Palestinians reclaim land slated for Israeli settlement, create new village

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Palestinians established a village named Bab al-Shams in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (Photo: AFP - Abas Momani)

Published Friday, January 11, 2013

Palestinians Friday morning inaugurated a tent village named Bab al-Shams in an area near Jerusalem referred to by Israelis as E1, defying an immediate eviction notice from the Israeli civil administration and military.

The group is entitled to a six day grace period before they are required to apply for a permit, according to a High Court ruling. Lawyers had been awarded an injunction earlier in the day to preempt the eviction.

"We won't budge. We will remain steadfast with the will of God," one of the village coordinators, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh told Al-Akhbar.

The new village of Bab al-Shams, named after a famous novel by Elias Khoury about the Palestinian right of return, comprises 23 tents, with two more being set up, and roughly 250 Palestinians who have proclaimed residency there.

The tent village consists of a Municipality office where the village council will meet, a clinic, a media office, and a kitchen.

Villagers will brave near freezing temperatures at night, but say the tents are designed to protect against the cold, and that they are equipped with thick blankets. They also plan to light a village bonfire.

Palestinians in Bab al-Shams hail from the West Bank and Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1948. Ages range from 18 to 70.

Israeli police have cordoned off the village, closing part of a major highway near the area and other roads. But people have been arriving at Bab al-Shams on foot from the nearby village of Za'ayyem, according to activists.

E1 is a 12 square km area that connects Jerusalem with Israel's largest illegal settlement in the West Bank, Maale Adimum.

Israel's government last month announced it would build 4,000 Jewish-only residential units in the E1 corridor, creating a continuous stretch of Israeli settlements and further severing Palestinian access to Jerusalem.

"Our goal is to create facts on the ground, just as the Israeli military are always creating their own facts on the ground with settlements and outposts," village coordinator Irene Nasser told Al-Akhbar.

"Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to our to our return," said a statement from the group.

(Translation of Tweet from Ala'a Anan in Gaza: New tents of Bab al-Shams village...may God protect you all.)



Dear Friends of Bab al Shams,

To people who regard a by gods relevated text scribbled down on a paper as a foundation for discriminating, suppressing, and killing others, should consider - if they can think and reflect - what Buddha Sakyamuni said 2 500 years ago about the Vedic texts: "The followers of the [by god(s) relevated] Vedic texts have a problem. They don´t know if they are false or true".

The international law is foundation enough to support the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people.

Religious people who suppress and kill have no religion!

Second: Please watch an interview30 jan 2013 with Norman Finkelstein: 'It's Suffering and Sacrifice That Moves A Public':

Finkelstein supports what I said in my former comment (above): Participation is everything!, and he adds a valuable fact:

Now, all pieces for a Palestinian step forward are in place: Europeans are tired of the conflict; the American Jews are ashamed of the Israeli government; neither Israel nor Hamas have any military option; a mass nonviolent campaign is fully possible. But likely?

No one knows...

Cheers, Björn Lindgren
Vassmolösa, Sweden


While Fatah kept arguing to gain political Power over other Palestinians Groups (Hamas, Jihad, etc..), Israel took over every thing.

The Palestinian Authority led by (Fatah and the PLO) lost the battle with Israel when Israel took almost all of West Bank (except Center of Ramallah City), Center of Jericho, Center of Bethlehem, while Saeb and his crew negotiating the so called Peace Talk which gave the Israeli power and time to build settlements while negotiating. (ha ha). Addition to this, The Israelis now using Mr. Abbas declaration of clearance when he gave up his rights of claiming or returning his birth city of (Safad). Israel look at this as General clearance of Palestinians of all Palestine.

Dear friends of Bab AlShams,

Even though the new Village Bab Al Shams was shattered by Israeli force tonight, the Palestinian nonviolent struggle for self-determination, human rights, dignity, democracy, and a state has just begun. There will be more tactical losses, but in the long run, when the nonviolent propaganda and struggle gains momentum, things will change.

The Bab Al Shams action is this very change. Even the (young) Jews in the U.S. look with disgust at the Israeli government and its politics and actions.

M.K. Gandhi and Indian's struggle for swaraj (self-rule) gained momentum 1930 when Gandhi launched the salt march; walking to the sea and extracting salt, breaking the British salt monopoly.

Very simple, very symbolic, very effective.

In her book "Why Civil Resistance Works," Erica Chenoweth, American non-violent activist and author, summarizes her empirical studies: Participation is Everything!

Another valuable reference is Norman Finkelstein's "What Gandhi Says: About nonviolence, resistance and courage." Finkelstein has long and outspokenly taken a Palestinian stand.

Cheers, Björn Lindgren
Vassmolösa, Sweden


Need to build low income housing for all whether they be Arab or Israeli, Christian, Muslim or Jew. All struggles are really at their core part of the class war. All working men must unite and not be divided by the illusions perpetuated by the ruling class

Need to end colonialism. It is not about "Jews", it is about colonialism.

That land is Jewish ancestral homeland and yours is in Arabian Peninsula.Don't pretend you don't know it,land thieves.

The land is Palestine. Bible is not a source of land ownership, and, anyway, by Bible Jews are from today's Iraq LOL. Go to your imagined (lied) "ancestral homeland", you colonizers.

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