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people has expanded and increased in recent years. This movement, over time,
turned into an effective force through the organization of delegations and direct
attendance to be present with the Palestinians in their villages and areas,
especially those threatened with confiscation from the occupation or settlers. Or
by organizing events and activities in their countries to pressure their
governments to take more serious stances and intervene with Israel to stop these
violations against the Palestinian people or in helping farmers work on their land
that was threatened by confiscation and the assaults committed by settlers,
especially during the olive harvest season, or by carrying out campaigns and
solidarity activities in their countries, especially in Europe and elsewhere, to
pressure their governments to take positions in support of the Palestinians due to
the continuous violations by the Israeli occupation or/and settlers. The means and
techniques of social communication and the development of communication
technology are also being help to mobilize the solidarity movement at the
The Palestinians are dealing with interest to these solidarity movements in order
to help them in their steadfastness and face the daily violations of their rights and
are seeing that these movements are an important force in circulating what is
happening in Palestine at the global level in favor of the justice that the Israeli
occupation violates in Palestine.
The methodological starting point of the Solidarity Movement is based on the
justice and humanity of the Palestinian case, and confronting and exposing the
violations committed by the occupation authorities, and their violation of the
international charters, the rules of human rights and international law.
What the Palestinian community is facing in the Jabal al-Baba area, east of the
town of Al-aizaria in the Jerusalem governorate, is one of the issues that
constituted a title for the international solidarity movement, because of the
demolition of homes, the confiscation of lands, and the threat of expulsion and
displacement of 70 families, numbering 450 people, who live in the community.
The Chairperson of the community, Atallah al-Mazara’a, says that “the
international solidarity movement with the community formed a state of hope
among the residents of the community to stop the Israeli violations and stop the
demolition and displacement decisions, and also helped and strength them to
resist and confront.” He adds that “this solidarity movement was through the
presence of foreign delegations to show solidarity with the people at the site And
disseminating what is happening through the media, social media, videos, etc., as
well as organizing activities and events in their countries, explaining what is
happening to decision makers, including members of governments,
parliamentarians, and institutions, and mobilizing public opinion against Israeli
policies of displace the community”.
The field visits of the activists of the solidarity movements and the international
civil society of what is happening in Jabal al-Baba is important, and there is also
importance for the international official level to be informed of this issue by
visiting the site and looking at its circumstances, and listening to what the victims
say and their stories of suffering. In this frame, the Alternative Information Center
- Palestine , NovAct and the Municipality of Al-aizaria organized a field tour two
weeks ago for a number of diplomats in Palestine. The delegation met with the
Chairperson of the community and listened with interest to what happened and is
still happening in Jabal al-Baba.
Solidarity of the International Community with the case of Jabal al-Baba is
important and necessary for what the Israeli decision to demolish the community
and displace its residents means a gross violation of the right of housing, and the
right to enjoy the owners on their land. It is a decision that leads to the
displacement of 450 people in the open without housing, and it is a racist policy
where the decision means displacing the original people in order of building and
expanding settlements and bringing settlers to live in these settlements, which is
a violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the occupying
power from bringing its citizens to settle in occupied areas.
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Bahaa Alian died in 2016, but his father has not buried him yet because israeli authorities never came back to him and their family his body. For this reason, they could not to perform the mourning rituals and neither carrying him on their shoulder to say goodbye to their child. “Having a funeral is what helps to the family to overcome the death. We couldn´t do this, so we sometimes feel hopeless”, adds.
More than six years later, he has no notice about how his son died and he has never received the death certificate. “We really don´t know the truth and are trying to discover what actually happened to Bahaa Alian to get on with our lives”, he says. “How is it possible to rest knowing that your child is in a cold room at -30C and that you will probably never be able to recognize his body because he will become just another number in the graveyard of numbers?”, asks.
One day, while he was working, he received a phone call which informed him that his son had been killed by the israeli army during a military raid. He tells what means to be the parent of a palestinian martyr and how it is not always something easy. “People cant see you crying or sad. You have to be proud of your son because he has died for the country”, explains. Azhar, the mother of Abdul Hamid, another martyr, explains that her son was buried with three martyrs and that there was something strange in the information that they gave to her about her son. “They put a foot number that was not the same which they wrote on the medical statement and some similar happened with the clothes he wore the day he went out”. She also adds how they can´t feel honor and glory for the death of their sons for the homeland and explains that she can´t understand how some families are proud of it.
In this situatio, families usually find support and comfort with people who are in the same situation. “We feel relieved when we talk with other parents who are as well fighting to know the truth and what really happened to their children”.
Over 400 palestinian have been buried in the graveyard of the numbers, located primarily in the Palestinian district of Tiberias. They keep the bodies in cold storage and after some time, bury them with a number which give to the families in order to they know where the body is. The withholding of remains is considered a post mortem punishment and a deterrent measure to repress and intimidate the Palestinian people in the face of the growing occupation.
Nadya Raja Tannous, a journalist specializing in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, explains how if a Palestinian is convicted of a crime by the State of Israel after his death in the West Bank, the army can conduct a post-mortem trial, where the body is placed in a storage facility inside Israel until the sentence is pronounced, which is what gives rise to the so-called cemetery of numbers.
Bureaucratic and legal management is slow, documentation is usually misrepresented and it takes a long time to receive information about their children, so it is the relatives themselves who create campaigns to speed up procedures. “We have not received support, everyone has looked the other way”, says. Jerusalem Center for Human Rights and Legal Aid (JLAC) is the one which represents the families before the Israeli justice to request the delivery of the bodies. Most of the relatives say it is a slow process. It sometimes can even last up for two years. For this reason, international pressure is very important in order to Israeli state reconsider this policy. This law was agreed by the emergency regulation which was promoted by the British Mandate government in 1945 and it allow the retention of martyr´s bodies.
This practice is consider to be a way of collective punishment and is part of humans rights violations such as the right to dignity, family life, religious freedom, property and the prohibition of inhumane treatment. Nowadays, they continue without being able to see the bodies of their children and without having an answer about what really happened. "How can we have the certain of that our children are murdered if we have not seen their bodies?", they wonder to themself. "We deserve to have an answer and burying our children", concludes.
