Then, at 4 am, the Israeli Police moved in… evacuated everybody [ + may or may not have torn down tents]

As we reported in our previous post, Abir Kopty had reported hearing police move in on the Bab Al-Shams tent village in E-1, on foot, just before midnight…

After that, it was a long night.

Nobody really knows what happened to the tents, because the site is still a closed military zone [at least until 00h30 on Monday] … but it was peculiar that the Israeli Army interpreted so… well, literally, the Supreme Court’s injunction against evicting and/or destroying the 21 or so tents that were put up on Friday morning at Bab al-Shams.

But, the people were certainly removed.

Irene Nasser picked up the story at 2 am, Abir Kopty was also Tweeting, and Fadi Quran joined in at 4 am, sending out these Tweets :

2 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — Bulldozers are moving closer towards us along with a large police force after the court gave permission to evict #BabAlShams. Freezing cold

3 am
Abir Kopty @AbirKopty — We are gathered, they are approaching us #BabAlShams
Aljazeera will go live now from here #BabAlShams
They have a strong flash to disturb the cameras of the press #BabAlShams

3 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — Dozens of military buses are at the bottom of the hill. Soldiers are moving closer by foot
lights of police cars popping up across the hills around us. press has stuck out the cold and is still here to document #BabAlShams
Military jeeps are almost at the first tent #BabAlShams
They’re here #BabAlShams
We’re surrounded. #BabAlShams
There’s no where to go, it’s dark and can barely see anything. #BabAlShams
They’re closing on the group violently #BabAlShams
First arrest. Not sure who hard to see #BabAlShams
They’re attacking press and moving them out #BabAlShams
More arrested without any of us seeing who #BabAlShams

4 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — We’re ALL detained #BabAlShams
We’re on a police bus being moved. Not sure where to #BabAlShams

4 am Fadi Quran @fadiquran
Just arrested, in arrest bus #BabAlShams staying strong
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again #BabAlshams

5 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — The bus is taking us through #Jerusalem. We seem to be heading either to atarot police station or qalandia checkpoint #BabAlShams
Some detained have either not been to #Jerusalem 10+ yrs or some even never seeing it now for 1st time on an arrest vehicle #BabAlShams
2 full buses of those arrested at #BabAlShams have been release at qalandia checkpoint. I’m on the 3rd bus with others #BabAlShams

5 am Fadi Quran @fadiquran
They just released all of us at Qalandia #BabAlShams

6 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — 3 were taken to hospitals. 1 in ramallah and 2 in #Jerusalem who may be arrested. #BabAlShams
Going to the hospital in ramallah to find the 2 injured transferred from the israeli ambulance. #BabAlShams
All those injured (4) have been released. They suffered bad wounds to the face from police punching and violence #BabAlShams
Sun will soon rise on our village. Empty tents, blankets thrown everywhere. They may have evicted us but we’ll always remain. #BabAlShams

6 am
Abir Kopty @AbirKopty — 6 injuries in total during the attack on #BabAlShams, we are here at the hospital with them

7 am
Irene Nasser @Irene_Nasser — Correction: 6 injuries in total. 2 minor


Here is a photo of Hafez Omar, taken after the Israeli Policy + Army evacuated Bab Al-Shams tent village in the E-1 area, east of Jerusalem:

Hafez Omar after the evacuation of Bab Al-Shams
Hafez Omar after the evacuation of Bab Al-Shams


Reactions + Comments:
Ori Nir @OriNir_APN — Isr’ gov’ proves it can quickly and efficiently remove a Palestinian WB illegal outpost. So, how about the ~ 100 illegal Jewish outposts?

Daniel Seidemann @DanielSeidemann — Message of today’s E1 eviction: what is allowed to hilltop West Bank settlers, social protesters in Tel Aviv, is forbidden to Palestinians.

Daniel Seidemann @DanielSeidemann — The message of today’s E1 eviction to WB Palestinians: you may not protest non-violently. That leaves submission or… ahem. Dumb. Just dumb.

Daniel Seidemann @DanielSeidemann — The State claimed that a non-violent E1/Bab Alshams protest in isolated area created “urgent security danger and threat to public safety”

Brent E. Sasley @besasley — @DanielSeidemann So Bibi *did* flagrantly ignore the Supreme Court. Very surprising, and a terrible precedent.

