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PHOTOS: Ein Hijleh village evicted after seven days of protest

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

Palestinians shout slogans in the in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. Over 300 Palestinians participated in the action, as part of Melh Al-Ard (Salt of the Earth) campaign against the Israeli plans to annex the Jordan valley, discussed during the current round of negotiation-talks between the PA and Israel, coordinated by John Kerry.

Palestinians shout slogans in the in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. Over 300 Palestinians participated in the action, as part of Melh Al-Ard (Salt of the Earth) campaign against the Israeli plans to annex the Jordan valley, discussed during the current round of negotiation-talks between the PA and Israel, coordinated by John Kerry.

In the face of pledges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would not “uproot any Israeli citizen” from the West Bank and his insistence on retaining control of the Jordan Valley amid talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on January 31, hundreds of Palestinian activists began to occupy abandoned homes in a cluster of palm trees surrounded by land taken by Israeli settlers and military bases north of the Dead Sea.

The Ein Hijleh protest village was thus created, launching the Melh al-Ard (Salt of the Earth) campaign, organized by the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee with the aim of “refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.”

An Israeli military base sits between the protest village and the Deir Hijleh monastery, which owns about 1,000 dunams, some of which were taken by Israeli forces. Ein Hijleh itself stood on land owned by the Greek Orthodox Church, which granted permission for the activists to remain there for at least 30 days.

During the seven days of the encampment, activists began to make the crumbling houses inhabitable, planted trees, installed solar panels, hosted political, religious and diplomatic leaders, screened films and held cultural and political discussions.

But in the early morning hours of Friday, February 7, one week after the village was re-established, hundreds of Israeli forces descended on the remaining activists. Dozens were arrested and as many as 41 were injured according to reports that emerged from the early morning chaos.

Lasting seven days, Ein Hijleh was by far the longest standing of similar protest camps established since early 2013, including Bab al-Shams in the E1 area near Jerusalem, to protest the Israeli settlements in that key location. Other protest camps were the short-lived Al-Manatir near a settlement outpost overlooking the West Bank village of Burin, and the Ahfad Younis neighborhood of Bab al-Shams, timed to protest a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama. Several smaller actions in the Bethlehem area and south Hebron Hills were dismantled almost immediately, sometimes resulting in arrests and injuries for the activists.

Protest leaders have already vowed to return to Ein Hijleh, as well as to continue establishing new villages as part of the ‘Melh al-Ard’ campaign.

Palestinians work to clean and restore long-abandoned houses in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinians work to clean and restore long-abandoned houses in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian activists work to clean an area in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists work to clean an area in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian activists play volleyball as Israeli soldiers patrol nearby in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists play volleyball as Israeli soldiers patrol nearby in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian activists bake flatbread over an open fire in Ein Hijleh protest village, January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists bake flatbread over an open fire in Ein Hijleh protest village, January 31, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian rests in the in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

A Palestinian rests in the in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian activists gather around a fire in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank February 1, 2014.

Palestinian activists gather around a fire in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank February 1, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Due to Israeli army roadblocks that would not allow cars to enter, Palestinians on horseback help deliver supplies to the protest village Ein Hijleh, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 3, 2014.

Due to Israeli army roadblocks to stop cars from entering, Palestinians on horseback help deliver supplies to the Ein Hijleh protest village, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 3, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians use palm branches to keep plastic sheeting in place during high winds in the protest village of Ein Hijleh, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 3, 2014.

Palestinians use palm branches to keep plastic sheeting in place during high winds in the protest village of Ein Hijleh, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 3, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Israeli soldiers patrol in the Ein Hijleh protest camp, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 5, 2014.

Israeli soldiers patrol in the Ein Hijleh protest camp, Jordan Valley, West Bank, February 5, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian youth plant trees in the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014.

A Palestinian youth plant trees in the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Activist leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah, whose arm was injured in clashes with Israeli forces two days previous, sits next to Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Waleed Assaf during a visit by a VIP delegation to the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014.

