Activists block Jericho road to protest East Jerusalem land grab

Israel/Palestine
on 29 Comments

A peaceful protest by activists from Palestinian popular committees successfully blocked the Jerusalem – Jericho road Friday in their ongoing protest against Israeli policies to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian Bedouin communities from “Area C”.

As Stop the Wall reported here last month, Israel has accelerated “the infrastructure construction to build the West Bank Bantustans…systematically suffocating the Palestinian communities to force them to leave the area.”

Blocking the Jericho road colonial road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Blocking the Jericho road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Accompanied by international solidarity activists, they confronted heavily-armed Israeli forces who used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them.

Blocking the Jericho road colonial road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Blocking the Jericho road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

In September 2014 Israel published plans (#1418 and #1419) to forcefully evict thousands of Bedouins from their residences in Area C (although they didn’t use those words) and corral them into a new “Bedouin township” in Nuweimeh near Jericho, thus clearing the area for the expansion of illegal Israeli settlement around Ma’ale Adumim, Kefar Adumim, Rimonim, Yitav and other settlements in the area. According to the Jahalin Association, the plans would have the effect of “judaising [the land] from East Jerusalem down to Jericho.”

According to the Jahalin Association

The plan will involve the transfer of Bedouin families from the Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho peripheries across three different Bedouin tribes: the Jahalin, Kaabneh and Rashayda. This includes communities from the controversial E-1 area.  The targeted Bedouin communities strongly object to the Nuweimeh plans for a host of reasons.

An expert legal opinion by Professor Marco Sassoli and Dr. Theo Boutrouche examined the case and concluded that if the plan were to be implemented it would constitute forcible transfer, prohibited under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is a grave breach of the Convention and may amount to a war crime.

Activist said the main goal of protest, along with alerting people to the ongoing displacement of the Palestinian Bedouins, was “to confirm that occupied Jerusalem is a Palestinian capital and Palestinians have the full right to enter Jerusalem city freely”. For more information on the dire implications of these plans please check out the Fact Sheet as to the Implications of the E-1 Development/Displacement Plan.

Blocking the Jericho road colonial road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Blocking the Jericho road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

The plans that Israel published in September are open to public objection until December 3rd.  A sub-committee of Israeli Military governing body that controls Area C is authorized to approve the plans but after it has received objections it must consider those objections and hold a public hearing before issuing a decision, which can then be appealed to the Israeli High Court.

Lawyers and planners for the Bedouin communities will object to the plans and represent their clients at the hearings.  To protest the Israeli relocation plan individual citizens and organizations, have standing to make such objections to The Subcommittee for Objections, Civil Administration, P.O. Box 16  Bet El 90631, and do not need to be represented at the hearing.

Article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 reads as follows:

Individual of mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased… The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies

Jahalin Association: “The forcible transfer of the Bedouin tribes living in Area C is not motivated by any imperative military reasons, nor is it being proposed in order to protect the civilian population from imminent danger arising from nearby military operations.”

Blocking the Jericho road colonial road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Blocking the Jericho road to Jerusalem November 28, 2014 (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Thanks to Ofer Neiman

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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29 Responses

  1. Pauline
    November 30, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Kudos to the activists challenging Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine and kudos to Annie Robbins for reporting news stories from the occupied territories that we rarely get from the mainstream US news media~!

  2. Blownaway
    November 30, 2014, 2:17 pm

    The wheels are coming off of the JSIL (Jewish state in the levant) faster than I ever thought. I hope Netanyahu wins again. There are more comparisons to Iran in the press than ever. I like JSIL to describe it now. Sorry Bibi Israel resembles ISIS more than Hamas does…wait I’m not sorry

    • bilal a
      December 1, 2014, 2:56 am

      But what is the follow up plan proposed here, a one state solution. New York City, Las Vegas, Miami, LA have one state multicultural solutions. Are these cities run by the Bloombergs and Adelsons or by the democratic majority? And when the indigeneous traditional cutlrue is outlawed in the interests of ‘human rights’ for women, what will be their likely fate?

      The return of trafficking in women
      The Israeli sex industry has been operating unhindered in recent years as the authorities have turned a blind eye.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.629260

      The One state solution will never be a just outcome for both Jewish and Non-Jewish self determination.

      • catporn
        December 1, 2014, 7:22 am

        What other options remain? A group of Palestinian bantustans without common governance or valid self determination, serving as a cheap labour source to the local super power. On the other side The Jewish State of Israel, enacting ever more repressive laws to keep the ‘Jewish’ part relevant.
        Too many Jews have made the Levant their home for too long, it’s not dissimilar to Northern Ireland, a point that Zionist leaders will have been aware of for a long time, unraveling it isn’t impossible but all the weight is leaning in the other direction, and every demolition and every new settler build, and every ‘relocation’ makes two states a distant dream.

      • RoHa
        December 1, 2014, 7:58 am

        Neither Jewish nor non-Jewish self-determination will be just. Self-determination (insofar as it is justified) is for all the inhabitants of the territory. It does not apply to religious/ethnic/hobby groups.

