Thursday, November 26, 2020

Three months of struggle against Jewish outpost

By Ary Gotlib - December 11, 2018
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [protests] [outposts]

At the beginning of September, a dozen Israelis came to set up an outpost at the top of a hill owned by Palestinians and located at the crossroads of the villages of Kafr Ni'ma, Kharbata and Ras Karkar, north of Ramallah. These settlers are now living there under protection of Israeli forces.

For three months, Palestinians perform Friday noon prayer on the side of this hill as a symbolic opposition. Activists and opponents come together to struggle against this theft of land, which could threaten the daily life of locals.

On November 30, three months on from the start of the protest, a hundred people were gathered under a blue sky.
"Settlers came here because it's a strategic place," Jonathan Ulmo*, an Israeli activist said. "These lands are in the middle of the settlements of Nahliel, Talmon and Dolev in the East and Modi'in Illit in the West.” Modi’in Illit is the largest settlement of the West Bank with 70,100 inhabitants.

"By settling here they [settlers] may have plans to join the eastern settlements with the western one by creating a road. They have already started by extending the road from Ras Karkar to the hill,” Daoud Achon* a Kafr Ni'ma resident said with anxiety.

Jonathan Ulmo was wounded by a rubber coated bullet in the thigh, shot by Israeli forces.
Immediately after the end of the prayer, about twenty Israeli soldiers on the hill shot tear gas canisters. Opponents turned back, dozens of young people respond by throwing projectiles.

“I tell to my children that we need to stay here, we musn’t leave. I teach them to love their land, today it goes by this struggle,” Ahmad Aras*, a 47-year-old father said. 

Around Twenty soldiers allegedly live day and night on this hill to protect the settler outpost.
The difference between a settlement and an outpost is that for the last, Israel did not authorized its construction. The Jewish state also considers them illegal, even if a legal precedent opens door to these legalization in West Bank.

To prevent tear gas from reaching them, several people set fire to natich, ground cover plants typical of the Middle East.
According to José Tavdyoglo, an Israeli activist for the NGO Ta'ayush; "Israel is using the outposts, [and] taking advantage of the opportunity to expand its occupation...”

“Our stones are nothing compared to their weapons,” Ahmad Aras said.
In a loudspeaker, Imam Nadji Tamallah sings the chorus; "these are our lands, we will not move, you have to leave," people start to dance, facing Israeli forces.

“My village will gradually become a big prison. The project is to surround us with settlements and roads, it's a way to make us leave," Haitham Khatib, resident of Bil’in said. 

In the case of construction of a road from the eastern colonies to the western colonies "the stolen land could represent an area of 1,000 dunams," Daoud Achon said.
“For the moment it is just supposition, but if we look what happened with other outposts in West Bank, we can see what will likely happen here,” José Tavdyoglo added.
For Yossef Karaja, member of Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank; “We feel bad, the world doesn’t stand with us anymore, but people who are living here have not other choice to resist if they want to live freely.”

* Names changed for privacy

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