JUNE 28, 2022
URGENT CALL TO ACTION

FREE SAMI HURAINI, YOUTH OF SUMUD LEADER ARRESTED BY ISRAEL

As Israel threatens the homes of 1,000+ Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, Israel’s occupying army is trying to silence a leading youth organizer. Speak up!

RAISE YOUR VOICE:
• Uplift Youth of Sumud’s post and their work on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
• Share these posts decrying Sami’s arrest by PIPD & USCPR.
• Share this 2 minute clip of Sami & his sister Sameeha’s demands for justice.

Sami needs your solidarity: Tweet #FreeSamiHuraini now! #DefendMasaferYatta

SAMPLE TWEET:

    URGENT: Israel’s army just arrested prominent Palestinian activist Sami Huraini of Masafer Yatta, known for leading resistance with @YouthOfSumud against Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

For years, Sami Huraini and his community organization Youth of Sumud have defended his community, Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, from relentless Israeli settler and military violence simply for living in their homeland. For instance, last fall Sami decried an Israeli government-backed pogrom in which settlers fractured the skull of a 3-year old Palestinian child. And last month, Sami Huraini woke up to Israeli soldiers invading his village. Soldiers now bring tanks, guns, military bulldozers, and attack helicopters into their communities daily as part of a deliberate plan, backed by Israel’s colonial court system, to push more than 1,000 Palestinians out of their homes to steal their land for exclusive use by Israeli settlers and the occupying army who enable their invasion of the Palestinian homeland.

Recently, Israel escalated its attacks against Sami and his local community organization: two weeks ago, Israel’s occupying army issued a demolition notice on their Youth of Sumud community center. Then today, June 28, 2022, they arrested Sami. Like every Palestinian, he expects no rights or due process in courts with a more than 99% conviction rate. Israel’s carceral system is extraordinarily cruel, for instance also today denying early release for Ahmad Manasra, who has been incarcerated by Israel since age 13 and endured torture. Justice for Sami depends on international outcry. The fight continues until Sami, Ahmad, and every Palestinian prisoner is freed to their loved ones’ arms.

LEARN MORE:
Instagram live with Sami & Sameeha Huraini
Background on Youth of Sumud
Background on Sami’s organizing

BREAKING: 200+ Palestinians, Israelis, and American Jews protest to #SaveMasaferYatta


Growing up, I was told over and over: “You need to take responsibility for Israel. It’s your responsibility as a Jew.”

Now, I would say: “It’s unconscionable what’s happening in my name in Israel/Palestine, and as an American Jew, I am uniquely positioned to do something about it.”

That’s why I’ve spent the past week in the West Bank, meeting and working with Palestinians who are persevering to stay on their land and in their homes. I’m on a delegation with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

We’ve been working with community leaders in Masafer Yatta, a region south of Hebron where more than 1,500 Palestinians are facing expulsion from their homes. This would be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in sixty years.

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As I’ve traveled from community to community, alongside our Palestinian partners, I’ve heard two things over and over again:

One: Work with us. A young Palestinian organizer, Tariq, told me this:

“The fact that Palestinians and Jews are working together – that scares them. It threatens the forces that maintain occupation.”

Two: Share our stories. As one community leader put it:

“We need you to come here to hear our stories, and we need you to go home to share them.”

Today, I saw firsthand how Jews and Palestinians working together threatens this violent system.

But before I tell you what happened today, I need you to take one step to help Palestinians struggling to stay on their land. If enough of us are paying attention and speaking out, 1,500 people could remain in their homes.

If you have Instagram, follow the fight to #SaveMasaferYatta here via Instagram, or here via email.

This morning, I joined a Palestinian led-protest of over 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews – including IfNotNow members – working together to re-open a road illegally blocked by settlers. The plan was to roll aside the massive boulders that settlers had put in place, which had cut Palestinians off from vital travel.

When settlers harassed us, the soldiers stood by and watched. They even detained Israeli activists and released them next to the settlers, who threw stones at them, broke their car window, and injured the activists inside.

When our group of nonviolent protesters tried to clear the road, the army responded with tear gas & stun grenades.

Now, I need you to spread this story. Follow along on Instagram, or sign up for email updates about what’s happening in Masafer Yatta.