Activist leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah, whose arm was injured in clashes with Israeli forces two days prior, sits next to Palestinian Agriculture Minister Waleed Assaf during a visit by a VIP delegation to the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians deliver solar panels to the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014. The panels were donated by the Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem (ARIJ) a Palestinian NGO.

Palestinians deliver solar panels to the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014. The panels were donated by the Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem (ARIJ) a Palestinian NGO. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians rest in their tent in the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014.

Palestinians rest in their tent in the Jordan Valley protest village of Ein Hijleh, West Bank, February 6, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Israeli army and police raid and evict the Ein Hijleh protest camp in the early morning hours of February 7, 2014.

Israeli army and police raid and evict the Ein Hijleh protest camp in the early morning hours of February 7, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian activist as they raid and evict the Ein Hijleh protest camp, February 7, 2014.

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian activist as they raid and evict the Ein Hijleh protest camp, February 7, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Israeli army bulldozers clear an area in the Ein Hijleh protest village after the Israeli soldiers and police evicted the village, located in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, in the early hours of February 7, 2014.

Israeli army bulldozers clear an area in the Ein Hijleh protest village after the Israeli soldiers and police evicted the village, located in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, in the early hours of February 7, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

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    COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn9

      This was a relatively cold week. These Palestinians should really wait until the summer before going camping. Thank god that the Israeli soldiers and police helped evacuate these people from that abandoned place. Heaven forbid any of them would have gotten pneumonia. I bet they are really happy now that they are home and can finally take a hot shower. And so many nice facebook pictures to show their friends how active and determined they were during their winter break from classes.

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        I hope you cyncical douche will die by pneumonia some day

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Indeed. This reaction of yours makes you a much nicer person than me.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Ginger Eis

      The Arab-Israeli Conflict is indeed inherently lunatic. It not only involves falsification of history on a massive scale, e.g. Jesus was an Arab; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc. were all Muslims; Arab-Palestinians are the descendants of the Canaanites, etc. but also redefinitions of (English) words: the gathering of anarchists and thugs on a piece of land is now considered a “village”. Next Israel will be accused of “ethnic cleansing” for evicting those “villagers”. The lunacy and its intrinsic idiocy of Israel’s haters know no bounds. Watch what one of these criminal thugs (Bassem Tamimi) and his wife (Nariman) do with their own children (A’hd Tamimi, etc.) to demonize Israel.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ax-Jk2iJL0k

      Reply to Comment
      • Semiotic.Observer

        Ginger, do you have mangoes on your planet?

        Reply to Comment
    3. Beaunieux Patrick

      excellente couverture d’une action de résistance exemplaire

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        indeed, this “excellente couverture d’une action de résistance exemplaire” is emblematic of Palestinian “resistance”: sacrificing children (a) as suicide bombers (with the promise of 72 VIRGINGS in paradise). Sending children to (b) ambush and attack Israeli and Western motorists with hell of rocks causing their cars (some with babies inside) to crash to painful deaths/injuries (while many grown Arab/European male “journalist” film the murderous actions), (c) attack armed soldiers (in the full knowledge that the IDF, the most moral Army in the world, would endanger the lives of its own soldiers to save the delinquent children), (d) stalk, waylay and sexually assault/grope Hebrew University female students on their way to- and from the University (google it if you doubt me), etc.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gingerbreadman

          None of the actions you list above took place at Ein Hejleh camp. The beauty and power of non-violent resistance is rooted in it’s respect for human rights law. No physical threat is posed by its supporters to anyone else. Even the landowners, the Greek Orthodox Church, granted a thirty day use of the land for such non-violent action. But the political threat is huge. Israeli paranoia driven by an insecure public powers (not unlike Egypt’s current military regime) cannot bear the idea that non-violent direct action exposes their crimes of occupation. Ironically, in acting on their fear, they further expose themselves as brutal masters of a crumbling colonialism. Ginger Eis might think twice before muddling herself next time – she is only further embarrassing Israeli politics in front of an intelligent and well-informed international community of critics.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            What a pleasant surprise: you are the only person not engaging in nasty ‘name-calling’ and ‘personal attacks’ as do the rest. I appreciate it – honestly. Congratulations! Non-violence is never a threat to Israel, in fact Israel welcomes it. Israel will debate her enemies anytime, anywhere and any place and, believe you me, sir, the enemies of Israel have all but very bad facts to support their false claims (i.e. “apartheid”, “ethnic cleansing”, etc.), while their cause (i.e. replacing the State Of Israel with “Palestine”) is morally bankrupt. One need not be extremely smart to get that and that part of the International Community that MATTERS gets it. Meanwhile Israel will continue to engage the Muslim population convince them of the futility of replacing the State Of Israel with “Palestine”.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Ted