Writers : Belen López, Sandra Martínez and Judith E. Castaneda
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authorities and the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem in Jerusalem to harass and displace Palestinians is
the policy of demolishing homes and leaving Palestinian families in the open without shelter. Almost a
week does not pass without a house being demolished in this or that Palestinian neighborhood in
The demolitions are concentrated in the neighborhoods closest to the outposts and settlements in
Jerusalem, especially the town of Silwan, Jabal Mukaber, Shuafat and Al-Tur. In recent days, the
Jerusalem municipality demolished the Dabash family's home in the village of Sur Baher, south of
Jerusalem. The house has an area of 7 square meters, and four people live in it. The demolition was
done by bulldozers, after the police besieged the Qusyan neighborhood where the house is located.
It is true that the Jerusalem municipality gives the Palestinians the right to object to the demolition to
the Israeli courts, but in most cases the courts agree to the demolition decision.
The policy of self-demolition of houses. It seems that it is not enough for the Israeli court to decide to
demolish houses in Jerusalem, but it also requires the owner of the house to demolish it himself instead
of having the municipality demolish it in exchange for the owner paying the demolition fee. It is a harsh
punishment for a person to demolish the house he built. It is a policy described by the homeowners as
aiming to break their morale. Muhammad Jaabis, from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in Jerusalem,
was forced to demolish his house, in which 7 of the family lived. Jaabis said, "I demolished my house to
avoid a heavy fine of 100,000 shekels in case the municipality demolished it, and despite my sadness
and pain that he resisted the demolition of the house that I built, I cannot pay the fine."
At a time when the Palestinians in Jerusalem are being restricted in building houses and urban
expansion, there is an accelerated settlement expansion in the Palestinian neighborhoods and bringing
in more settlers, which Jerusalemite Researcher Rasim Obeidat confirms to Alternative Information
Center” it is an implementation of the Israeli approaches towards the Israeli aims and plan of an Israeli
majority and a Palestinian minority in Jerusalem”.
The demolition of homes in East Jerusalem, as it is an occupied area in accordance with international
legitimacy and United Nations resolutions, is a violation of these resolutions and the international law
applicable to East Jerusalem, which prohibits the occupation from destroying property
The right to adequate housing is considered one of the basic human rights that have been codified by
declarations, covenants, and various international agreements. It is forbidden to violate this right,
especially if the violation is part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination against a
particular group, or it comes as a collective punishment. House demolitions constitute a clear violation
of international human rights declarations and conventions that guarantee the right of the individual to
adequate housing, especially Article 25/1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11 (1) of
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, and Article 5/E/3 of the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965 guarantees the
right to housing.
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The Aida Camp is one of the three which are in Bethlehem and around 4.500 people live in the houses that UNRWA gave them after the Nakba, in 1950, with the idea of returning and repatriating the Palestinians who had been expelled from their homes under the Israeli occupation
Three different generations have growed up in Aida refugee Camp, one of the most famous camp in Bethlehem because it is located right next to the wall which separe the West Bank from Jerusalem. At first, they believed this would be temporary. However, ten years later these thents were replaced by houses of a few square meters. “Some of them are still preserved. Whole families, with seven or ten persons live in a small room where eat, sleep and make their life”, explains Ahmed, one of the members of the AIC.
The main entrance of the Aida Camp has a big key which show the hope of palestinian people to return and it is located in front of one of the israeli check gates. “These gates are opened many times and soldieres start coming to the camp” says Ahmed about the violencia situation in Aida Camp. More than 75 years have passed and many of the families continue keeping the key as the most precious treasure of their homes. Ghassan Zboun is the third generation who lives in the camp. His maternal grandfather. He and his wife, Rahaf, have just finished their university studies, but like many of the young people who live in Aida, there are no job opportunities for youth, so they dont have the opportunity to move.
“They refused building and living in houses in the refugee camps for ten years because it meant they had lost their homes”, adds. However, despite the fact they have not stand up their houses since 1948, they continue keeping the keys to return there some day. Despite the fact they have now a new home, they dont forget the place the had to leave because of the Israel occupation. “My home is not here, my home is in Elaar. This is not my town”, explains Ghassan keeping the key of his family’s houses like a heirloom.
The sentence “we will return” can be read in many of the walls around this refugee camp. In another of them, appeared the names of all the towns where the refugees lived. "Here life is very simple. Streets are narrow. You cant see trees and you don't hear birds singing" says Manar, a women who was living in the camp for more than 20 years. However, life goes on inside this streets and there are children playing around the military wall and attending to school and cultural lessons in the center. Moreover, they organize each summer markets with and shows about Dabke, the traditional dance in Palestine.
Despite the fact that UN Resolution 181 established a division of territory between Israel and Palestine, the Palestinian territory is shrinking. "We live an Apartheid in a roundabout way. The situation we lived in 1948 and the one we live in now is very similar. Before, we were forced out of our homes, now we have to leave because they won't let us live,'' says Ahmed. According to UNRWA, 5.6 million people live in besieged camps in the middle of the conflict with very limited basic services.
"We have been living here all our lives. My mother was born here and my daughter was born here, what is going to happen now?" says Ghassan. A question that all the Palestinian people are asking themselves, since the land tenure contract for the refugee camps established by the UN has a duration of 99 years and they are now in their 70th year. However, they recognize that they live in the midst of uncertainty where a distant future is hard to imagine. says the coordinator of the Aida Youth Center. "Come in 20 years and you will discover with your own eyes what has really happened in the Palestinian refugee camps", they say in front of the wall that surrounds the city of Bethlehem, surrounded by 7 Israeli army watchtowers.
Writers : Belen López, Sandra Martínez and Judith E. Castaneda
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Municipality of Al-Aizaria organized a field tour fora number of diplomatic representatives in Palestine
the town of Al-Aizaria, east of Jerusalem. These officials were Marina Librado and Queralt Pi, from the
Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development; Claire Dabin and Jeff Kridee, from the
European Union; Julio Escobedo; from the Mexican Embassy in Palestine; and Christian Küsters, from
the German Representative Office in Ramallah.