Onwards,
Ari

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If Not Now on Masafer Yatta

On Sunday, we saw Jewish supremacists march through the streets of Jerusalem, shouting racist chants like “Death to the Arabs” and “May your village burn.” We saw protesters spit on and pepper spray an elderly Palestinian woman. We saw violence against journalists – by marchers and police alike. From Jerusalem to the West Bank to Gaza, Palestinians face the endless, dehumanizing violence of occupation and apartheid.

It is our moral obligation to condemn this violent system, and to stand in its way wherever we can.

In a few days, I’ll be joining other IfNotNow members on a delegation of 50 diaspora Jews will arrive in the West Bank – to join with Palestinians who are working to save their homes from being demolished.

Masafer Yatta, a region in the West Bank that’s home to thousands of Palestinians, is facing an imminent threat to its existence, as the Israeli government prepares to enact the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in six decades. Now is the time to get in the way – through co-resistance and disruptive action with Palestinians leading this effort to #SaveMasaferYatta.

What can you do? Amplify the delegation’s co-resistance work.

This trip is taking place through the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

Sign up for updates and you’ll receive dispatches from the trip that you can share via email or social media.

Across the land, Palestinians are resisting – persevering to stay in their homes and on their land, fighting to live with dignity. They’re calling on us to show up and support their resistance.

We’re heeding the call. Will you?

In solidarity,
Elias Newman
IfNotNow

Save Masafer Yatta

change.org, 5 May 2020

Update: Israel’s High Court of Justice dismissed all the petitions against the forcible transfer of up to 1,200 Palestinians in a large part of Masafer Yatta that Israel has declared a closed military zone.


Masafer Yatta is an area in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, which is home to twelve Palestinian villages totaling about 1,300 residents. The area is spread out over about 35,000 dunam of land, where agricultural communities have lived for generations.
In opposition to international law, which prohibits the expulsion of a population from its land and the use of occupied land for military training, in the early 1980s, the Israeli army declared the area Firing Zone 918, in order to dispossess Palestinians from their homes and strengthen Israeli settlements in the area.

Since this declaration, residents have lived under the daily threat of demolitions, evictions, and dispossession. Families in Masafer Yatta are denied access to their land, roads, sources of water, schools, medical services, and hospitals. This is in addition to nearly daily violence from settlers in the region.

The legal outcome for the area remains a question, as residents await a court ruling which will determine their futures. On March 15, 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing to discuss the fate of the communities of Masafer Yatta. In the coming months, the court is likely to make a final decision in the case and determine whether hundreds of families will be forcibly expelled from their lands and homes. If the Supreme Court decides to permit the expulsion of residents, it will be one of the largest expulsions carried out by the State of Israel in recent decades, an alarming precedent that could lead to further expulsions across the West Bank, and a further escalation of Israel’s policies of annexation and Apartheid.

We must not stand by quietly as Israel evicts entire communities. We cannot allow Apartheid to go unchallenged.

Sign the petition.

Please join our Facebook group to receive updates on the situation.

Al Samud Playground at Al Shuhada Kindergarten, Hebron

Ramadan Mubarak from our family at Playgrounds for Palestine to you and yours! 

Image

On behalf of all of us at Playgrounds for Palestine, we would like to wish you a blessed Ramadan!  

We would like to extend a sincere thank you for your support of PfP and share some photos of our work.

This week, a new playground will be installed in Hebron at Al Shuhada Kindergarten. This is one of nine upcoming playgrounds for the year 2022! 

Our work would not be possible without your generous contributions and support. Thank you for working with us to affirm every child’s right to play! 

 

Playgrounds for Palestine
P.O. Box 559
Yardley, PA 19067
© 2021

70 year old Palestinian beaten in the village of A Tuwani

On Thursday Mar 31, 2022 a large Israeli force entered the tiny village of A Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. They were confiscating a legally registered tractor parked in the privately owned yard of the Raba’i family. A simple machine used by the villagers to traverse the rocky terrain. Mufaddi Raba’i, a 72 year old village elder, protested the confiscation nonviolently with other elders, women, and children.

