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PHOTOS: A week of joint struggle in Sumud Freedom Camp

For over a week, Jewish activists from across the globe have joined Palestinians in an effort to rebuild a depopulated village in the West Bank. 

By: Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Activists carry one of the Sumud Camp’s tents on the early morning of May 19, 2017, Sarura, West Bank. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Activists carry one of the Sumud Camp’s tents on the early morning of May 19, 2017, Sarura, West Bank. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

It has been over a week since 250 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews came together to establish the “Sumud Freedom Camp” on the site of Sarura, a former Palestinian village in the West Bank, whose residents were expelled by Israeli forces between 1980 and 1998 (“sumud” is Arabic for steadfastness).

Organizers announced that the “camp will stand until the families can return to the homes.” In the daytime, activists worked together to reclaim land that had been taken, rebuild ancestral homes, rehabilitate historic wells, and advance the livelihood of the villagers.

So far the camp has twice been raided by the Israeli army. Soldiers arrived to demolish tents that had been erected by the activists and confiscate equipment. Currently, activists are focusing on rehabilitating the caves in the area in which Palestinians can live, instead of building new living quarters, which are easily dismantled by the Israeli army.

Sumud Freedom Camp is located in the south Hebron Hills, part of Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. Area C covers over 60 percent of the West Bank and is home to an estimated 180,000-300,000 Palestinians, who suffer from discrimination in access to water and infrastructure, as well as building permits.

A Palestinian and an international Jewish activist carry wooden poles to build one of Sumud Freedom Camp’s tents, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian and an international Jewish activist carry wooden poles to build one of Sumud Freedom Camp’s tents, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian and diaspora Jewish activist set up wooden pole to build the Sumud Freedom Camp’s main tent, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian and a diaspora Jewish activist set up wooden pole to build the Sumud Freedom Camp’s main tent, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Activists listen to a speech given by a Palestinian elder from Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Activists listen to a speech given by a Palestinian elder from Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

A diaspora Jewish activist sits beside a Palestinian woman at the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017.

A diaspora Jewish activist sits beside a Palestinian woman at the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 19, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians and activists dance Dabka, just a few hours before Israeli soldiers raided Sumud Freedom Camp for the first time, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinians and activists dance dabka, just a few hours before Israeli soldiers raided Sumud Freedom Camp for the first time, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Activists shape a human wall in front of two Israeli soldiers to stop them from raiding the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Activists form a human wall in front of two Israeli soldiers to stop them from raiding the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

International Jewish activists chant in front of an Israeli soldier during a night raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

International Jewish activists chant in front of an Israeli soldier during a night raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 20, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Activists build a new tent after Israeli soldiers dismantled the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 24, 2017.

Activists build a new tent after Israeli soldiers dismantled the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 24, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Fadel Al-Amer, a Palestinian elder from Sarura, prepares dinner in his cave which was rehabilitated by activists in order to bring people back to the village, May 24th, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Fadel Al-Amer, a Palestinian elder from Sarura, prepares dinner in his cave which was rehabilitated by activists in order to bring people back to the village, May 24, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Israeli soldiers stand in front a cave in Sarura, where a Palestinian family lives, during the second IDF raid on Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers stand in front of a cave in Sarura, where a Palestinian family lives, during the second IDF raid on Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Activists try to prevent the Israeli army from dismantling one of the camp’s tents during the second raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017.

Activists try to prevent the Israeli army from dismantling one of the camp’s tents during the second raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian elder from Sarura tries to resist the second IDF raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian elder from Sarura tries to resist the second IDF raid on the Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Israeli soldiers evacuate a Palestinian elder from the Sumud Freedom Camp in order to dismantle one of the protest camp’s tents, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017. (Ahmed al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers evacuate a Palestinian elder from the Sumud Freedom Camp in order to dismantle one of the protest camp’s tents, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017. (Ahmed al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists confront the Israeli army during a raid on Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists confront the Israeli army during a raid on Sumud Freedom Camp, Sarura, West Bank, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists pose for a photograph to celebrate the return of two tents after they were confiscated the army in the Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists pose for a photograph to celebrate the return of two tents after they were confiscated by the army in the Sumud Freedom Camp, May 25, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

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    COMMENTS

    1. i_like_ike52

      A nice collection of photos these “conflict tourists” can take home and show to their fellow SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) including “heroic poses” against IDF troops who aren’t going to do anything to them. I also note the picturesque photo of a Palestinian cooking delicious food. It gives a homey touch to the struggle. I have noticed that almost all “progressive” photo albums show delicious food, presumably to show how nice and domestic the chosen “victims” really are.

      It is certainly how charming it is for the Palestinians to want to return to their caves. If they had remained in them the whole time, our conflict tourists would say “see how terrible the occupation is, these poor Palestinians are forced to live in caves!”.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        You know what? Even if you show Israeli occupation troops eating a nice delicious home cooked meal that settler women wearing bonnets and Little House on the Prairie style dresses fixed up for them with all the trimmings it won’t make the occupation less brutal or unjust or hide the fact that these troops with their full tummies then go out and brutalize innocent Palestinians as a routine, everyday practice, or just for practice.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Lewis from Afula

      “Sumud” expresses the Islamofascist will to patiently wait out Israel’s reality – until they get a chance to destroy the country.

      I am am Israeli Sumud. I believe that will soon be entering a time of major civil unrest characterized by Muslim-Christian conflict in Western Europe. Eventually, mass expulsion of arab populations back to their 3rd World cesspits will allow us to similarly “solve” the status of Judea & Samaria.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        So 20% of Israeli citizens are of Palestinian heritage. There are 6.5 million Israeli Jews (give or take) and 6.5 million Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Given the demographic situation you’d think that just once we’d hear the phrase “So this Palestinian I know says….” or maybe “My Palestinian friend so and so thinks….”

        Reply to Comment
        • Eli

          This already happens !

          Reply to Comment
    3. Mark

      Things must be dire if restoring Palestinians to a troglodyte life-style is seen as progress.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Not nearly as dire as rescuing Israelis from the arrogant colonialism and chronic assholism your sentence typifies. When did you become such an ugly people?

        Reply to Comment
        • Firentis

          When did you stop beating your wife?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            So we got Ike52 sneering at cave dwellers. We got Mark calling them troglodytes. We got you calling them noble savages. What part of what I called all this do you not understand? The premise of your response here is that you, Mark, and Ike52 are not a representative sample of the Israeli people. In what way are you not representative? Are you outliers among Israelis? I’d like to know. Is it that you *are* representative except for those Jewish persons Ike52 calls progressive social justice conflict warriors and you call a bunch of spoiled American brats? Except for these people, are most people in Israel like you three non-social-justice-warriors? Because I thought I had heard from you that you are like most people in Israel. Did I get that wrong?

            Reply to Comment
          • Firentis

            When did you stop beating your wife?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Firentis

      So, in the summer heat a bunch of spoiled American brats decided to go to the third world and build cave dwelling for some noble savages. This isn’t overbearing and condescending at all.

      The funny thing about this is that they know that they face absolutely no risk. That is why they came in the first place. Their biggest threat to them is of getting sun stroke and sun burn. Yet they will insist that they are doing some sort of dangerous revolutionary work here as opposed to presenting this as the overpoliticized habitat for humanity summer vacation which this really is.

      In any case, the IDF should round them up and deport them all. But then again, who really cares? They will get their selfies done and go away in a week or two having accomplished nothing more than a good tan in the best case and a sun burn in the worst.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Annemarie Jacobs

      God bless you. I am so glad about your resilience and nonviolent spirit. I am with you with my thoughts and prayers. Annemarie from Germany

      Reply to Comment

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