At the beginning, the delegation was received at the Headquarters of Al-Aizaria Municipality, where the
Mayor, Mr. Khalil Abu Al-Rish, gave a welcoming speech to the delegation and stressed the importance
of this activity in order to raise awareness on the condition of the town – namely,the besieged state of
Al-Aizaria, the Israeli practices of land confiscation, and the isolation of the town from the city of
Jerusalem – that the participants were able to witness first-hand.
gave a detailed explanation of the town's conditions through a presentation laying out the multiple
challenges and struggles the town is confronted with, and answered the delegation's questions.
A field tour was then carried out in the old town of Al-Aizaria, and the delegation went to see the
apartheid wall that separates the town from Jerusalem, which led to the isolation of many families from
each other. The town’s economic and collective reality was explained to the participants. Indeed, this
town – which is located only 3 km away from the center of Jerusalem – was historically part of the city of
Jerusalem and administratively connected to the old city.Nowadays, because oftheSeparation Wall, it
has become completely isolated and surrounded by a wall that runs through the residential
neighborhoods, andis responsible for serious curtailment of freedom of movement, in particular
towards Jerusalem, for Palestinian citizens of Al-Aizaria. As things stand today, students of the town are
prevented from studying in Jerusalem schools, as was the case in the past, and, even more concerning,
ambulance have to be granted permission to bring citizen in vital distress to Jerusalem – an
authorization that is way too often denied by Israelis. The delegation members actively took part to the
tour by made remarks and inquiries about the impact of this wall and the possible avenues for actions in
order to bring about improvement on the short term.
The delegation finally headed to the Jabal al-Baba area, east of Al-Aizaria, where they were received by
the Head of the Bedouin community, Mr. Atallah Mazaraa, who gave a detailed explanation of the
reality of this community, which is threatened with displacement and land confiscation for the benefit of
settlement projects in the area. It must be emphasized that this community – which includes 70 families,
about 450 people – has been subjected to house demolitions for years, and a decision was made to
deport the community, issuing eviction orders to its residents. But the community stood its ground and
has refused to comply with the implementation of this decision through legal objection, and popular
resistance to confront it.
Mazaraa pointed out that the issue of Jabal al-Baba enjoys strong international sympathy, demonstrated
through the visits of international delegations in solidarity with the population as well as the formation
of an international committee – comprised of human rights activists, institutions, social movements and
international human rights defenders – for the defense of the community and the rejection of the Israeli
Amani Abu Zayyed explained that should the displacement decision be implemented, it would mean the
confiscation of large areas of land belonging to the town of Al-Aizariaor its residents, and would further
smother the town from the eastern and northern sides –adversely affecting the possibility for urban
expansion of the town, compounding the already existing state of overcrowding in Al-Aizaria, and
depriving future generations of expansion option over a land that they own.
Finally, we would like to thank the Municipality of Barcelona for its financial support and for making this
Ahmad Jaradat: Alternative Information Center – Palestine
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The unarmed struggle, like writing, is one of the main means of palestinians Struggle historically and important figures such as Asmaa Abu Ayyash show how to join the cause through literature and art
Every night there are cinematographic works in Beita. The boys, sitting in their plastic chairs and with laser pointers, make noise and point their lights at the Israeli settlers to make them leave. These Israeli colonies, according to international humanitarian law, are illegal, article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
This typology of civil resistance is a political action which uses peaceful, non-violent methods where there is a wide variety of activities that challenge a specific power, force, policy or regime.
These Palestinian resistance movements began in the early 20th century, first against the Ottoman Empire and later against the British Mandate and then with Jewish emigration to the region. But the beginning of the peaceful struggle does not take place until the second Intifada. These structures of non-violent civil resistance gave a massive and generalized character from the base of political and social mobilization. From merchant strikes and the boycott of Israeli products, from the refusal to pay taxes or non-compliance with military orders, they are the protagonists of these peaceful uprisings, according to Novact.org.
Endurance based on perseverance showed that Palestinians want to be in their land and for this reason different political movements developed educational demonstrations to refuse some measures. The universities became in one of principal places for the resistance and this form of non-violence started growing up in 2005, so their resistance is base on the creativity and for this reason many palestinian say no to the force.
Asma Abu Ayyash is member of Palestine Writers League and she has published two books with her own money because she has the necessary to tell the worl what is happening in her land: “I wrote this novel, especially for my father and also for people who lived the same things as him. Thousands of people have suffered and they still continue suffering. For this reason, I must write '', she says while explaining that writing is one of the non violence resistence.“I had to write about their feelings and how they were shocked with this situation. Testimonies show the situation in which many people have lived”, adds. She was born in 1953 in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. After the Nakba, her parents had to flee their home, leaving behind memories, feelings, clothes, and the memory of a lifetime.
In 1948 they had to flee from Yaffo (Jaffa, the old city of Tel Aviv) as it was occupied by Israeli soldiers. They had no choice but to leave their forever home.
Asma lived in the countryside until she was 18, then she went to Jordan to Amman to study, where she began working as a journalist to comment on the cause and struggle of the Palestinian people. She had to be a refugee in Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan. It was his form of resistance, it was his way of continuing to shout what was taken from his parents: his home.
“Writing and drawing is a form of resistance because words can hit more than a bullet, but also using guns when there is a struggle is a way of resistance. We can't conduct negotiation because this has to be from the same side and we are not in an equal situation”
With tears in her eyes, Asma tells the story of her family. He still remembers when his father told him that after the Nakba he saw his land again. The center of the whole story that happens in the book about Yafa, is about my father. My father returned to Yafa in 1989 and returned in 2002 as a visitor. When he returns to his land to his country, he does not find his house, it was destroyed. When he goes as a visitor to Yafa or he was walking in the streets, he saw his friends with whom he lived in Yafa, after 54 years, they returned to Yafa and saw all the friends. He felt weird, they started crying, it was a very emotional moment.
Since 1977, on or around November 29 of each year, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. That same year 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations approved resolution 181, which is known as the “partition resolution”. Since this resolution was proclaimed, only one state has been legally created: the state of Israel. That is why November 29 is such an important day, as it provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved.
In 2017, after a survey carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy And Survery Research, only 23% think that non-violence is the best means to achieve an independent State of Palestine.
