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It may seem to many that the Greater Jerusalem project is recent, but the
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
Jerusalem project.

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
the situation."
Ahmad Jaradat –Alternative Information Center - Palestine
The settlement project known as (E-One) is an Israeli plan that
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
and south.”

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-
Baba population.
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
demolish it.
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
Palestinian artists show their way to fight against the accupation through
their paintings
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
Palestinian land.
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
The town of Al-Ezariya is located to the east of the city of Jerusalem, and it
is only 3 km away from the city center. It has a population of 35,000 people, and it
is adjacent to the city of Jerusalem and was historically part of the city. After the
occupation of the city and the West Bank in 1967 and the annexation of
Jerusalem by the occupation authorities, the town was separated from the city
and became affiliated to the Bethlehem Governorate, which is about 20 km away.
Al-Ezariya town is the status of a first-class municipality according to the
classification of the Palestinian National Authority due to its large population.
The citizen Ibrahim Mahmoud from the town says, “In the past, we used to
walk to Jerusalem, and it is very close. We take our agricultural products and sell
them in the city of Jerusalem, and buy what we need. The town is administratively
located in the Bethlehem governorate, which is about 20 km away, and we have
to cross the Knutiner barrier that separates the north of the West Bank from its
south, and this has increased our suffering in effort and costs.”
With the construction of the separation wall around Jerusalem, the town
was completely separated from Jerusalem, and citizens were no longer able to
enter Jerusalem except with a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration, as is
the case with the rest of the 3 million residents of the West Bank.
The peculiarity of Al-Ezariya is that throughout history it was part of the city
of Jerusalem, as it has special relations with the city on the economic, social and
life levels etc. With this racial isolation, the town is facing great suffering that
casts a shadow over all aspects of life. Citizen Laila Saeed says, "Throughout
history, relations have developed between the residents of our town of Al-Eizariya
and Jerusalem, and this was accompanied by many cases of intermarriage. The
separation of the town from Jerusalem, communication between families was cut
off, which means suffering, there are many families, part of which became in
Jerusalem and the rest in Al-Azariya, this social separation causes suffering in the
ability to communicate. This is an unbearable situation and there is nothing like it
in any country in the world. I cannot visit my sister who is only meters away from
my house because of the separation wall and the separation procedures.”
To the east and adjacent to the town, the extensive settlement project
began with the construction of Ma’ale Adumim settlement in the early 1980s, and
with time, this settlement expanded with other settlements such as Kedar 1 and
Kedar 2, to form a separation and besieging barrier for the town. Confiscating
most of the town’s land in favor of the settlement project and the settlements’
infrastructure through a network of roads and the water and electricity networks
that come with the settlements, which tightened the siege of the town with the
wall and the settlements.
Confiscation of land, reducing the town’s lands, and considering a large part
of it as Area C, in which Palestinians are prohibited from building, led to a state of
great overcrowding in the town. The administrative area of ​​the town before the
occupation in 1967 was about 12 thousand dunams (a dunam is a thousand
square meters). With the confiscation of lands for the benefit of settlement, the
area of ​​the town was reduced to only 3,000 dunams. This means significant
overcrowding in the reality of population growth in the town. In an interview with
Khalil Salem from the town, he said, "It is clear from these confiscations and the
expansion of settlements that the goal behind this is to displace people after
making their lives difficult through the restrictions imposed by the occupation
authorities on citizens to confiscate their land, build settlements, and prevent
urban expansion in the town." This racist policy is practiced by the occupation
authorities in most areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem, and it creates a difficult
life reality in favor of pressure on citizens to emigrate. This policy is more evident
in the city of Jerusalem and its suburbs, as is the case in the town of Al-Eizariya,
the idea followed by the occupation authorities is more settlements and settlers
and few Palestinians.


As part of the restrictions on the town, the occupation authorities followed
a policy of demolishing homes and displacing the communities surrounding the
town, such as the village of Jahalin and the Jabal al-Baba community to the east of
the town. This increased the overcrowding and confiscation of lands, and on the
other hand, the confiscation of lands and the construction and expansion of
settlements, as is the case in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, located east of
the town. Hundreds of homes have been demolished at various stages in recent
decades and thousands of citizens have been displaced from their lands. The town
was besieged by these settlements and settlement roads that are adjacent to the
homes of citizens, which means a restriction on the movement of development,
construction and expansion in the town, and the effects of this siege on their daily
lives by restricting movement and isolating them from the rest of the West Bank.
The displacement and demolition of homes in the communities of the town
of Al-Eizariya, has led to hundreds of families losing their source of livelihood,
which depends mainly on agriculture and animal husbandry, which led to the
increase of unemployment for thousands of citizens.
What is happening in the town of Al-Ezariya is not unique, as many towns
and villages surrounding Jerusalem are subjected to the same policy by the
occupation authorities, which aims to separate and isolate Palestinian
communities from the city of Jerusalem in order to reduce the Palestinian
presence in favor of the settlement demographic density in the city to make the
settlers a majority and the Palestinians a minority. These racist measures violate
the rules of international humanitarian law and all international conventions, and
violate the rules and norms of human rights.
Written by Ahmad Jaradat – Alternative Information Center – Palestine
Many of them dont know what really happened with their children and they have not been able to bury their bodies yet

