Last week, some 300 Palestinian activists established the protest village of Ein Hijleh in a cluster of palm trees and abandoned houses, in the Jordan Valley, north of the Dead Sea.Published 13 February, 2014 by the Alternative Information Center
Ein Hijleh was created in the face of pledges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would not ‘uproot any Israeli citizen’ from the West Bank and that his insistence on retaining control of the Jordan Valley, amid talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The village was organized by the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, with aim of ‘refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.’
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.
On February 12, nine activists have been evicted for a second time when they returned to the village. The popular resistance activists returned to check up on their village and stay, when Israeli forces raided the village and showed a military order declaring the village a closed military zone for 1 month.
Two activists, Mahmoud Zawahre and Monther Amira have been arrested. Both Zawahre and Amira were taken to a detention center before they were released on bail. Israeli forces informed both arrestees that they are not allowed to return to the area or visit it for two months.