Unarmed resistance against the wall and the occupation has been taking place for nine consecutive years. With its ups and downs, successes and losses, villagers and supporters gather for a special commemoration protest. Approximately 500 demonstrators gathered in the center of the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday to mark nine years since village residents began their popular, unarmed resistance against the separation wall. The wall, built on the villagers' agricultural land, has allowed for continuous settlement expansion on their annexed fields and olive groves. Over the past nine years, hundreds of demonstrations have taken place, two activists have…Read More... | 4 Comments
Palestinian popular resistance
One week ago, some 300 Palestinian activists established the protest village of ‘Ein Hijleh’ in a cluster of palm trees and long-abandoned houses north of the Dead Sea. Their goal was to protest Israeli government demands to retain control of the Jordan Valley as part of a U.S.-brokered peace deal. One week later, their encampment was forcibly evicted by Israeli forces in the early morning hours. Photos by: Hamde Abu Rahma, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv / Activestills.org In the face of pledges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would not “uproot any Israeli citizen” from…Read More... | 18 Comments
Joining Bil'in's weekly demonstration against the wall after not attending for a while exposes the little differences in the routine of occupation and resistance. It's been a couple of months since my last visit to Bil'in. Not too long, but long enough to suddenly notice those small changes that occur in every living environment, the changes that people can sometimes miss if you're watching from within. It started on the way from Tel Aviv. Passing by the settlement of Hashmonaim I was surprised to suddenly realize that there was one less fence in sight – and this in a region where…Read More... | 8 Comments
A garden of flowers planted in used tear gas grenades memorializes Bassem Abu Rahmah, killed by Israeli forces in 2009 in Bil'in. But recent AP photo coverage looks mostly at the flowers and misses the memorial. Text by Elias Nawawieh Photos by Activestills.org The act is one of both peaceful resistance and an answer to the separation wall erected by the State of Israel. Residents of the village of Bil'in have created an oasis in the arid landscape of the West Bank, and sown flowers in tear gas canisters which were fired at protesters by Israeli forces. Bassem Abu Rahmah,…Read More... | 4 Comments
After several days of small-scale demonstrations ahead of Obama's visit, Palestinians organized two larger events Wednesday morning as the American president landed at Ben-Gurion Airport. About 500 people rebuilt 15 tents on privately owned lands in the new village-outpost of "Bab Al-Shams," located at the heart of the much controversial E-1 area, where Israel intends to build thousands of new settler houses, isolating Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and cutting it in two. Bab Al-Shams was originally set up a few months ago, and dismantled by Israeli police several days later. Activists in the new Bab Al-Shams held…Read More... | 34 Comments
Palestinian activists create a new village, Al Manatir, on private Palestinian land near the West Bank village of Burin threatened by nearby Israeli settlements. Israeli forces violently evacuate the area, resulting in arrests and injuries. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 2, Palestinian activists erected a new protest village in the spirit of Bab Al-Shams on a hilltop overlooking the West Bank village of Burin. Named Al Manatir, the new village's location was selected to protest the expansion of nearby Israeli settlements and the violence and harassment Burin's residents frequently face from…Read More... | 7 Comments
In third such project in as many weeks, hundreds of Palestinians erect new neighborhood of Burin, calling it Manatir. The activists and village residents were quickly attacked by IDF soldiers and local settlers. Update: After hours of clashes where IDF troops reportedly shot live bullets, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets inside the village of Burin, the army completely cleared the new neighborhood of Al Manitar. At least five Palestinians were arrested throughout the day and an unknown number were injured. See pictures of Border Police dispersing activists here. Some 300 Palestinians from the village of Burin and the popular committees against…Read More... | 20 Comments
UPDATE, 8:30 a.m.: Mass police and army forces evacuated Bab Al-Shams overnight, following a statement made by the prosecuter general stating that the outpost is an immediate threat to the security of the region. Hundreds of soldiers and police detained the dozens of activists present, who resisted the eviction non-violently, and put them on busses to Qalandiya checkpoint. The tents have remained in Bab Al-Shams, and authorities are waiting on the High Court to rule on whether or not they too can be brought down. The heart of the legal controversy is whether or not Bab Al-Shams was built on…Read More... | 48 Comments
In response to the Israeli government's plans to build 4,000 housing units for Jewish settlers in the E1 area, Palestinians set up a new tent village called Bab Al-Shams (Gate of the Sun). Police attempts to dismantle the new village were thwarted by a temporary warrant issued by the High Court of Justice. Some 250 Palestinians, organized in part by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and activists from several villages in struggle against the wall and settlements, arrived at the area known by Israel as E1 early this morning, and started work on their new village. Activists state that the…Read More... | 206 Comments
Thirteen anti-occupation activists were awoken by police officers early Sunday morning to receive closed military zone orders, preventing them from joining Palestinians in weekly demonstrations in the West Bank. By Leehee Rothschild Israeli police officers distributed closed military zone orders for four West Bank villages early Sunday morning to 13 prominent activists in groups such as Anarchists Against the Wall, Ta'ayush, and the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement. In most cases, the military orders were delivered personally, but for some activists who happened not to be home, they were left under their doors. In some cases, the officers came to look…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ten years have passed since Israel started building the wall, probably the largest and most expensive construction project in its history, which does not seem to be going anywhere. For four months now I've been presenting its story, and now it is time to offer some breaking updates, look into the future, and conclude. The final chapter of the series. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills This was supposed to be a four part mini-project for the week of Passover. However, as work progressed, interview followed interview, and the tours along the wall's route unraveled new stories, and as the…Read More... | 42 Comments
Just as it is a story of suicide attacks, security, annexation, legal questions and political controversy – the story of the separation wall is also that of the popular, unarmed and joint struggle of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals against it. What started in September, 2002 as a small spontaneous action by a few farmers became the heart of Palestinian resistance to the occupation. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills I guess it's no coincidence that whenever I think of the beginning of the popular struggle against the wall I think of Gil Na'amati. The story of Na'amati, who was…Read More... | 10 Comments
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