“Mother of a Stranger”, the second book of Asmaa, is so called because Yaffa has always been a port city. It opened its doors to sailors and merchants. Everyone came to work, to visit… The people of Yafa are very familiar. Its port was always full and it was a very lively city. He welcomed all foreigners with great hospitality. They all felt at home.
That is why when I decided to talk to experts about Yafa, one of them told me “ahh Yafa, the mother of foreigners, (in arab: Yafa am gharib) always welcomed everyone with hospitality, that is why she is called that” Yafa represents the original land of the Palestinians, it represents the true Palestinian identity. When she returns after visiting her real home in Yafa, she feels that this is her real home. Asma now lives in Ramallah, but she doesn't feel the same anymore, she realizes that her real home is in Yafa. That is why I always try not to forget the streets of Yafa and its history. “I will never leave Yafa” “Palestine map it’s like a cheese and all people make one piece”.
the correct is that the occupation actually attacked and fight against the art and artists . the occupation targeted the art and artist as other kind of palestinians means of struggle. they arrested many of Artists and confiscated their work and they attacked the many art exhibitions ...etc.
Writers : Belen López, Sandra Martínez and Judith E. Castaneda
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Hebron is the only city in all of Palestine where there are illegal settlements in the center of the city. Due to the colonies, the city has been divided into two zones. Area H1 is under the control of the Palestinian National Authority, and area H2 has been under Israeli military control since 1997. In the latter, around 40,000 Palestinians live with 800 settlers in a difficult situation, making the relationship increasingly untenable.
The presence of Israeli settlers around Hebron began to grow after the Six-Day War in 1967. The center of the city, full of shops and businesses, used to be full of people. However, today most of them are closed: "This area used to be full of people when I was a child," explains Ahmed Jaradat, a Palestinian journalist living in Hebron. "Today the situation is completely different, but we continue to live here because it is our form of resistance", but nothing remains of what was once the great market of Hebron.
Palestinians not only have to deal with the presence of Jewish settlers in their streets, but also with checkpoints and watchtowers, the separation wall, military presence, illegal house demolitions and the prohibition to enter some of the the areas of the city: “A Palestinian who lives in area 2 and wants to go to the center, has to go around the area and walk more than 15 kilometers, on the contrary, it would only take us five minutes to reach the destination,” says Ahmed.
The entrance to the market is full of stalls of all kinds. All these streets take you to Palestine before the Nakba and each one of those tiny streets is the entrance to each house but once you go down, the situation changes and the streets begin to be emptier and with fewer merchant stalls . "We have to live with the settlers upstairs," says one of the vendors in the old town. All the streets of its old city are covered with metal awnings and fabrics that act as a cover both for the sun and for the Jews not to throw stones, bleach and even dirty water at the merchants. "My store is on the first floor and a family of settlers lives on the second floor, many times they throw bleach or stones at us, that's why we have had to put up this metal awning and cloth to protect ourselves," he adds, pointing to the metal structures.
Despite the international community saying the settlements are illegal, there are around 300 in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to UNESCO, Hebron has been declared a World Heritage Site in 2017 and is one of the largest cities in all of Palestine. For every corner you pass, you find a surveillance camera and a new checkpoint. At the entrance to the tomb of Abraham, we find one of the first checkpoints that Palestinians have to cross to access the holy place, to get there they have to cross 5 of them. Sometimes the wait can be 10-15 minutes or even hours. The same happens in the checkpoints that separate the city in H1 and H2, sometimes these points tend to be very tense and aggressive.
The use of video cameras: the only defense of the Palestinians
The headquarters of Human Rights Defenders is located on the same street as one of the checkpoints with the most problems to date. The cameras have a great importance in his life because it is the way they have to try to stop the violence of the military. "The goal is to show people why it is important that they film every act against Israeli soldiers," explains Emad Abushamiya, one of the organization's members. “This measure does not completely prevent violence, but it does reduce it,” he adds.
Human Rights Defenders is one of the organizations that works against the occupation and to improve the lives of Palestinians. The situation for them is becoming more and more tense and their own members have been attacked by the Israeli occupation forces. Through video cameras and photos, Human Rights Defenders can verify their evidence in court, in order to prove their innocence. "They have already broken more than five cameras and they have also entered houses to search the Palestinians who had recorded with their own mobile."
The home videos that have been recorded by the representatives of this NGO and the situation that the headquarters of Human Rights Defenders is currently suffering is seriously dangerous. More than once soldiers have broken in and stolen all their film equipment or even watched them from the top floor of the main headquarters.
The only truth with which the Palestinians in Hebron can deliver justice is through photography and video. For this reason, Human Rights Defenders has distributed a total of 6 camera sets among its colleagues, so that families who have suffered some type of violence by the Israeli occupation forces can film the situations in which they are in serious danger. . One of the biggest triggers for Human Rights Defenders was in 2019 when a Palestinian woman was killed at the checkpoint near the headquarters. Thanks to the help of the camera team, they were able to show in court that the woman was innocent and that the army he was guilty of that murder: “it is the only thing that can help us in court, our recordings and even so, many soldiers tell us that they are not valid”, Haim points out forcefully. The only resistance they have left is to continue filming and for their videos to echo in society.
Writer: Belén López Naranjo
Photos taken by: Judith E. Castañeda
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Jerusalem, is the Palestinian community known as Jabal Al-Baba
(Moutain Albaba). It is inhabited by about 400 Palestinian citizens who
were originally displaced during the Nakba in 1948 from the Negev
region in southern Palestine. Over the decades, they built their village
on their new lands. They depended for their lives and livelihood on
animal husbandry and agriculture. Since that date, the community has
become part of the town of Al-Aizariyya, and they have built social,
economic and cultural relations with the town and with Jerusalem,
which is the administrative center of this community and other
communities to the east of Jerusalem. About 45 communities are
similar to the Jabal al-Baba community, and this administrative
relationship with the city of Jerusalem remained until the occupation of
the rest of Palestine in 1967. At that time, the Israeli authorities
annexed the city of Jerusalem and gave its residents an Israeli identity
card that differs from the cards that were given to these communities
as the rest of the residents of the West Bank.