Daniel Seidemann @DanielSeidemann — @besasley The injunction forbids destruction/removal of the E1 protest tents for 6 days, unless there is an urgent security concern. 1/2

Israeli Police threaten to evict people [not tents] from Bab al-Shams

Palestinian activists who spent a cold night in the tent village of Bab al-Shams were awakened this morning by a visit from the Israeli Police who said they would be evicted “soon”.

The Israeli Police told the Bab al-Shams residents that the Israeli Supreme Court Order ordering a six-day stay in any eviction proceedings should apply only to the tents they raised yesterday on a hilltop in the E-1 area [east of Jerusalem] — and not to the people staying there.

The Israeli Police obtained an eviction order on Friday, shortly after they realized the Palestinians were setting up Bab Al-Shams, apparently on the grounds of “trespassing”.

Civil Rights Attorney Tawfik Jabareen, who represents Bab Al-Shams and who got the Supreme Court injunction on Friday, said this morning that he thought it was a joke, when he was told about the Israeli police interpretation of Supreme Court injunction.

    #BabAlShams Attorney said he had just sent a letter to Police Commander in E-1/Maale Adumim saying that police interpretation of Supreme Court order is wrong
    “The order is very clear”, #BabAlShams Atty. “It includes tents + people…+ it is forbidden for military commander to evict and/or destroy”
    If the police or military commander have a different interpretation of Court injunction, he/they must go to the Court — #BabAlShams Atty
    If any police/military official acts against Supreme Court injunction, “on his deed a black flag arises” — and this means, it’s illegal: #BabAlShams Attorney

UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, the Times of Israel added this reporting:
The Supreme Court decision to temporarily halt the removal of the tent city came after four Bedouin families who claim the land submitted a petition. Tawfiq Jabarin presented their case, which contended the tents were erected on private lands as part of a project that attracts tourists to learn about their culture, known as ‘Albadia’. The petition further claimed the initiative, which includes learning how to bake pita or milling flour on stones, only takes places seasonally, in the winter and spring, Haaretz reported. The army and police sought to remove the Supreme Court’s temporary order on the grounds that the petitioners misled the court, arguing that the outpost is a political provocation and not a cultural project. The security forces further contended that the court order prevents the removal of the tents but not of the individuals at the outpost … The IDF also made the area a closed military zone, thereby preventing new activists from reaching it. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the protesters were handed documents saying they were trespassing“. This is posted here.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have been arriving on at Bab Al-Shams on foot, walking across the hills to avoid roadblocks, as this picture Tweeted by Abir Kopty at middday, here, shows:

Palestinians arrive in Bab Al-Shams by foot, to avoid roadblocks
Palestinians arrive in Bab Al-Shams by foot, to avoid roadblocks

Activestills posted a shot, here, of Palestinian activists arriving in Bab Al-Shams this afternoonL

Activestills photo of Palestinian activists arriving today at Bab Al-Shams tent village
Activestills photo of Palestinian activists arriving today at Bab Al-Shams tent village

And Palestinians from the southern West Bank town of Beit Ommar also went through the hills to arrive at Bab Al-Shams, according to a photo Tweeted by Bekah Wolf:
@BekahWolf— PHOTO: Activists from Beit Ommar make it in to #babalshams going around Israeli military roadblocks this morning

ctivists from Beit Ommar make it in to #babalshams
Palestinian activists from Beit Ommar make it in to #babalshams

But, two Palestinian officials were prevented from arriving at Bab Al-Shams by car. Ma’an News Agency reported that “Israeli forces on Saturday prevented Palestinian officials from entering the E1 area east of Jerusalem to visit protest tents set up a day earlier by activists. ‘The soldiers treated us improperly and savagely before they forced us to go back to Ramallah’, PLO official Hanan Ashrawi told Ma’an. A vehicle carrying Ashrawi and PA minister of social affairs, Majida al-Masri, was stopped and searched at a checkpoint, with soldiers preventing the officials from continuing to the E1 area, despite holding Jerusalem ID cards”. This is posted here.

