strada più lunga, accompagnati dai volontari di Operazione Colomba. Tuttavia, quando il gruppo è arrivato nei pressi dell’estremità meridionale di Havat Ma’on, cinque coloni non hanno permesso ai bambini di proseguire. Questi ultimi hanno così aspettato altri 20 minuti nella valle di Humra, fino a che i coloni non sono rientrati nell’avamposto. Tuttavia, dato che i bambini si sentivano ancora in pericolo, hanno percorso una strada ancora più lunga, sempre accompagnati dai volontari.

Gli studenti sono arrivati a Tuba alle 12.10, ma se la scorta militare si fosse presentata in orario i bambini avrebbero potuto essere a casa alle 10.50.

Dall’inizio dell’anno scolastico i bambini hanno percorso una via molto più lunga e senza scorta militare per ben 10 volte.

Per ulteriori informazioni sulla suddetta scorta e sul suo andamento negli anni passati è disponibile il rapporto “The Dangerous Road to Education. Palestinian Students Suffer Under Settler Violence and Military Negligence” all’indirizzo: http://goo.gl/CXfi9

Buon anno.

gennaio 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Alle donne e agli uomini che hanno saputo, che sanno e che sapranno guardare oltre l’orizzonte.

Che l’anno sia buono.

Viva la libertà!