From there began the process of separating these communities,
as well as dozens of other villages that were administratively affiliated
to the city of Jerusalem, and these areas became administratively
considered as belonging to Bethlehem 20 km to the south. With the
start of settlement operations in the areas of Jerusalem and the West
Bank in general, and the expansion of the Jerusalem municipality’s
borders, what was known as the Greater Jerusalem Project, an
organized and systematic policy of displacement by the occupation
authorities began for most of the communities located to the east of
the city of Jerusalem. Perhaps the largest settlement project in the area
is the settlement of Maale Adumim, which is close to these
communities. This settlement was established in the seventies of the
last century on the ruins of the village of Jahalin, whose residents were
all displaced to the west near Al-Aizariyya.
With the increase in settlement expansion and the construction of
other settlements and the construction of the infrastructure for these
settlement projects, including streets, electricity and water networks,
gardens, forests, playgrounds, and places of entertainment for settlers,
pressure has increased on these communities to displace them through
the policy of home demolitions and restrictions on movement and
preventing residents from using agricultural lands after confiscating
them for the benefit of the settlements.
Jabal al-Baba was directly exposed to this policy when the
residents of the community were handed orders for mass deportation
and orders to demolish their homes in 2017. At that time, the residents
of the community submitted objections to these orders to the Israeli
judiciary. But since that time many homes and the village mosque have
been demolished, and the only road leading to it has been destroyed.
This forced the residents to walk a distance of 500 meters to reach their
homes or to go anywhere else.
In light of these Israeli measures, the popular resistance
movements, along with many international solidarity groups and some
Jewish forces and individuals in support of peace, began to confront
these Israeli policies through demonstrations, media campaigns, and
presence on the site to counter the demolition campaigns and
incursions carried out from time to time by the Israeli occupation
The process of displacing this community and it seems that with
all the Israeli political indicators, the policy of demolishing homes and
the restrictions that are constantly imposed on the residents of the
community, the process of displacement is close. Especially since a
mass expulsion took place twenty years ago to the village of Jahalin
near Jabal al-Baba, if it happened, we would be facing a second
displacement of these residents. This will create a problem of
overcrowding in the nearby town of Al-Aizariyya and many life and
humanitarian problems in the area east of Jerusalem. It will also open a
wider field for the expansion of settlements and the construction of
new settlements within the framework of the Greater Jerusalem
project, which is implemented by the Israeli authorities by imposing it
as a fact on the ground.
Citizen Ghassan Jahalin from the village said, "Our lives have
become fraught with dangers and fear of a new displacement, and we
are now in the jaws of the apartheid wall around Jerusalem which
borders our village and the nearby settlements especially the
settlement of Ma'ale Adumim. It is the second displacement for us after
our first displacement from our land in the Negev region." Southern
Palestine in 1948. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights -
B'Tselem - confirmed, in its commentary on what is happening to the
Jabal al-Baba gathering, "The occupying state is completely deporting
Palestinian communities through the bogus procedures that they call
legal procedures, which are in fact fictitious."
Everything that Israel does by deporting and ordering the
demolition of dozens of communities in the area and Jabal al-Baba is
one of them east of Jerusalem, is a violation of international law. It is
also a violation of dozens of resolutions issued by the Security Council
and the General Assembly of the United Nations, all of which it
considers illegitimate and void. As the occupying power is prohibited
from making any fundamental changes in the occupied territories, and
East Jerusalem, according to international law, is occupied territory as
is the rest of the West Bank after the 1967 war.
Ahmad Jaradat – Alternative Information Center- Palestine
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Currently, there are 27 women and 175 minors who are under arrest; 671 are in administrative detention, according to the NGO ADDAMEER, an organization that is responsible for supporting prisoners and defending their rights. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) since the beginning of 2022, have detained more than 2,140 Palestinian people. Among these numbers, is the name of a Spanish activist. Juana Ruíz, a worker in the Palestinian Work Committees for Health and who has been living in Beit Sahour, West Bank, for 35 years, was in the opposition prisons for 10 months: “Juana's work consisted of international cooperation, she presented projects on the needs of the Palestinian population, especially in the cities of Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, promoted projects such as the early detection of cancer in women, a job that is done in normal and current Spain "says Jaldía Abubakra, founder of the Alkarama association and friend and companion of Juana. According to the State of Israel, the work that Juana has been doing and the money from her associations was destined for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest movement within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Under international law, administrative detention is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. In the Palestinian territories, these circumstances ceased to be exceptional when Israeli soldiers began occupying illegal Palestinian settlements and detaining minors without reason. The Save the Children organization announces that eight out of ten suffered beatings, verbal assaults and strip searches, and almost nine out of ten did not receive adequate medical attention, even expressly requesting it. One of the laws that is still in force today is the law that the British government proclaimed after the end of WWII, which dictates that the Israeli army could detain suspects without charge or trial to go to prison, as long as it is complied with. with legal age. These arrests are carried out under Israel's civil legal legislation. In the last 20 years, 10,000 minors have been detained, subjected to long interrogations, some of them lasting more than 24 hours, under unimaginable conditions, according to Save The Children. Normally, soldiers break into houses at midnight, when everything is calm and there is no one in the street. On April 13, they entered Juana's house like animals looking for prey and forced Juana to leave her home. "In this case, she has been lucky, because she has Spanish nationality, but we have to say that the response from the EU has not been practical," admits Jaldía firmly. They are 10 months that Juana will never forget. When she entered the Israeli prison of Ofer, she was subjected to long interrogations, to live with constant uncertainty because the accusation made against her was unreal: “it is no longer just the physical abuse that is suffered, but also the psychological, being isolated from your family, without being able to see anyone, all these consequences affect a lot psychologically, Juana is going to need time to recover”. Juana was accused by the Israeli military court of financing terrorism and activism with illegal organizations and currency trafficking in the West Bank. She only dedicated herself to presenting cooperation projects to the Work Committees for Health. The work of cooperating people and human rights defenders is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, these being fundamental actors to promote real social and political changes. The continuous attacks that the