        The Jews and Palestinians will have to learn to live together and will have to develop a common culture in order to do so. But life is more important than culture.

    • eljay
      December 1, 2014, 7:45 am

      >> Blownaway: … I like JSIL to describe it now. Sorry Bibi Israel resembles ISIS more than Hamas does…wait I’m not sorry

      ISIL and JSIL have the “shared common values” of conquest and supremacism. y.f. inadvertently but effectively underscored the similarity a few days ago:

      The facts of the actuality of Jewish nation building running over the interests of the Palestinian Arab people is not sufficient, to me, to negate all aspects of Zionism, but only its implementation in a specific place and time.

  3. amigo
    November 30, 2014, 2:55 pm

    In photo # 5 the two contrasting faces say it all.

    On the zionist side we see a face unsure and full of hatred backed up with lethal weapons and might..On the other side we see courage and steely commitment which finds it,s roots in the knowledge that he has justice and right on his side.he needs no weapons .

    One is the face of Israel , the bully and oppressor and the other is that of the oppressed but determined to shed that oppression.History has shown us who will prevail.

    • Mooser
      November 30, 2014, 3:42 pm

      Oddly enough, it was a picture like that, I can still see it in my mind, of Israeli soldiers with auto weapons and battle gear standing over some Palestinian women with bundles, which first woke me up, this was after the 67 war, I think the picture was from Jerusalem.

      • amigo
        November 30, 2014, 5:31 pm

        “Oddly enough, it was a picture like that, I can still see it in my mind, of Israeli soldiers with auto weapons and battle gear standing over some Palestinian women with bundles, which first woke me up. Mooser.

        I had been aware for some years before but what confirmed it for me was a report some 11 years ago about a pregnant Palestinian woman begging to be allowed through a checkpoint,The soldier would not relent and told her he would be given a far longer prison sentence for allowing her through than he would if he shot her.Her baby died right there.I have tried many time to dig that story up , unsuccessfully.

    • Kay24
      November 30, 2014, 4:47 pm

      I agree. That pictures sums up exactly the feelings the Palestinians must have. How much can they keep taking? How much can this world keep ignoring. This is an unfair fight.

      Thank you Annie for the latest information.

      • just
        December 1, 2014, 5:41 am

        The second photo conveys an answer.

        Palestinians have right on their side.

  4. John Fearey
    November 30, 2014, 3:20 pm

    An important story with excellent photographs. Thank you.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 30, 2014, 5:42 pm

      thank you. a lot of credit goes to ofer neiman for keeping us informed. the photos are really fantastic aren’t they. not sure if you noticed but they are by Hamde Abu Rahma, the same photojournalist in this recent story: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/justiceformikebrown-ferguson-palestine

      and i recommend opening the “Palestinian popular committees” embed in the first sentence as well as the other embed in the first sentence (stop the wall). these are some amazing activists.

  5. ivri
    November 30, 2014, 3:24 pm

    The question is: is it the start of another round in the Israel-Palestine saga or just transient spasms. Hard to tell but my guess is that while in Jerusalem there could be some meaningful developments in the rest of the West-Bank it won`t go too far. Simply because following the second Intifada, which was a serious matter for Israel, the country has created a whole machinery to counter it. People may have problems in the “next war” arena but rarely in the previous one.

    • amigo
      November 30, 2014, 5:50 pm

      It,s winter and ivri is hibernating.

      Ivri , Israel,s outer life sustaining blubber is wearing thin.She will not make it through the weather heading her way.You keep sleeping , you will wake up to a world you will not recognise but what the hell, you can make aliyah to Moldovia or failing that , some such suitable environment.

    • talknic
      November 30, 2014, 11:14 pm

      @ ivri “The question is: is it the start of another round in the Israel-Palestine saga or just transient spasms.”

      It’s been ongoing since at least 1897 Basil, Jewish Colonial Trust ….

      “Hard to tell”

      Only if you’re an apologist for the illegal Greater Israel colonization project

    • Annie Robbins
      December 1, 2014, 3:51 am

      ivri, i don’t think this is the same as the times you mentioned earlier or “just transient spasms”. the difference being that within days abbas is going back to the UN via jordan, to the security council w/the backing of the arab states,and if theUS vetoes they will go to the icc. of course, this is not just about the bedouin or jerusalem, it’s the whole ball of wax. plus this is mixed w/all those EU countries recognizing palestine, the threat of sanctions,and the radically increasing nature of the rtwg fanatical zionist regime. so, it’s different now. different and the same, but the global community is fed up.

      • ivri
        December 1, 2014, 8:12 am

        @Annie
        Well, at every historical juncture things are different, that`s clear, but the key question is just how. I am sure you appreciate that there have been many times in the past when it looked that NOW is “THE moment” and they passed leaving little trace. The process marches on from phase to phase and the particular aspects you mention in regard to the coming phases are not easy to figure out in advance- they are all pretty tricky, lengthy and subject to all kinds of uncertainties (not just in respect to the direct participants but also what goes on in the hugely volatile region around). So to me it`s just wait and see. My previous comment was merely in regard to the conditions “on the ground”.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 1, 2014, 2:26 pm

        i do appreciate there have been times in the past when it appeared, to some people, as tho “THE moment” had arrived.

