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The Beitarian Militancy Situation

How a Palestinian town sparked its own campaign against Israeli settlement expansion

Jerusalem24 – The Town of Beita is located 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) south of Nablus and 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) south of Jerusalem. When considering the historical significance of Beita, the current situation is painfully ironic. The town of Beita was named after the Arabic word for “home,” as it served as a safe haven for travelers passing through Palestine from the north, south, and east. The town’s long history of hospitality is being rewarded with Illegal Israeli settlements and outposts for the IDF’s military training.

Many Palestinians admire the current status of the daily popular resistance led by the people of Beita for their efforts to remove the settlement outpost, which has been under construction for more than a month. The admiration for the model or the “Beitarian militancy situation” doubled with the decision of the Israeli occupation army’s Minister of Defense to evacuate the settlement “Givat Avitar” after giving the settlers eight days to vacate, giving the residents a high sense of victory, but it did not translate into great joy because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision, which gave the Defense Department Instructions to postpone the evacuation of the outpost for another week.

The settlers reacted to the decision to evacuate the outpost by increasing their presence at “Jabal Sbeih,” where they carried Torah scrolls and held religious prayers after the decision to evacuate. Palestinian activists also traded photos of Israeli soldiers with guards from the outpost who helped the settlers build more settlement units.

Young men from Beita village wearing t- shirts with ‘mountain’s guards’ written on it .

The latest developments regarding #Sbeih in the town of #Beita: The military commander of the area in the Israeli army issued a military order in accordance with the emergency law, declaring the mountain area and the outpost built on it Avitar a closed military zone, where it is forbidden to visit after 8 days. And he ordered – as of the issuance of the decision earlier this month – to ban any construction work, or the introduction of any building materials to the place. He decided to vacate all the properties there within 8 days. Pictures from the scene, and eyewitnesses reported the presence of the Israeli police at the entrance to the settlement outpost from the side of the main street extending from Za’tara to the east, with the aim of preventing the entry of building materials into the outpost. Settlers tweeted their complaints about the military decision.

The people of Beita organized a march to the site of  excavations carried out by the Israeli authorities to establish a bypass road west of the town, and told the people in charge of the works to stop. It is very important to note that the Israeli military decisions do not mean the end of the settlement presence in Jabal Sbeih.

Recently, an extensive meeting was held between the municipality of Beita, a delegation from the municipality of Qabalan, the Yatma village council, the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center and the Human Rights Volunteers Organization, as well as the owners of the lands of Jabal Sbeih from Beita, Qabalan and Yatma to work on evacuating the settlement outpost established on Jabal Sbeih and defending it through legal means. The Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and the Human Rights Volunteers Organization provided legal advice to the owners of Jabal Sbeih property at this meeting, outlining the necessary documentation and procedures for filing cases with the Israeli judiciary to legitimize the ownership of Jabal Sbeih land for the towns of Beita, Qabalan, and Yatma.

During the protests against the settlement outpost, 4 Palestinians were killed, 51 young people are now walking on crutches or using a wheelchair due to fractures and injuries caused by live ammunition. 1400 injured so far by the Israeli military.

Every Friday afternoon, dozens of cars, drive up the mountain, the majority of which are driven by women, to deliver lunch to young people, thousands of meals voluntarily provided by town families, some of them from families from nearby villages. It is not easy to find cold water bottles in the shops of the town on Friday afternoon, as most are sent to them as a donation to the youth on the mountain.

The photo is from last night’s confusion in Beita, where young men targeted settlers’ caravans with lasers and flashlights, and burned dozens or even hundreds of tires in the vicinity of the mountain.

Night of Confusion

Thursday night, the town is teeming with shoppers, they are not preparing for tomorrow’s harvest as in the olive season, they are preparing for any possibility for a new day of protests.

The population of Beita is about 20,000 people, more than 17,500 of them live inside the town.

One of the Israeli officers – according to what is reported – told the youths that the army would kill the largest possible number of protesters, but young men in Beita promised to let settlers regret coming to their home.

 

 

Mona Hijjawi

Editor/Presenter Graduated from The Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Cairo, BA in Translation and Mass Communication. Currently Ramallah based Journalist and presenter at Jerusalem24.

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