Hundreds of activists, organized by a coalition of Palestinian, Israeli and International organizations joined the families of Sarura to rebuild their village and create the “Sumud Freedom Camp.”
The camp is located in an Israeli military firing zone on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Sarura, where 15 to 20 families were expelled by Israeli forces in the 1990’s.According to Adam Greenberg, a participant, the camp is inspired by the Standing Rock protests in the U.S. which is working to prevent the building of an oil pipeline on indigenous land.
The coalition includes Palestinian, Israelis and international organizations: the All That’s Left Collective, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, Combatants for Peace, the Holy Land Trust, local Palestinian committees and Youth Against Settlements.
The coalition wants to show a grassroots counterpoint to the high-level political process and U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel/Palestine this upcoming week. The event also aims to mark 50 years of the 1967 occupation. The coalition intends to challenge the occupation in nonviolent solidarity action with Palestinians.
Sulaiman Khatib of Combatants for Peace want to send a message to Trump and the Israeli authorities. “There is no solution, no security without ending the occupation. Palestinians have to live in dignity and freedom.”
Participants are working hand and hand with locals to rebuild their village by rehabilitating their caves, roads and water wells.
The activists are expected to be stopped by the Israeli Army at anytime as the village is located next the illegal settlement of Ma’on.
The organizers hoped that the “Sumud Freedom Camp” would remain in place for at least a week, during which time workshops on nonviolent resistance would be held to begin the process of getting the inhabitants their village back. However, on the second night of the encampment, the Israeli Army tore down the camp. Israel confiscated the tents, but no one has been arrested or severely hurt.
— Mori Rothman-Zecher (@Moriel_RZ) May 20, 2017
— Adam Greenberg (@pragmactivist) May 20, 2017
— IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) May 21, 2017