In the Department of Familial Promotion, here is an article and accompanying audio documentary, by my brother Dave Kattenburg, about the recent eviction, by Israeli authorities, of a group of Palestinian activists from Palestinian land that Jewish settlers wanted to continue their program of settlement expansion.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, January 13, a small army of black-suited Israeli police and soldiers forcibly evicted two hundred Palestinian activists and their international supporters from a hilltop encampment in the disputed E-1 corridor between East Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, in the heart of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“Bab al-Shams” (Gate of the Sun), the Palestinians called their outpost. The land it sat on is reportedly owned by Bedouins, who had approved the tent community. With just a week to go before Israeli elections, however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opted to have the Palestinians evicted on security grounds (after having the site declared a “closed military zone”), ignoring an Israeli Supreme Court decision granting the settlers a six-day reprieve.
Some say the establishment of the Bab al-Shams tent settlement — early last Friday morning — marks a turning point in the evolution of Palestinian resistance against Israel’s 45-year occupation and settlement of the West Bank, which Palestinians claim for a future state.
Turning the tables on Israeli settlement policy, the Palestinian activists were seeking to establish “facts on the ground” when they pitched twenty steel-framed tents on the strategic E-1 hilltop, occupying land the Israeli government has reserved for Jewish settlement. When Jewish settlers set up outposts like this, Israeli authorities spend months or years wringing their hands, tormenting themselves over an appropriate response, while Israeli soldiers provide the settlers protection.
Predictably Bab al-Shams’ Palestinian settlers were greeted in an entirely different fashion. …