In December, literally hours after Palestine was voted rights within the United Nations, Israel showed the world its middle finger and openly stated that it was going to build a major settlement on a land named E1, to the East of Jerusalem. This is a huge area of over 12 square kilometers. In effect building on here will split the West Bank further, making anyone on one side of the settlement unable to travel to the other side. Again the world is up in arms, yet fails to do anything but say that this is wrong. Saying it is fine but action is needed…..and action happened.
On Friday 11th January, Palestinians and peace activists from around the world, decided to occupy this piece of Palestinian land and give it a name, Bab Al Shams- Gate to the Sun named after a novel by Elias Khury. 20 tents were erected on the land which is owned by Palestinians who openly show their deeds to the land.
This means nothing to Israel, who have now declared this area a closed military zone and in the dead of the night about 3am GMT 13th January, stormed the village and forcibly evicted the hundreds of peaceful protesters, sitting on their own land.
Soldiers numbered at least 5 to each person there. Journalists were targeted and beaten to stop them from filming and documenting what was going on. I won’t post those pictures on here.
Bab Al Shams may be emptied today, and it may have been short lived. But for that 48 hours when it drew Palestinians from all over to sit and hope, it gave a glimmer of hope to them and from me who really wished I could be there to show my solidarity and show them that yes, we do care.