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Palestinians launch campaign against Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley by reviving village of Ein Hijleh

"Our village being rebuilt #EinHijleh #MelhAlArd" (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

“Our village being rebuilt #EinHijleh #MelhAlArd” (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley.

Campaign organizers and participants declared,

We, the daughters and sons of Palestine, announce today the revival of Ein Hijleh village as part of Melh Al-Ard campaign in the Jordan Valley. The action aims at refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land.

"Singing, working and cleaning of #EinHijleh started" (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

“Singing, working and cleaning of #EinHijleh started” (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

Accordingly we have decided to revive an old Palestinian Canaanite village in the Jordan Valley next to so called “Route 90” linking the Dead Sea to Bisan. The action is part of a continuous step against the Israeli occupation’s plan to take over and annex the Jordan Valley. This step is a popular act against Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and the constant Judaization of the land.

From the village of Ein Hijleh, we the participants announce that we hold tight to our right to all occupied Palestinian lands. We refuse Kerry’s Plan that will establish a disfigured Palestinian state and recognizes the Israeli entity as a Jewish State. Such a state will turn Palestinians living inside lands occupied in 1948 into residents and visitors that can be deported at anytime. We affirm the unity of our people and their struggle wherever they are for our inalienable rights.

Ein Hijleh village is located in what is called “Area C” in the Jordan Valley, which is under threat of annexation by Israeli policies and Kerry’s plan. Therefore, we have decided to take charge and call for a national action to protect the Jordan Valley and put an end to the constant Judaization of Palestinian lands.

Based on our support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) we call upon our friends and international solidarity groups to stand with the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies including Israeli factories and companies that work in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources.

For instance, we ask you to boycott Mehadrin, the largest Israeli exporter of fruits and vegetables, some of which grown in the Jordan Valley. In addition, Hadiklaim, that exports dates produced by Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley. We also call on you to boycott both Ahava and Premier, cosmetics companies that use Dead Sea minerals to produce its products.

Our Palestinian village is located near Deir Hijleh or St. Gerassimos monastery, on land that is property of the Orthodox monastery. The land mainly consists of few deserted old houses and palm trees. The white soil is highly concentrated with salt, and the area is surrounded by lands taken and used by Israeli settlers. An Israeli base is separating the land from Deir Hijleh monastery which owns a property of about 1000 dunams, some of which are taken by Israeli forces for the excuse of “security reasons.”

"The main house in the village #EinHijleh which is believed to be old church" (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

“The main house in the village #EinHijleh which is believed to be old church” (Photo: Diana Alzeer via Twitter)

The campaign, “Melh A-lArd” (Salt of the Earth), quotes a phrase from the bible, Matthew 13:5, which says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” The name of our village, Ein Hijleh, is based on the original Canaanite name and the water spring (Ein) present there.

We the sons and daughters of Ein Hijleh call upon our people to join the struggle to revive the village and protect our rights, history, culture, and land. Daughters and sons of Palestine, be the salt of this earth and stay steadfast on it.

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
About Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee was formed by prominent activists in the popular committees from all over the Occupied Territories and across the Palestinian political spectrum. Popular committees present a unique form of community based organizing and resistance in the tradition of the first Palestinian Intifada.

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8 Responses

  1. just
    January 31, 2014, 10:43 am

    “We the sons and daughters of Ein Hijleh call upon our people to join the struggle to revive the village and protect our rights, history, culture, and land. Daughters and sons of Palestine, be the salt of this earth and stay steadfast on it.”

    I am with you in solidarity. Stay strong and “hold tight”, right is on your side. Revival of the Palestinian villages is a wonderful step…forward.

  2. Walid
    January 31, 2014, 3:30 pm

    If someone wants to look up the verse taken from the Bible, it should have been Matthew 5:13 rather than Matthew 13:5; a small typo error.

    Bravo to these brave people willing to make a stand for their rights.

  3. W.Jones
    January 31, 2014, 4:03 pm

    Salt of the Earth is also the name of a movie about Palestinian Christians. They have a website by that name and you can get their movie through HCEF, I think.

  4. James Canning
    James Canning
    January 31, 2014, 7:11 pm

    Bravo, and good luck.

  5. Citizen
    January 31, 2014, 7:11 pm

    Nothing left but popular protest… Look grim; I wish I could stencil this article on the forehead of nearly all US congress critters, and have it handed out at the March AIPAC meeting.

    Meanwhile, for all the hasbara bots who come to this blog, I’d you to explain to me why Israel is ghettoizing non-Jews. Here’s a current example:

    The actual Jewish squatters are calling the Palestinians squatters under color of government law and policed by Jews. It’s really annoying I am complicit in this regime racism because my tax money enables it.

  6. Inanna
    February 1, 2014, 2:59 am

    Since the Palestinians are reclaiming a Christian Orthodox monastery it’s appropriate to say: Allah ma3kun!

  7. Accentitude
    February 2, 2014, 3:30 am

    I’m planning on going there this week to meet with the protestors now that a movement restriction placed upon me has expired (long story). It would be interesting to see the Israeli reaction to this, since they consider that this monastery and its lands are in “Area C” (which is 99% of the Jordan Valley anyway). I’m sure they could spin in one or more of several ways. Having been here for many years, and having lived under the conflict, Israel’s responses are often predictable:

    1. They could send in border police and IDF to rip apart the protest camp, arrest several “leaders” or “prominent figures.” (their terminology), placing them under renewable administrative detention.
    2. Their PR machine could supplement their military action against the protestors by saying that its an “illegal riot” (again their terminology) and that Muslims are desecrating Christian historical sites. Then they could transition into some hasbara about how Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the entire MENA region (its not).
    3. They could bust in, guns blazing with live ammunition, tear gas and “rubber bullets” (ever been hit by these things? They’re not very rubbery) claiming that they used standard “riot dispersal methods” (their terminology) against “rioters” who hurled rocks and molotovs at them.
    4. They could just ignore it and let the protestors garner attention in national and international news. <—highly unlikely.

    It would be interesting to see if the Greek Orthodox Patriarch makes any sort of a statement. After all it is on their land (most of which has been illegally confiscated by Israel). Of course I wouldn't hold my breathe because both the Latin and Greek Patriarchs have a muddled history in this area. Sometimes siding with Palestinians, other times selling and leasing lands to the Israeli govt and siding with the displacement of Palestinians.

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