Raba’i was restrained, thrown to the ground, and beaten in order to facilitate the confiscation. He was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. The tractor was confiscated, and will be impounded for weeks until the family can pay the enormous fines to reclaim it. It’s an economic punishment that the village can barely sustain.

We ask – what is the purpose and what is the cost? What can Israel gain by confiscating a tractor, and what price must a 72 year old man pay?

Please watch this video. Please re-tweet or share it on Facebook.

South Hebron Hills Watch is a group of Israeli American volunteers who forged a strong connection with Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills and Jewish activists who are providing witness and physical support to these communities. We are not affiliated with any political party or organization but partner with like-minded people and organizations that support nonviolent activity on the ground and amplify the plight of these Palestinian families in the face of a broader effort to remove them from their lands. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Demonstration on the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre

Human Rights Defenders تجمع المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان, February 25, 2022

Hebron, Palestine — The Israeli occupation army brutally suppresses the peaceful demonstration of the ghetto in commemoration of the 28-year anniversary of the Hebron massacre. The demonstration began in front of the Sheikh Ali Baka Mosque in the Sheikh neighborhood, towards the military checkpoint in front of Al-Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron.


#DefundRacism: The Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre

#DefundRacism | defundracism.org

On February 25 Palestinians in Hebron will be mobilizing in protest as we commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, in which an Israeli settler murdered 29 Palestinians and injured over one hundred.

In response to the murder of 29 Palestinians on Feb 25, 1994, Israeli forces increased restrictions on Palestinians’ most basic rights. This cycle of settler violence and oppression is funded in part by the Hebron Fund, a US-based “charity.”

Since 1994, Palestinians have been denied access to Shuhada street, a former major economic hub, while settlements continue to expand around them. These actions are supported by the Hebron Fund. It’s time to revoke its charitable status.

Every day acts of violence are carried out against Palestinians in Hebron. This systemic and perpetual violence is a result of illegal settlements in the city and those who support them, like the Hebron Fund. Raise your voice with ours.

As we remember the victims of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, join us to speak out against the Hebron Fund, a group dedicated to the continuation of settler colonialism and the elimination of Indigenous Palestinians from their own lands.

The Israeli settler movement works to dominate and erase indigenous Palestinians. The 1994 Ibrahimi Massacre is just one example. Organizations like The Hebron Fund support ethnic cleansing with “charitable” funds — but we have the power to stop them.

The colonial violence Israeli settlers carry out against Palestinians is financed by US charities like the Hebron Fund. Settler colonialism is not charitable.

Sign our petition
Stand with Palestinians to #DefundRacism

Umm al-Khair and Hajj Suleiman’s Funeral

Text by David Shulman
Photographs by Margaret Olin

Touching Photographs, January 20, 2022

He was like one of those rocky hills in South Hebron, a living, breathing, feeling mass of sunlight, rain, wind, earth, and stone.  Though he wasn’t all that tall, he always dwarfed everyone around him. The soldiers and the border police were afraid of him, because he told them the truth and gave no quarter.  

He was unafraid. He hated violence. Israel hurt him into fiery protest—everywhere where wrong was being done, he was there, that is, everywhere in South Hebron. Countless times he faced the soldiers down and shamed them with his words. He was the father of our good friend, ‘Id. I’ve known him for close to twenty years. I thought he was indestructible. I was wrong. They got him. He died a particularly horrible death at the hands of his enemies. His name was Hajj Suleiman Hadhalin.

The office of Dove, an Italian NGO, Al Twani, South Hebron Hills, Occupied Palestine.

I last saw him about a month ago, at Tuba, where, as so often, the soldiers had arrested him. He had turned up to harangue them for what they were doing to the people of Tuba. They had him sitting, handcuffed, for some hours in an army jeep with a soldier. The soldier was sick and at one point passed out. Hajj Suleiman, true to character, managed somehow to catch the soldier’s head and hold it in his hands before it collided with the metal dashboard.

 January 5, 2022.  Hajj Suleiman came home to Umm al-Khair from a funeral. It was early afternoon. The driver of a police tow-truck, accompanied by another car with a policeman and a soldier, was busy confiscating unlicensed cars. I’d better say something about the unlicensed cars, mashtubot, as they’re called in Arabized Hebrew. There are lots of them in the South Hebron hills. That’s partly because the army won’t let Palestinians build roads, so they are left with the dirt paths filled with potholes and jagged rocks, and they have to use those roads to get water and other necessities. Any car wears out after a couple of years on those paths. For cars to be roadworthy, it helps to have roads.

