Hundreds of Palestinians installed tents declaring what they called Bab Al-Shams Palestinian village, near the Az-Zayyim village, east of occupied East Jerusalem; the tents were installed on areas that Israel regards as E1 and intends to build thousands of units for Jewish settlers on Palestinian property.The village is located in the area located between occupied East Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim illegal settlement bloc where Israel is planning to build thousands of units for Jewish settlers.
The Israeli project would block any geographical contiguity of the Palestinian territories, and comes in direct violation of International Law.
The Palestinian activists said that the new project is a confirmation of the right of the Palestinians to build on their own lands in the occupied West Bank.
Abdullah of Rahma, a nonviolent peace activist in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, stated that the decision to install the new village (tent camp), “Bab Al-Shams” (The Gate of the Son), is part of the Palestinians are determination to defend their lands against Israel’s illegal settlement activities.
Abu Rahma added that the activists started formulating the idea, several months ago, to establish this camp on Palestinian lands that Israel intends to illegally confiscate; the lands belong to residents of the Palestinian towns of At-Tour, Al-Isawiyya, Abu Dis, Al-Ezariyya, Anata and Az-Za’yyim.
E1 is a 13 kilometer stretch of Palestinian lands located in the occupied West Bank between Maale Adumim and occupied East Jerusalem.
He added that this camp is one of the forms of nonviolent resistance against the occupation and its illegal settlements, and added that men and women from different parts of the West Bank are part of this project.
Abu Rahma further stated that the activists released a statement declaring that “Bab Al-Shams village was built through a free Palestinian decision without any construction permit from the occupation, this is our land and we have the right to develop it”.
“We decided to establish Bab Al-Shams village on lands that are specified as E1, the same lands that the occupation decided, a few month ago, to build around 4000 units for Jewish settlers. We will not be silent, we refuse be silenced, this is our land, this is a Palestinian property”, the statement reads.
Abu Rahma further stated that the name of the village comes from Bab Al-Shams novel that was written Lebanese author, Elias Khoury; the novel speaks of the history of Palestine, the Nakba of 1948, through a love story between Younis, a Palestinian resistance fighter who joins the resistance in defense of Palestine while his wife, Nabeeha, stays at her village in the Galilee.
The fighter, throughout the fifties and sixties of last century, continued his activities with the resistance in Lebanon, and would from time to time “sneak” into the country to meet his wife in a cave Bab Al-Shams.
The novel is narrated by Dr. Khalil, who is treating Younis after he fell into a coma; Khalil speaks to Younis while he is in a coma and tells him several stories that depict the Palestinian Nakba, the Palestinian history of occupation and resistance.
The activists’ statement also said that Bab Al-Shams is ‘the gateway to freedom, the gateway to Jerusalem, and the gateway to the Right of Return of all refugees displaced from hundreds of villages that were destroyed when Israel was created in the historic land of Palestine.
“The world has been silent, ignoring our rights and suffering”, the statement reads, “Israel kept enforcing facts on the ground through its violations, the time has come to change the rules of the game”.
‘This is not a symbolic act, but comes in response to Israeli settlement building and we are sending a message to the international community that urgent action must be taken against Israel’s settlement construction,’ Mohammad Khatib, a Palestinian nonviolent activists, one of the organizers of the tent village.