Tuesday, January 15, 2013
By Amnesty International Campaigner Saleh Hijazi
"In the small hours of Sunday, more than 500 Israeli police surrounded around 130 Palestinian activists at a protest camp on the hills opposite the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.
The camp, which the activists called the village of Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun), was set up on privately-owned Palestinian land two days before to protest against the Israeli occupation and continued expansion of illegal settlements, which goes hand in hand with forced evictions in the West Bank.
Heavily armed police moved into the village to remove the peaceful activists on orders from the Israeli government, despite a High Court ruling on Friday not to remove the camp.
Eventually the video stream I was watching was cut off, but it was still possible to follow Twitter, where activists reported on the arrests and eviction moment by moment.....
The eviction of Bab al-Shams is a stark reminder that although Palestinians, and not Israeli settlers, have the right under international law to build and plan villages in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, every day the Israeli government continues to deny them those rights.
The international community should take this as a warning that if action against the expansion of illegal Israel settlements – especially the E1 plan – is not taken immediately, whole Palestinian communities will be forcibly evicted from their homes. Amnesty International will continue supporting these communities, and Palestinians’ right to peaceful protest."