Apart from that, Israel controls the importing of any vehicles from Israel into the West Bank. The supply is severely limited, and the price of second-hand vehicles is over ten times higher than their cost in Israel. Since Palestinian shepherds and farmers can’t afford to buy halfway-decent second-hand cars, they buy these barely viable wrecks, most of them brought into Palestine allegedly for repairs but then sold. There is no way they would be licensed. Then the police, and sometimes even the Palestinian Authority, come, as logic demands, to confiscate them. For the owners, the risk of driving an unlicensed car is no doubt less than the risk of death by thirst or starvation.

That afternoon the confiscation was proceeding apace, and the villagers came to watch, and some of them may have thrown some rocks, though Hajj Suleiman pleaded with them not to. Then he stood, as always, smack in front of the tow-truck and wouldn’t budge. And the driver, a settler from Kiryat Arba’, drove right over him and dragged him for some ten meters over the rocks. Later, the police released an obviously mendacious version of what happened, including a poignant, also ironic, final sentence affirming that “the police will continue to do whatever has to be done in order to ensure good governance (mshilut).” They said the driver of the tow-truck and the other two were afraid, which might be true. The camera in the tow-truck probably recorded those moments, but it’s not at all certain, or even likely, that anyone will ever get to watch that footage.

There wasn’t much left of Hajj Suleiman after being run over. He had a gaping hole in his skull, his spinal cord, his pelvis, and many of his inner organs were crushed, he was bleeding profusely, and of course he was unconscious. The driver and the other police car took off without even stopping to see what had happened to their victim, the person they had just mortally injured, or calling an ambulance—as anyone involved in an accident is required to do by Israeli law. They presumably didn’t think that an elderly Palestinian man fits the category of “person.”

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Iconic Palestinian activist dies after being run over by Israeli forces

Palestinian activist Suleiman al-Hathalin dies at Hebron hospital two weeks after police truck ran him over


Suleiman al-Hathalin pictured in a protests against settlements and land confiscation, near Yatta village south of Hebron city in the occupied West Bank, on 15 January 2021 (AFP)

Shatha Hammad, Middle East Eye,17 January 2022

Ramallah, occupied Palestine — Prominent Palestinian activist Suleiman al-Hathalin succumbed on Monday to wounds sustained when an Israeli police tow truck ran him over two weeks ago

Hathalin was receiving treatment for serious wounds he sustained to the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis at al-Mizan hospital in Hebron in the occupied West Bank, where he was pronounced dead this morning.

The 75-year-old activist and community leader from Masafer Yatta, a collection of Palestinian hamlets in the South Hebron Hills, was run over by an Israeli tow truck on 5 January. 

Police arrived in Umm al-Khair village in Masafer Yatta to seize unregistered and allegedly stolen vehicles. 

After locals tried to stop the tow trucks, Israeli police fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the crowds. 

Fouad al-Hmour, an activist with the popular resistance committee in Masafer Yatta, told Middle East Eye at the time that Suleiman was “standing on the side of the road when the tow truck suddenly veered off the road and drove straight into him”.

Hmour said the tow truck belonged to a private company and was being operated by an Israeli civilian, whom people in the village recognised as an Israeli settler from the area. The tow trucks and the police quickly fled the scene after the incident. 

Hathalin, known locally as Haj Suleiman, is an iconic, anti-occupation activist from Hebron, who constantly led demonstrations against the occupation. 

His family hails from the Arad area south of the West Bank. He has lived in Umm al-Khair since 1965, when he purchased a plot of land there.

Since the establishment of the Israel settlement Carmel on parts of Umm al-Khair in 1980, Hathalin has led protests against its expansion, which threatened the displacement of the village’s residents. 

Al-Hathalin constantly led demonstrations against the occupation in Masafer Yatta. (Afp)
Hathalin constantly led demonstrations against the occupation in Masafer Yatta. (AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denounced the “criminal execution of Hathalin”, saying it will take his case to the International Criminal Court and relevant UN bodies.

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