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

23 September 2021

The Little Escape

Michel (Mikado) Warschawski*

We all have a certain sympathy for escapes, although in most cases they end badly; be it escapes from prisons or internment camps, whether as individual initiatives or collective action."The great escape", the "cow and the prisoner", of the penal colony of Guyana. Whatever crime the escapee may or may not have committed, we want him to succeed.

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
Fires and Colonialism
29 August 2021

A few weeks ago I drove to see my grandchildren in Tel Aviv. The route that connects Jerusalem to the coastal plain is called "the corridor", a remnant of the era when this was a narrow route surrounded by Jordan territory. With Israel's occupation of the West Bank in 1967 there was no corridor anymore.

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

AUGUST 20, 2021 

The restrictions on civil society organizations worldwide are growing and the effects on their work have been increasingly noticeable in many places. These restrictions may include laws, policies, state practices, administrative decisions, arrests, judgements, and incitements. The ultimate intent is to silence criticism and critics. Such attempts are classified as Shrinking Spaces: to hinder or eliminate civil society’s freedom or scope of action. In some regions this strategy had the effect that no independent civil society exists anymore and only state mouthpieces in the shape of non- governmental organizations. 

Source: Palestine Update 488- August 2021

By Ranjan Solomon

The Taliban have won back their terrain and the Americans have scooted after having invested two trillion dollars or more leaving behind death and destruction. It is a new dawn, a new era. American colonialism and their allies have been crushed. Another Vietnam?

To the east of the town of Al-Azariya, i.e. east of the city of
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

Israeli occupation forces have killed four Palestinians, including two children, and wounded 1,090 others, including 141 children, during the previous 20 days, a United Nations (UN) report revealed on Saturday.

In the report, which covered the period between 8 and 28 July, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) stated that the Palestinians were killed and wounded in the occupied West Bank.

According to UNOCHA's report, since the start of this year, Israeli occupation forces have killed 50 Palestinians, including 11 children, in the occupied West Bank.

During the same period, at least 11,232 other Palestinians have been wounded in the occupied West Bank, including 584 children.

One of the latest prominent flashpoints is the new illegal Israeli settlement outpost known as Evyatar, located in the village of Beita in the West Bank city of Nablus.

According to the UN report, out of the 11,232 Palestinians wounded during the reported period, 939 were injured by the Israeli occupation forces guarding the site of the illegal settlement.

The settlement was erected on Palestinian-owned land near Beita. While the settlers vacated the settlement on 2 July, Israeli forces have since been stationed to guard the buildings, awaiting the decision by Israeli authorities on whether the land can be classified as "state land" and whether a Jewish religious seminary can be established on the site.

The report added: "Since the establishment of the settlement in early May, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians, including two children, and injured at least 3,077 others, including 381 children, in similar incidents."

Source : https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210731-un-israel-killed-4-palestinians-injured-1090-in-last-20-days/?mc_cid=d450776b6e&mc_eid=f0374718c6&utm_source=Palestine%20Updates&utm_campaign=854aac0b36-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-854aac0b36-30376749&fbclid=IwAR064bywLNoXWk1KXNCnwPYkYxZ2SZkwdde7pq2C05_-iNlGl0MIfpjd0XE

Israel's Supreme Court today offered Palestinian residents of the occupied Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood 'protected residence' status, saying that if they pay rent to the settler organization which claims the land on which their homes are built, their properties will not be demolished. The families have rejected the proposition, objecting to Nahalat Shimon's claims of ownership and subsequent plans for their forcible eviction, Ir Amim reported.

The hearing took place before a panel of three judges – Yitzhak Amit, Noam Sohlberg and Daphne Barak-Erez, who were ruling on a leave to appeal request submitted by the El-Kurd, Jaouni, Abu Hasna, and Askafi families who are facing eviction from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah by the Nahalat Shimon settler company.

Israel to evict 400 Palestinians from Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israel to evict 400 Palestinians from Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Both sides subsequently presented arguments, and the hearing concluded without the handing down of a court ruling. The justices are expected to issue a decision within the coming days concerning the continuation of proceedings. According to one of the attorneys representing the families, an additional hearing on the matter will likely be scheduled.  Originally slated for early May, the hearing was deferred until now to allow for the Attorney General to weigh his intervention in the case, which he ultimately declined.

