Identical multiple reports claim activists disguised as bride + “traditional Palestinian wedding party” tried to “retake” #BabAlShams today. But, it appears that it remains a “Closed Military Zone”….
Photo from the Facebook page of Activists around the world for Palestine here:
“One activist wore a white bridal gown and their cars were decked out in bright ribbons, making the protest look like a traditional Palestinian wedding … Twenty Palestinians were detained for questioning”
UPDATE: On Wednesday 16 January, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association posted an update on those detained trying to get to Bab Al Shams: 17 of the detainees will report to the Military Court in Ofer and Al Moscobiyeh in Jerusalem. Their charges are: 1 – Access to a closed military zone 2 – Attack on the police
The prosecution is demanding shutting them out of Bab Al Shams for 6 months.
The detainees are:
1. Isam Bakir
2. Ahmad Ziadeh
3. Sharaf Rayan
4. Mohammad Ziyadat
5. Nadeem Abu Hilal
6. Adham Rabie
7. Abady Shalhoub
8. Neta Golan
9. Hatem Al Khatib
10. Eid Jalal Al Khatib
11. Ramzi Faroun
12. Ahmad Abu Rahma
13. Ahmad Brahama
14. Burkan Daraghmeh
15. Ahmad Al Hanash
16. Ahmad Hijazi
17. Ahmad Jabayat
UPDATE TWO: All those arrested were released by Wednesday evening. Some 18 demonstrators were barred from Bab Al-Shams for six weeks, while 15 of the demonstrators were given fines of 1000 shekels [$270] each. The Palestinian government later said that it would pay/reimburse those fines….
Jonathan Cook has written [his article is reproduced here] that “Following the Israeli raid, that point was made eloquently by Mohammed Khatib, one of the organisers. ‘In establishing Bab al-Shams, we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier — from now on we shall seize them ourselves’. That, of course, is also Netanyahu’s great fear. The scenario his officials are reported to be most concerned about is that this kind of popular mode of struggle becomes infectious. If Palestinians see popular non-violent resistance, unlike endless diplomacy, helping to awaken the world to their plight, there may be more Bab al-Shamses — and other surprises for Israel — around the corner. It was precisely such thinking that led Israel’s attorney-general, Yehuda Weinstein, to justify Netanyahu’s violation of the injunction on the grounds that the camp would ‘bring protests and riots with national and international implications’.”
The U.S. State Department has finally been asked about the Bab al-Shams experiment, and Spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated here that the U.S. believes “settlement activities of any kind…complicate efforts to resume direct bilateral talks” and are “not helpful”:
QUESTION: On the same topic, in the last – over the weekend, the Israelis forcibly moved Palestinians who had tried to reclaim an area taken from them for a settlement in the E1 area in Bab al-Shams. Do you have any comment on that?
MS. [Victoria] NULAND: We’ve obviously been aware of recent developments in E1. I will again take this opportunity to urge all sides, both sides, to refrain from unhelpful action, from unhelpful rhetoric, and to think seriously about the consequences of their actions. Every step taken should be designed to reduce tension, to prepare the way for getting back to the negotiating table.
QUESTION: Would that be the kind of nonviolent resistance that the Palestinians ought to pursue in fighting the occupation?
MS. NULAND: I’m not sure what you’re —
QUESTION: Doing – taking action like that, going to areas and pitching tents and staying up there and do temporary housing and staying on land without seeking – without resorting to violence, that would be the kind of action that the Palestinians ought to do in sort of undoing the occupation?
MS. NULAND: We oppose all unilateral action, Said, including settlement activities of any kind. They complicate efforts to resume direct bilateral talks. This includes in the E1 area. It’s just not helpful.