Israeli military army carries out on the Palestinian people have become the daily life of many, since 6,500 of the 2 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank have been imprisoned. Many of them imprisoned without a clear-sighted reason that proves their innocence, without the right to have a lawyer or family visits, and even children of 8 and 10 years who are treated as terrorists and arrested on charges of throwing stones. They no longer only attack the armed resistance, but also the peaceful resistance. "Any people that lives under occupation has the right to resist and has the right to armed resistance," acknowledges Jaldía, alleging the 4th Geneva Convention. "The work carried out in NGOs and therefore, the work that Juana does is not terrorism, it is humanitarian aid work for a people that has been suffering from an occupation since 1948," says Jaldía. The NGO ADDAMEER highlights that among the most prominent crimes and practices used by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian prisoners is the Isolation regime, one of the most dangerous systematic practices for prisoners. The prisoner is locked up alone, in a cell under subhuman conditions, where he is prevented from receiving visits from his relatives, and can only go out to the prison yard handcuffed and without any company, only the police. Another of them is the Administrative Detention, 671 people are imprisoned today under this type of arrest, the highest figure in the last five years. The authorities carry out this type of detention since it allows detention indefinitely, without charge or trial and without discriminating against anyone from the Palestinian sphere. “Israel carries out this type of arrest under the pretext of secret files, there is no charge against the imprisoned person, therefore they do not have the right to a lawyer or to receive visits from family members. Many times, this type of detention lasts up to 10 years, where the Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to brutal beatings and many women to sexual abuse to extract information from them,” says Jaldía. For many of these prisoners, the only way they have to claim their rights is through hunger strikes. Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdah has become the longest-resisting prisoner in this struggle. After 182 days, on September 2, he ended his hunger strike, reaching an agreement with the court for his release. His health has been deteriorating little by little. In a report presented by Physicians for Human Rights they demand a solution for Awada since she has been in serious danger due to brain and nerve damage after the strike. The Palestinian population is subject to double legislation: the Israeli military legislation and the Palestinian authorities. Once they are detained, only the military laws of the Israeli army are carried out. A clear difference in the treatment received by Israeli citizens and Palestinian citizens in detentions is observed in the laws that apply to each one: to Israelis, the laws are applied under the civil legal code of the State of Israel, and in terms of the Palestinians, the military laws of the Israeli army are directly applied to them, (sometimes even resorting to a lawyer is almost impossible, since they are too specific cases and their request is usually denied, as happens with illegal demolitions) But Awad and Juana have not been the exception, many Palestinians have had to suffer the same. "Juana's case has not been a unique case, in Palestine all families live with this uncertainty day and night, but it is clear that she has been a scapegoat for the State of Israel, it is a way of being able to control and pressure the Government of Spain. The Zionist lobby is acting in all countries." affirms Jaldía Abubakra, who thanks to her organization Women for the Palestine Movement has managed to spread the voice of her companions to the rest of the world. And yet, despite all the feeling of returning to their towns and cities, the feeling of fighting to recover Palestine is still present in all of them. “This is my land” is one of the most repeated phrases in all of them and that no matter what happens they will defend it tooth and nail, although sometimes they have to pay a very expensive price, like their life. “When the protests in Gaza began in 2018 with the return marches, Palestinians came out to the borders to claim their land with Palestinian flags, marches that were recognized as non-violent. In these marches, the Israeli army used prohibited weapons such as butterfly bullets. Some bullets that once they enter the bone, cannot get out, causing great damage to the bone tissue and sometimes even amputating the limb,” says Jaldía. The problem of colonization will end when the State of Israel stops occupying Palestinian territories, stops demolishing houses and building illegal settlements, stops cultural appropriation, theft of agricultural land, the bombing of Gaza and the detention of innocent people. . As long as this continues to happen, the rest of the world will continue to be complicit in an Interminable War.
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truth is that it is a project that began immediately after the occupation of the city
in 1967. In essence, it is the expansion of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries of
the Israeli authorities, and more pressure on the Palestinians by all means to
emigrate or leave the city, and in return bring more settlers to occupied
Jerusalem. This requires building settlements to accommodate them.
The Greater Jerusalem project, in addition to the above, is to make the
Palestinians a minority and the settlers a majority. Accordingly, all Israeli policies
in Jerusalem that are hostile to the Palestinians, including displacement and
demolition of homes, restrictions on their daily lives through economic and social
restrictions, isolating the city from its surroundings in the occupied lands, building
barriers and crossings on the city, restrictions on construction, urban expansion,
restrictions on education, etc. And prior to that, the annexation of Jerusalem
immediately after the occupation, and the giving of an Israeli blue identity to the
Palestinian residents of Jerusalem in a distinction between them and the
Palestinians in the occupied territories. All of these policies serve the Greater
To implement this plan, the beginning was the dissolution of the Arab
Municipal Council in the city and the annexation of the occupied area of the city
to East Jerusalem to be under the sovereignty of the Israeli municipality of
Jerusalem. The city was also annexed after its occupation in 1967, and some
neighborhoods were demolished in the Old City and settlement outposts were
established in their place, as is the case with what happened to the Al-Magherba
neighborhood. The decision was taken to expand the borders of the Jerusalem
municipality by an area of 172 km2, and to establish what is known as settlement
and security belts around Jerusalem and around the surrounding mountains; the
northern belt near Qalandia, the eastern belt and the southern belt near
Bethlehem. Eighteen settlements have been established within these belts,
perhaps the most famous of which are the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim in the
east and near the town of Al-Eizariya, and Gillo in the south, near the town of Beit
Jala, west of Bethlehem, and the settlement of Psagot and Givat Ziv in the north.
This plan of expanding the municipality’s borders and establishing these security
and settlement belts was known as (the expansion plan), and 200,000 dunams
(dunam is 1000 squar meter)were confiscated for this plan, which continues to
develop until today.
The settlement plan known as (E-One) aims to annex eastern settlements
to the city of Jerusalem and confiscate large areas, especially in the Al-Khan Al-
Ahmar area east of Al-Eizariyya and Abu Diss towns. Expanding the existing
settlements and building a huge infrastructure of streets, electricity and water
networks, and displace many Palestinian communities in the area. This project is
one of the features and provisions of the Greater Jerusalem Project.
