Whose land? State Dep’t describes Bab al-Shams as ‘settlement’

Reporters brought up the Palestinian village of Bab al-Shams at the State Department briefing on Tuesday. Notice that the first reporter suggests that the Palestinian village is a legitimate form of nonviolent protest of occupation. The State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland doesn’t get that concept. At the end of this excerpt, Matt Lee asks about Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills being uprooted. Nuland knows nothing about it; these villages have been under assault for months. 

QUESTION: On the same topic, in the last – over the weekend, the Israelis forcibly moved Palestinians who had tried to reclaim an area taken from them for a settlement in the E1 area in Bab al-Shams. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. [Victoria] NULAND: We’ve obviously been aware of recent developments in E1. I will again take this opportunity to urge all sides, both sides, to refrain from unhelpful action, from unhelpful rhetoric, and to think seriously about the consequences of their actions. Every step taken should be designed to reduce tension, to prepare the way for getting back to the negotiating table.

QUESTION: Would that be the kind of nonviolent resistance that the Palestinians ought to pursue in fighting the occupation?

MS. NULAND: I’m not sure what you’re –

QUESTION: Doing – taking action like that, going to areas and pitching tents and staying up there and do temporary housing and staying on land without seeking – without resorting to violence, that would be the kind of action that the Palestinians ought to do in sort of undoing the occupation?

MS. NULAND: We oppose all unilateral action, Said, including settlement activities of any kind. They complicate efforts to resume direct bilateral talks. This includes in the E1 area. It’s just not helpful…

QUESTION: Toria –

QUESTION: Can I just go back to the –

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: It’s not a settlement question, per se, but do you have any comment on the situation of these Palestinian villages in South Hebron Hills?

MS. NULAND: I don’t. Let me look into that one, Matt.

QUESTION: And they’re being forcibly relocated because they’re apparently inside an Israeli military firing zone.

MS. NULAND: I don’t have any information on that one. If we have anything to say, I’ll share it with you tomorrow.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 3 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Kathleen says:

    Nuland is such a phony. Phil do you think referring to internationally recognized Palestinian land according to what Israel has decided to call it plays into their occupation agenda. I think calling Palestinian land E!, Areas ABC just fuels their illegal occupation. Matt Lee who has been really out on the much needed edge asking important question refers to Palestinian land in Israeli terms “E1.” We expect that out of Nuland and other supporters of the occupation but wondering about the rest of us calling it “E1″

    Last night put up a comment about Cspan’s Washington Journal doing a whole show on Hagel’s nomination this past Sunday. With Atlantic’s Editor at large Steve Clemons and co director of the American Enterprise Institute Gary Schmidt. Put the comment up at Adam’s last post but do not see it. Hope you guys got it

  2. eljay says:

    >> The State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland doesn’t get that concept. … Nuland knows nothing about it; these villages have been under assault for months.

    Nuland isn’t there to know, to care or to answer questions honestly. She’s there to deflect, to spout lies and propaganda on behalf of the administration she serves. Just like every spokesperson before her has done, and every spokesperson after her will continue to do.

  3. seafoid says:

    Nobody in the US has the right to tell the Palestinians where to live or who owns their land.