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PHOTOS: Palestinians establish new protest village in Jordan Valley

Some 300 Palestinian activists descended on a cluster of palm trees and long-abandoned houses north of the Dead Sea on Friday to establish the protest village of ‘Ein Hijleh.’ The aim of the action was to protest demands made by the Israeli government to retain control of the Jordan Valley and other settlements in the midst of current peace negotiations. The action is the first in a campaign of protest villages activists termed ‘Melh Al-Ard’ (Salt of the Earth). 

By: Oren Ziv, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Keren Manor/Activestills.org

Palestinian activists arrive to Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists arrive to the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists shout slogans upon arrival to Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists shout slogans upon arrival to Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Haaretz reported earlier this month that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he “did not intend to uproot any Israeli citizen” from the West Bank and doubled down on his insistence to hold onto the Jordan Valley amid peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

According to the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, which organized the action in Ein Hijleh:

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.

Last year, Palestinian activists erected a massive protest village named Bab al-Shams in the E1 area near Jerusalem to protest the threat of Israeli settlements and annexation there. A month later, activists built a shorter-lived protest village named Al-Manatir, near the West Bank village of Burin.

Palestinian activists celebrate as they arrive to Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists celebrate as they arrive to Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

A Palestinian activist hangs the Palestinian flag on palm tree, in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

A Palestinian activist hangs the Palestinian flag on palm tree, in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

In addition to Israeli settlements, the Jordan Valley has been the site of numerous demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israeli authorities recently, including entire villages. On Thursday, demolitions in the Jordan Valley community of Ein el-Helwe displaced 66 people, including 36 children.

“I am deeply concerned about the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians,” said UN humanitarian coordinator James Rawley, noting that in the Jordan Valley, “the number of structures demolished more than doubled in the last year.”

Palestinian activists prepare for the night in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists prepare for the night in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activist plays in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists play volleyball in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Palestinian activist prays in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activist prays in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists prepare for the night in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists prepare for the night in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists prepare food at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists prepare food at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists around a bonfire in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014.

Palestinian activists around a bonfire in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists around a bonfire in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists around a bonfire in Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Sunrise at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Sunrise at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Sunrise at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Sunrise at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists share morning coffee at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists share morning coffee at Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists clean parts of Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists clear parts of Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank January 31, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists argue with Israeli soldiers in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. Army issued a 'closed military zone' warrant to the activists.

Palestinian activists argue with Israeli soldiers in the Ein Hijleh protest village, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 31, 2014. Army issued a ‘closed military zone’ warrant to the activists. (Activestills.org)

As of Saturday afternoon some 50 people remained in Ein Hijleh and Israeli forces forbid anyone else entering the village.

Related:
In Bab Al-Shams, Palestinians create new facts on the ground
PHOTOS: 48 hours in the West Bank protest village of Bab Al-Shams
Photos: Israeli forces attack Palestinian protest village

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    COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn9

      I like picnics, but they get boring by the second night. I am glad that the Palestinians have a chance to visit the Jordan Valley before it becomes permanently and formally a part of Israel. I hope that they will be able to visit in the future as well, though for many a visa will probably be required.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Rehmat

      According to the American plan negotiated between Kerry and Netanyahu, the Jordan Valley will be “leased” to Israel by the Fatah controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) for the next ten years, during which the Jewish occupied forces will withdraw gradually. This has been rejected by Mahmoud Abbas’ chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

      The Jordan Valley along with Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem, was captured during Israel’s 1967 War of Aggression.

      http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/29/israel-to-annex-jordan-valley/

      Reply to Comment
      • Tony Riley

        Would it kill you to tell the truth about how Israel defeated all of the Arab armies in a defensive war in 1967? Be a man.

        Reply to Comment
        • Charlotte

          Do you have a source for your bullshit?

          Reply to Comment
          • Tony Riley

            Yes, it’s in what are known as history books. You’re a bit out of your depth here.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Marcos

      My two cents: rehmats whole existence is based on hate and lies. He is certainly not a man.

      Reply to Comment