Wednesday morning, March 20th: The morning after Barack Obama's arrival in the country, hundreds of Palestinians have converged upon the Palestinian village of Eizariya, near Jerusalem, and established a second Bab al Shams. The first Bab al Shams (Gate of the Sun) was erected two months ago, when organizers called upon their fellow Palestinians to Occupy the Israeli Occupation, pitching camp on lands that have been expropriated by the Israeli government. This incarnation of Bab al Shams sits on the hillside opposite that of the original encampment.
From the Organizers:
The action today aims: “First, to claim our right as Palestinians to return to our lands and villages. Second, to claim our sovereignty over our lands without permission from anyone. Third, our actions are aimed at protecting our land from continued confiscation and threat of settlement and colonization. And Fourth, to expand popular resistance as one form of resistance out of many, that our people are engaged in everywhere."
As the action today coincides with American President Barack Obama’s visit to the region, activists assert their opposition to the American administration's policy in our land, which has been complicit in Israeli occupation and colonialism. Organizers stress: “An administration that used the veto 43 times out of 79 (between 1979 to 2011) in support of Israel and against Palestinian rights, an administration that grants military aid to Israel of over three billion dollars annually, can’t have any positive contribution to achieve justice and rights of the Palestinian people.”
The village is established on the lands of Eizariya, east of occupied Jerusalem, in an area the Israeli government calls E1 and where it has committed to building 4000 settlement units. The hillside falls between Ma’ale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem, and is 13 square kilometers in size. This land belongs to the villages of Al-Issawiyeh, Eizariya, Al-Tor, Anata, and Abu Dis.
Activists are calling this new tent neighborhood, “Ahfad Younis” ("Younis’ Grandchildren", after the name of the main character in the novel, Bab al Shams).
This piece was originally a Babalshams social media networking note.