As part of the popular resistance movement in Palestine, a group of about 250 Palestinian activists established the new village of Bab Al Shams or “The Gate of the Sun”, on a piece of confiscated land in Eastern Jerusalem, referred by Israeli authorities as “Area E1“.
A Press release was published on the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee website earlier today, describing the reasons behind the establishment of Bab Al Shams. In their Press release, they said:
For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the International community remained silent in response to these violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the game, for us to establish facts on the ground – our own land.
In addition to the Press release, the Palestinian activists used Twitter to declare their movement, and provide updates and photographs from the ground.
Activist Abir Kopty was among the first few to declare the establishment of Bab Al Shams as she tweets:
@AbirKopty: We a group of #Palestinian women and men have established the new village of #BabAlShams on Palestinian land on what Israel refers to as #E1
She also clarifies:
@AbirKopty: #BabAlShams is a new village, not one revived but it symbolizes a lot of things including return to our land.
This movement could be considered as the first initiative to take an effective reaction to the confiscation of Palestinian land by the Israeli army, and its declaration that this area will soon be built into an Israeli settlement, which is illegal under international law.
Palestinian Pal_1948 explains [ar]:
اعلنت حكومة الإحتلال مؤخراً بناء 4 الاف وحدة سكنية، وغرف فندقية، ومنطقة صناعية في المنطقة , فقام قرابة 300 شاب فلسطيني باقامة قرية باب الشمس .
@Pal_1948: The Israeli government recently announced the construction of 4,000 residential units and hotel rooms, and an industrial zone in the region [E1], so a group of 300 young Palestinians established the Village of Bab Al Shams.
حتى الان تم نصب 25 خيمة، تضم عيادة طبية مجهزة، يتواجد فيها طبيب مناوب وخلال الساعات القادمة ستم نصب 50 خيمة
@Pal_1948: So far, 25 tents have been erected, with an equipped medical clinic, where there is a doctor on call and in the coming hours about 50 tents will be set up.
A few hours later, the Israeli army surrounded the area, closed the checkpoints leading to Bab Al Shams, and handed the activists an administrative eviction notice to evacuate the village. Interestingly, the Israeli supreme court issued a suspending order, which states that the village cannot be evicted for 6 days.
Fadi Arouri explains with a photo of the eviction notice:
الجيش يسلم قرار إخلاء فوري لقرية باب الشمس بالرغم من قرار المحكمة العليا بمنع الإخلاء قبل ٦ ايام
@farouri: The [Israeli] army delivers immediate evacuation notice of Village Bab Alshams, despite the Supreme Court's decision to prevent eviction by 6 days.
Abir kopty wasn't surprised by the Israeli notice, and tweeted:
@AbirKopty: We were ready to the eviction order so along with building #BabAlShams we went to the court & got suspending order! We are using their tools.
Despite the Israeli notice of evacuation and the cold weather, the Palestinian activists decided that they will stay the night at their tents in the new village. Keep following updates on Twitter on the hashtag #BabAlshams for further developments.