Ashrawi later told Reuters’ Noah Browning that “We will continue to try to enter the village of Bab el Shams, which to us means freedom”.  This is posted here.

Sa’eb Erekat was also reportedly blocked from getting to Bab Al-Shams, while Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, an elected member of the moribund Palestinian Legislative Council, was able to get through, probably by going on foot…

Israeli Police – part of the problem

Yesterday, on Salah ed-Din Street (the Champs-Elysees or Fifth Avenue of East Jerusalem, only very crowded, quite delapidated, and not at all chic, unless you like good coffee), it was absolutely crowded with cars and pedestrians in advance of the coming week-long Muslim Eid holiday.

Even at the best of times, people don’t walk on the sidewalks in Palestinian areas. Usually, there isn’t very much of a sidewalk anyway. But, it’s just so much more convenient to walk on the streets.

Women in black robes made of synthetic fabric and embroidered in Turkey or China, with tightly wrapped synthetic scarves, were pushing their multiple young children out out ahead of them, in between parked cars, hoping to make the oncoming traffic stop to let them cross without any moment of waiting.

As is usually on busy days, there were no parking spaces, it was impossible to get close to the already-full parking lots, and there was a solid line of double-parked cars in the right-hand traffic lane.

As is also usual on Fridays during prayer time, when there are a lot of people travelling in their cars to get to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and on the eves of big holidays like the one coming up, there is a special police action to ticket cars. Hundreds of tickets can be issued in one fell swoop.

What happened yesterday is an undercover Israeli police unit, driving an Eldan rented car, swooped right in front of me when I was already in my car, seat belt buckled, and switching gears to move forward in traffic, after I stopped for an extremely brief period of time in front of the Educational Bookshop. The driver was wearing a black t-shirt and black sunglasses. The passenger was in a dark navy blue shirt and trousers, tucked into black combat boots. This was a uniform I had never seen before. He jumped out before his car even stopped, and raced towards me in a frightening and commanding way.

He had two other people he was accosting at the same time. So, he took my passport and walked off to deal with the other cases, and kept me waiting just as if I were at a checkpoint.

Continue reading Israeli Police – part of the problem

Total closure of West Bank extended – linked to security for re-opening of synagogue in East Jerusalem's Old City

This is from the Jerusalem Post: “Following a weekend of sporadic clashes between Arab youths and security forces in and around the capital, Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco decided to extend heightened security measures put into place in the Old City and east Jerusalem for an additional day. Franco’s decision, made following a security assessment on Saturday night, came before the scheduled rededication of the historic Hurva synagogue in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter on Monday. The rededication of the synagogue, which dates back to 1700 and has been razed and rebuilt twice – it was last destroyed by the Jordanian Arab Legion in 1948 – is expected to draw large crowds and has been the source of rising tensions and circulating rumors regarding the Temple Mount [n.b. — this is what Israel calls the plateau where the Second and also the earlier First Jewish Temples are believed to have stood, and which Muslims call the Haram ash-Sharif, housing both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most revered site in Islam, built nearly 600 years after the destruction of the Second Temple — the plateau itself is supported in part by the Western or Wailing Wall, the most revered site in Judaism]…

Continue reading Total closure of West Bank extended – linked to security for re-opening of synagogue in East Jerusalem's Old City

Tensions flare on mosque esplanade in Old City of East Jerusalem

Clashes are continuing on Sunday afternoon on the mosque esplanade where two mosques Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock are situated in the Old City of East Jerusalem.

In the morning, there were reports saying hat Jewish worshippers protected by Israeli police (armed of course) had entered the mosque esplanade — which is called the Temple Mount in Israel — in advance of the very serious Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and annual repentance.

Palestinians had been on alert since Thursday, when Al-Quds newspaper published a report saying (at least according to an SMS summary): “Extremist Jews plan to break into al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday, similar incident occurs in Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron”.

Apparently, Palestinians present on the mosque esplanade began throwing stones at the group that turned up Sunday morning.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police then spread out of the mosque compound and into the streets of the Old City.

There were injuries both to Palestinians and to the Israeli police.

Continue reading Tensions flare on mosque esplanade in Old City of East Jerusalem