Sunday, June 16, 2019

Popular resistance sends message to Obama

By George Mandarin - March 20, 2013
Section: [Main News]

Photo by Lazar Simeonov.

On Wednesday 20 March 2013, Palestinian activists erected a new neighborhood near to what was once the site of the protest village, Bab Al-Shams. The newly constructed Ahfad Younis (Arabic for the grandchildren of Younis) is named after the main character of the Bab Al-Shams novel, and sits on a hilltop opposite to the original Bab Al-Shams site. 

Activists have reportedly set up approximately 15 tents in the new 'neighborhood,’ located on  land belonging to Al-Ezzarieh, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem. 

Today we are putting out an open invitation to President Obama to come and visit us here at Ahfad Younis. We call on him to embrace nonviolent resistance efforts as he did in his 2009 speech in Cairo

“We are here today in Ahfad Younis. We have rebuilt and renewed the village of Bab Al-Shams. In doing so, we are sending two messages,” says Mustafa Barghouti, with whom the Palestine Monitor had a chance to speak earlier this afternoon. 

“First, we have shown the Israelis that if they destroy our villages, we will rebuild them. If they kick us out, we will return. Thus, today we have proved that the Palestinian popular resistance is stronger than the Israeli army. They can do nothing to lessen our determination and resolve.

“Second, we have planned this action to coincide with the arrival of US President Barack Obama to the region. President Obama can no longer afford to ignore the Palestinian situation. If he stands back and watches Israel annex the entire E-1 area of East Jerusalem, then he too will be guilty. He will have aided in hammering the last nail into the coffin of the two state solution. Today we are putting out an open invitation to President Obama to come and visit us here at Ahfad Younis. We call on him to embrace nonviolent resistance efforts, such as our action today, as he did in his 2009 speech in Cairo.”

Photo by Lazar Simeonov.

Ahfad Younis sits within a territory the Israeli government has titled as the E-1 Area.

Officially approved by the Israeli High Court on 4 October 1999, the Israeli governments E-1 plan intends to develop the area between Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, adding approximately 2,560 acres to the Ma’ale Adumim bloc, and establishing geographic contiguity between the settlement and the other Israeli settlements in north-eastern Jerusalem: Pisgat Ze’ev, Pisgat Omer, Neve Ya’akov and French Hill. In effect, the plan drastically enlarges the municipal borders of Jerusalem (the East half of which has been touted as the future capital of any Palestinian state but which, since 1967, has been under full Israeli control) and the number of Jewish Israeli inhabitants therein.

Furthermore, if the Israeli authorities’ plans for E-1 are completed, the West Bank’s North to South continuity will be effectively severed, and Jerusalem will be rendered virtually inaccessible to Palestinians living in the West Bank.

The Palestinian popular resistance committees has been establishing protest villages, like that of Ahfad Younis and Bab Al-Shams, since early 2013 in a non-violent effort to assert Palestinian land ownership, sovereignty and protection. 

Photo by Lazar Simeonov.

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