      END THE ZIONIST OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE, NOW!
      END U S IMPERIALIST SUPPORT OF THE ZIONIST ENTITY, NOW!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        In 1948 you tried to end “the occupation” (when there was no occupation). But you lost.
        In 1967 you tried again to end “the occupation” (when there was no occupation). But you lost – again.
        In 1973 you tried yet again to end “the occupation” and finally throw the Jooz into the sea. But you lost – yet again.
        Since the early 1920’s (when there was no occupation) you engaged in numerous barbaric terrorist mass murder of Jews to end “the occupation”. But you failed. Miserably.
        Now, you use lies, misinformation, abuse of children and misuse of International (Humanitarian) Law. But you won’t succeed! The “occupation” will end when Arabs can’t use Judea and Samaria again to lunch another war. Am Yisrael Chai!

        Reply to Comment
    5. Ginger Eis

      After the expulsion of the Sons and Daughters of Zion, the Land Of Israel was inhabited by squatters who neither understood its value nor did anything to make it fruitful and was laid to waste, barren and left to wither away. Today, the Daughters and Sons of Zion are BACK. As such, the Land rejoices, blooms and is full of life. Today, Israel is the most beautiful and productive country in the region, and her Children keep on coming back. One by one. But Israel’s enemies are once again agitating, rattling, envious, full of hate and desperate – as evidenced inter alia by the re-invention of “Ein Hijleh”. Israel will leave NO STONE unturned in her quest to make peace with all her neighbors. But they who seek to destroy her by force of arms or otherwise, shall perish. Enjoy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QAc87iUAw4

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        You must either use heavy drugs or life in unicorn dreamland

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          I see you have graduated from shouting “Stfu” to outbursts of a few words of anger. That’s not good enough – yet (to earn my response). You have to work harder and (a) increase your vocabulary, and learn to (b) think coherently, (c) communicate what you think in (d) comprehensible sentence(s). I know it is difficult. But you can do it; you can make it if you really want, my good friend. But you must try, try and try. Here is your guide. Enjoy.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIKv6VYsf8s

          Reply to Comment
    6. Sherri Munnerlyn

      Watch “Rain of Fire White Phosphorus in Gaza by Human Rights Watch” on YouTube
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG9E5ZvpnUs&feature=youtube_gdata_playerGinger is one of those Zionists who love to watch Israel burn to death children in Palestine with chemical weapons like white phosphorous. She gets kicks out of watching Gentile children burn. There is a special place in hell with Ginger’s name on it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        It is public knowledge that they who INTENTIONALLY (a) fire tens of thousands of missiles into Israeli civilian populations, (b) seek to replace Israel with “Palestine”, hide behind women and children and fight Israel from civilian homes, schoolyards and places of worship! It is well known that the IDF is the MOST MORAL Army in the history of warfare! Israel NEVER wants war. But, again, they who feel called upon by Allah to kill Jews and destroy Israel, shall perish. The IDF endangers the lives of its own soldiers to minimize enemy’s civilian-casualty. So pls. spare us the cheap sentimental propaganda of Israel-haters! Here is an independent testimony in official UN proceedings. Watch. And Weep!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM0fTss0UX4

        Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Sherri, I honestly wish- and believe that you CAN make thoughtful and serious arguments either (a) in support of your position(s) or (b) against other’s position(s) – instead of engaging in (c) ‘name-calling’/’ad hominem attack’ and (d) ‘guilt-trips’. Pls. do not play into the hands of those who think that women are limited to cheap emotions, false sentiments and reduced to begging for sympathy (with bad “facts”, etc.).

        Reply to Comment