        The process marches on from phase to phase and the particular aspects you mention in regard to the coming phases are not easy to figure out in advance- they are all pretty tricky, lengthy and subject to all kinds of uncertainties

        yes i am well aware of that. and this “pretty tricky” nebulousness serves the zionist expansion, in fact it relies on its continuation (because all out blatant genocide/ethnic cleansing could global raise alarm like what we saw w/the attempted prawer plan that got pushed down the road). this endless “peace process” with spurts of more drastic expansion.

        regarding “on the ground”, you’re right; it doesn’t look any different that any other peaceful protest where the iof show up w/their weapons and tear gas.

        my point is that i do think we’re moving into a different stage because of more aggressive global political engagement. i don’t think things will just creep along at the same pace gradually until all of palestine is swallowed whole. as i have been saying for a few years, i think we’re going to see it come to a head by around 2020, no later. i think we’re on the approach of that and this is what it looks like. we can’t tell when ‘the moment’ will come no more than predicting when SA’s moment will come. let’s talk in 2021.

      • NickJOCW
        December 1, 2014, 8:22 am

        Absolutely, Annie. I hope we get to a point where the US alone vetoes the Arab League proposals. You can bet Vitaly Churkin will have a field day and we’ll see Putin back on his charger as a champion of human rights and international law. It’s often thought that nothing is really changing or things are getting worse, but a tectonic shift is building up in the background and this UN business may well set it off. Meanwhile the tensions within Israel are also escalating. I caught an extraordinary example of this a few hours ago. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/388222.html . I thought it a bit over the top at first until I realised the ‘victims’ were opponents of Netanyahu’s racist plans.

      • ivri
        December 1, 2014, 8:42 am

        @NickJOCW
        How on earth can a “tectonic shift” build when there is such a web of intricate relationships and links among the “players”. This is not just the US and Israel. For instance, those in the know understand that the last thing Saudi Arabia (plus Emirates) and Jordan, even Egypt, want now is to weaken Israel – there are vital self-interests involved here. And what is exactly the Arab League now without the latter?
        As for the “tension” within the Israeli elite – now what else is new? (as long as the source you mention, Iran`s official, is not where your main info venue)

      • Annie Robbins
        December 1, 2014, 3:01 pm

        exactly nick “tectonic shift “

      • NickJOCW
        December 2, 2014, 5:46 am

        @ivri You miss an important point. I used the adjective tectonic because the shift is deep and structural. Israel is like a house of cards and all the webs you refer to cannot hold it up once it starts to fall. Almost everything Israel does encourages attitudes of negativity, attitudes that in most cases have little or nothing to do with Palestinians but arise more broadly from what people see as arrogant defiance of moral norms and international law. Back in October Miriam Margolyes, interviewed for the Radio Times, said inter alia
        I don’t think people like Jews. They never have. English literature, my great love, is full of greasy and treacherous Jews. … Antisemitism is horrible and can’t be defended, but Israel is stupid for allowing people to vent it. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-11-03/miriam-margolyes-on-success-sexuality–and-meeting-william

        That people may not much like Jews is not the same as anti-Semitism, rather something closer to disaffection. But put in a shaker with increasing negativity towards Israel and you have an environment in which anti-Semitic attitudes may not attract automatic odium so much as something between disapproval and shoulder shrugging indifference. If you have ever seen the film Chariots of Fire you will know what I mean.

        As for your dismissal of PressTV, it was simply the first place I found the item. Look here if it makes you feel more comfortable: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21831

    • ziusudra
      December 1, 2014, 10:48 am

      Greetings ivri,
      The ‘Sondercommandos’ of Zionistan are encroaching more & more, yiddle by yiddle against the indigenous peoples of Falesteena and they are getting away with it.
      I have a thought which puzzles me, ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq & Syria are on de loose, they have no love for the Falesteeni, but what are they gonna’ do when Bibi allows a full blown attack against the al Aqsa Moshee? ISIS goes after all Ethnicities & Religions! Do you think they will skip Zionistan? Abu Bakr, 1st Kalifa of 633AD, rides again.
      ziusudra

    • Kay24
      December 1, 2014, 11:02 am

      Ivri, right now the only spasms seems to come from the bowels of zionism, which results land theft and a ruthless military occupation, and verbal diarrhea from hasbara.

  6. seafoid
    November 30, 2014, 4:49 pm

    That last photo shows a poorly educated brainwashed Jew standing off against a thinking Palestinian. The Jew is armed and the Palestinian isn’t but the Palestinian thinks more than the Jew does. So who is the loser ?

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2014, 4:50 pm

      And the camouflage around his helmet makes him look like the bride of Zionism.
      Rightly fucked by Bibi and co.

  7. mcohen.
    November 30, 2014, 5:04 pm

    a win win situation

  8. just
    November 30, 2014, 8:25 pm

    Thank you, Annie, for bringing us more truth via Abu Rahma “Peace Photographer” and Ofer Neiman.

    ;-I

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