The Greater Jerusalem project, in addition to the aforementioned, poses a
threat to the rest of the West Bank. The north of the West Bank is separated from
its south, and travel movement is restricted through limited roads that are under
the control of the occupation forces, closing them whenever they want and
opening them whenever they want, as has been the case for fifteen years. There
is only one crossing that connects the north of the West Bank with its south,
known as the Container Crossing, to the southeast of Al-Eizariyya. Which became
the only crossing and way for Palestinians in the West Bank after Jerusalem was
closed and Palestinians were prevented from commuting through the city of
Jerusalem as they used to in the past, even during the occupation.
The Greater Jerusalem project, in addition to its direct effects on the
Palestinians and the Palestinian presence in the city and its suburbs, is also a
major obstacle for the Palestinian people’s implementation of their national rights
to establish their independent state in the occupied territories. It prevents
geographical contiguity between the territories of the Palestinian state if the two-
state solution is achieved. The Palestinians are deprived of the right of
sovereignty over 10% of the occupied lands, which is the area formed by the
Greater Jerusalem Plan, and the expansion of the municipal boundaries to include
this area. This settlement project in and around Jerusalem undermines the
possibility of any peace, and keeps the conflict situation present and continuing.
It also leads to the isolation of Jerusalem and its Palestinian residents from
their Palestinian surroundings and depth, which leaves difficult effects on their
lives because it leads to the fragmentation of their social structure, by isolating
families and relatives from each other, and thus it is a racist policy that
Palestinians are exposed to. It will also lead to the administrative isolation of
many villages and towns historically attached to Jerusalem, as is the case with
villages such as Al-Jib, Qalandia in the north, Al-Azariyya, Abu Diss, Hizma and
Anata in the east, and the villages of Al-Walaja, Al-Khass, and Al-Numan in the
south. It is a geographical fragmentation of the occupied land and a geographical
division of its inhabitants in these areas.
The Israeli authorities continue to say that the project is in a state of legal
and political debate, where in fact it has been implemented by imposing reality
and facts on the ground regarding what is happening in and around Jerusalem.
Perhaps the most prominent of these policies is the closure of Jerusalem and its
isolation from other areas of the West Bank after expanding its municipal borders
in all directions and building huge settlement belts around it. And all the policies
followed in the city and its surroundings.
The Greater Jerusalem project and all that is taking place in it, including
annexation, isolation, house demolitions, displacement, building settlements,
confiscation of land...etc are illegal according to international law and human
rights laws. It is a great violation of these covenants, East Jerusalem and its
surroundings are occupied lands. The occupation authorities are prohibited from
building settlements and bringing settlers there, and it is prohibited to annex
them to be under the sovereignty of the occupation. The decisions made by the
Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) less than a month after the occupation of the
West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, the decisions to apply Israeli law to
Jerusalem, to expand the municipal boundaries, to guarantee and integrate new
areas of Jerusalem in all directions, and to dissolve the Arab Municipal Council in
it are illegal decisions that were rejected by the United Nations. Dozens of
resolutions have been issued by the United Nations General Assembly stressing
that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory, and its legal status remains in place
despite all illegal Israeli measures and policies in accordance with international
Perhaps the UN Security Council Resolution 298 issued in 1971 is the
strongest among dozens of international resolutions. “The Security Council
expresses its dissatisfaction with Israel's failure to respect previous resolutions
adopted by the United Nations regarding measures taken by Israel aimed at
changing the status of the city of Jerusalem. All legislative and administrative
measures taken by Israel to change the status of the city of Jerusalem, including
the confiscation of land and property, the transfer of residents, and legislation
aimed at annexing the occupied sector, are completely null and cannot change
Ahmad Jaradat –Alternative Information Center - Palestine
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aims to link Jerusalem with the settlements located east and east of
north Jerusalem. This project means the control of the West Bank
lands, which, according to international laws and United Nations
resolutions, are considered occupied areas and it is not permissible to
bring about any changes with far-reaching implications. It is also not
permissible to transfer the citizens of the occupying country to the
occupied territories or to build settlements there.
The project, according to the Israeli plan, practically means
confiscating tens of thousands of dunams of areas in East Jerusalem.
Then building settlements in them and expanding the existing ones. It
also includes the construction of an infrastructure for settlements,
including streets, water and electricity networks, a large cemetery that
controls thousands of dunams, 10 hotels, and 4,000 industrial units.
In practice, this means controlling most of the lands owned by the
Palestinians, especially from the villages and towns located east of
Jerusalem, such as Al-Eizariya, Abu Dis, Hizma, Al-Tur, Anata. The most
dangerous thing is that these villages with this settlement belt are
isolated from their surroundings in the West Bank. They are currently
isolated by the wall from the city of Jerusalem to which these villages
and towns belong. As stated by Ghassan Daghlas, the official in charge
of the settlement file in the northern West Bank, “This is considered the
most dangerous in the settlement projects in the West Bank. In
addition to isolating and besieging these villages and confiscating their
lands, it will also lead to the dismemberment of the West Bank, north
This project will lead to the displacement of 18 Palestinian
communities in the area, comprising three thousand citizens. They all
depend for their lives on agriculture, herding and raising animals. This
will lead to their transformation into refugees and displaced persons
and their relocation to other areas that do not fit the Bedouin lifestyle
based on agriculture and animal husbandry.
Atallah al-Jahalin, coordinator of the Popular Resistance
Committees in the assembly, said, "The deportation of the residents of
Jabal al-Baba is the beginning of the deportation of all communities in
East Jerusalem. It is an evacuation, demolition, and relocation for the
benefit of the largest and most dangerous settlement project in the
West Bank, known as E-ONE. It aims to link Jerusalem with the existing
settlements. East of the city, including Maale Adumim, near Jabal al-
It is true that the project is subject to widespread criticism and
condemnation in the international community, the United Nations, and
many European countries. However, the occupation authorities have
practically started implementing it on the ground for a long time,
gradually by building thousands of settlement units, and building the
infrastructure for this project, including electricity, water, and streets,
etc, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands in the region.