The court's decision, in this case, will likely impact the additional families from the Kerem Al-Jaouni section of Sheikh Jarrah facing eviction lawsuits filed by Nahalat Shimon, including the case of the Dajani, Daoudi, and Hammad families, likewise pending at the Supreme Court.

On 28 July, the attorney representing the three aforementioned families submitted a request to postpone their eviction date set for yesterday.

In response, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction, provisionally freezing their eviction and asking the settler group to respond by 8 August. While the three families have likewise filed a leave to appeal request to the Supreme Court, neither a hearing has been scheduled, nor a decision rendered.

Currently, there are open eviction lawsuits against a total of approximately 50-60 families in Sheikh Jarrah (30 families – Kerem Al-Jaouni section and 20-30 families – Um Haroun section), which are at various stages of legal proceedings.

Many more families are at risk of receiving eviction demands due to land registration procedures the Israeli authorities underhandedly began in occupied East Jerusalem in 2020 for the first time since 1967.

"Without the public's knowledge, the authorities have been discreetly registering land rights of properties in Um Haroun to alleged Jewish owners. Such a move is unprecedented and has potential acute ramifications on Palestinian properties not only in Sheikh Jarrah but across East Jerusalem," Israeli rights group Ir Amim said on its website, "which could ultimately lead to widespread Palestinian dispossession in the city and expansion of Jewish settlement."

Source : https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210802-israel-court-calls-on-sheikh-jarrah-residents-to-pay-rent-to-settlers/?mc_cid=d450776b6e&mc_eid=f0374718c6&utm_source=Palestine%20Updates&utm_campaign=854aac0b36-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-854aac0b36-30376749&fbclid=IwAR3MnXmK7eNua4n8Yn674q7I0q_grynUFJfVTg6kHqD1wPCcecZJPMOwyTg

The Palestinian people have not only been fragmented by Israel, but also by its own corrupted leadership. It is up to the grassroots to correct the capitulation of Oslo.

The Palestinian people’s integrity derives exactly from the strength of their position vis-a-vis the actual political state of things. Within this context, it becomes crucially important to listen to critical South African warnings which provide important lessons for Palestine from South Africa. The current unrest and popular dissatisfaction across South Africa are warnings for all of us here in Palestine that unprincipled compromises on the socioeconomic rights of historically disenfranchised communities should never be part of our liberation agenda. 

In fact, the leadership of the Palestinian national movement, like the ANC leadership, has already betrayed its own principles. We have reached a time where we can argue that Israel has intellectually and morally lost the battle. We, Palestinians, like Black South Africans before us, have proven to be the ones at the forefront of the fight for universal justice. However, by the end of the second decade and the beginning of the third one of the millennium, a spirit of dictatorship and tyranny has pervaded the soul of Palestinian nationalism as defined and controlled by the Right. 

It takes only a look at its failures to see that Palestinian nationalism, as defined by the Right in cahoots with the Stalinist Left, is coming to an end. And I am saying this from a deep sense of commitment to the Palestinian cause, but also from a self-critical viewpoint. The achievements of Palestinian nationalism have been made and now is the winter of its decline, its promises of liberation and return undelivered. 

Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.

The Palestinian Right has managed to fragment the Palestinian frame of collective identity by reducing the Palestinian people to only those who live in the 1967 occupied territories – Palestinian refugees (the source of the Palestinian cause) are ignored, as are those who live as third-class citizens of apartheid Israel. Palestinian nationalism seems to have taken a vacation from critical resistance! Critical activists and intellectuals, therefore, have to deal with the historical burden of correcting the capitulating thrust of Oslo pseudo-intellectual life.

To add insult to injury – and further fragmenting the already fragmented components of the Palestinian people – Palestine’s class character (disguised in a nationalist discourse) has lately revealed itself in a resentment toward the Palestinians of Gaza who are perceived as either Hamas supporters and members, or unwanted dissident voices, and who therefore constitute a serious threat to the so-called “National project.” Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.

But as Antonio Gramsci says: “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born: in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” And one of these symptoms is the vociferous call for alternative programs, including the call for the establishment of a secular-democratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – a call to move away from Bantustanization and separatism. 

Many, including some of those who were at the forefront of the fight for a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders, have come to the realization that the racist two-state solution has always been used to justify further Palestinian capitulation. Throughout history, Palestine has always had a multicultural character; that can only be restored in one Democratic state that represents the collective will of all its people: Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others. Again, and learning from the mistakes of South Africa, that should not be at the expense of the basic socio-economic rights of all those disenfranchised, especially refugees living in miserable camps across the region and in the diaspora. 

Auther: Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.


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