Al-Ezariya town may be among the Palestinian towns east
Jerusalem most affected and suffering as a result of this project as it
will lead to the displacement of many nearby communities that belong
to the town, which means more overcrowding and confiscation of the
town’s lands. Perhaps the clearest example in this regard is the
Palestinian community known as (Jabal al-Baba) in the east of the town,
which includes 57 families consisting of 320 citizens. In recent years,
this site has been subjected to demolition of 30 homes. At the end of
last year, everyone was given notices to vacate their house in order to
Al-Eizariya municipality sources added that this project will cause
great harm to the town, as lands are confiscated in the eastern region,
which means a reduction in the area of land and preventing the urban
and population development of the town. It will also lead to an
exacerbation of the overcrowding of the town, and the most dangerous
is its isolation from its surroundings and besieging it with existing and
emerging settlements and settlement streets . And cut off
communication between it and the rest of the areas in the West Bank.
It will simply lead to the creation of ghettos for it and for the rest of the
villages in the area.
Ultimately, it is part of the settlement project in the West Bank
which aims to control the land, build settlements, and settlement
industrial zones in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Attracting more settlers
and imposing deportation and displacement on the Palestinians in the
vicinity of Jerusalem in favor of implementing the largest project known
as (Greater Jerusalem). Which will lead to the separation of the north of
the West Bank from its south. Politically, it means preventing the
possibility of a two-state solution.
Written by Ahmad Jaradat – Alternative Information Center – Palestine
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Art has become a very important form of resistance in the last years. For this reason,
people from different generations show through their paintings the history from
Palestine, the suffering and the personal stories that they have lived since the Nakba.
When you go in the Kataló artistic studio, you can appreciate his ideas and how this
space is part of his refuge. The desire for a homeland in freedom and to recover a land
that belongs to them appear in the paintings he develops under the technique of oil on
canvas. Linked to drawing since he was a child, his main objective is to make known
the situation suffered by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. The freedom to
express himself, to speak, to be able to express his ideology without any pressure that
forces you to be silent, is one of his main dreams: "this is soft work for how to fight the
occupation, it's how to fight to occupation under the others".
The censorship he suffers today hardly compares to what he experienced during the
years before the Oslo peace accords of 1993, when the control of the Israeli authority
was present day after day in his gallery: "The army would enter my gallery and leave
everything destroyed. It damaged my paintings and even took them away." "No one can
forget the Apartheid that the Palestinian people are suffering, so when I make
international trips to exhibit my paintings, I try to make this idea last in the minds of
people who do not live in Palestine and that they also feel what our people have been
suffering for decades and decades," he adds.
However, it is on those trips abroad with his works, where he encounters numerous
obstacles. "Many times they don't let me take the paintings out, so I try to spread their
content through social networks."
Many Palestinian artists have managed to open a window abroad thanks to networks
like Instagram, this is the case of Malik Abusalameh, a 23-year-old artist who uses his
canvases as a way of thinking and conveying his emotions.
His room has become his personal gallery and at the same time his studio. The new
generations also have in mind the idea of maintaining this peaceful resistance through
art, so that the memory of the Palestinians remains present: "At the age of 12 I started
drawing in the school playgrounds, I painted with just a pen and no paper and that's
when they started to tell me I had talent. Since then I haven't stopped drawing and
painting," he says.
“The occupation actually attacked and fight against the art and artists . the occupation
targeted the art and artist as other kind of palestinians means of struggle. they arrested
many of Artists and confiscated their work and they attacked the many art exhibitions”,
said Kataló in his gallerie plenty of portraits with a lot of stories. Malik finds in his
Instagram his own social media. He uses a catalog and portfolio to send his messages of
resistance internationally through his art.
The country of Palestine is not only Gaza Strip or Cisjordania, so is Jerusalén East,
Yafo and many villages occupies by israelie settler, that is why Katalo captures in many
of his works the of the dream land, where we can observe the Palestinian people under
the Dome of the Rock, one of the most emblematic religious places in the Muslim
world, known as the “Esplanade of the Mosques”, also a hot spot where there have been
several conflicts and where the second Intifida began: “we need to fight against this
Apartheid, we need to express the humility of our people, of my people”.
“In my paintings I usually express my family’s desire to return, for example my father
is from Jenin but works in Bethlehem, my mother is from Bethlehem but is a refugee.
All my grandparents were forced to leave their villages after 1948. We all live here”.
Malik tells that all his family live in Bethlehem, but his roots are not here. The wish of
return appears in all generations, the wish of to be able to return to your roots is always
present, that is why Malik tries to capture the ideas that his family has given him, in his
paintings he captures his roots, the land that saw the birth of both his parents and his
grandparents, mysticism, rural cultural beliefs and country life, but above all, the desire
to be able to return to your roots is always present, that is why Malik tries to capture the
ideas that his family has given him, in his paintings he captures his roots, the land that
was the birth of both his parents and his grandparents, mysticism, rural cultural beliefs
and country life, but above all, the desire to return to their origins.
With the arrival of the British mandate and after the Israeli occupation, everything
changed. Israel was appropriating its culture, its food and even its natural landscapes
and its most important monuments. The Dome of the Rock is a cultural identity symbol
for all Palestinians Many of them have not been able to cross to the other side for years
and observe this emblematic esplanade, Kataló in his many workds transmits it in this
way. You can always see in some hidden corner of his works the golden Dome of the
Rock, whic at sunset, its colors become bright, mixing with the limestone color of the
Like Kataló, Malik also has his own Palestinian symbols in his workds. The mysticity
and the beliefs of the myths of the goat for the Palestinians have always been closely
linked to their ancestors. In addition, not only this, Malik also wants the embroideries
that Palestinian women have been doing all their lives to last forever, which is why he
participed in a project in the Beith Sahour neighborhood, where many of tis doors are
designed with the typical Palestinian embroidery, imitating the dress that the Palestinian
woman wore 100 years ago. “The symbol of women is a symbol of resistance, strenght
and courage, many of my workds are inspired by doctors, farmers, teachers and
housewives' ', Katalo also points out. All Palestinian women have stories to tell, they
too have been participant in this Palestinian resistance. Palestinian embroidery has been
one of the weapons of Palestinian identification, which is why Malik has also wanted
that eapon to last in the neighbohood of Beith Lehem and also in many of his digital
“Art is a form of resistance like many other forms”, Malik points out confidently.
“When you have a situation like this, any form of struggle is valid”, confirms Kataló.
The artistic world has already started with the revolution, the right of return, directly or
indirectly, is its main force to continue fighting.
Writers : Belen López, Sandra Martínez and Judith E. Castaneda
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