Updated: Apr 23
*The Popular resistance and the common struggle against the Israeli occupation*
In early 2005, on February 20, when Israeli bulldozers began destroying the village lands in Bil'in and uprooting olive trees to build the racist separation and annexation Wall while expropriating 58% of my village lands in order to expand the Modi'in Illit settlement, the very first step we took was to establish a popular resistance committee to this Wall and I was one of the founders of this committee.
We have formulated a legal battle plan to demolish the fence and thwart plans to establish a large settlement on our land. We were able to bring our problem to the attention of the world, and along with the importance of recruiting thousands of Palestinians from our village and Palestinian villages and cities to participate in the struggle, it was also important for us to mobilize the participation of Israeli and international activists. Indeed, hundreds of Israeli activists have joined us (from the Ta'ayush movement, Anarchists against the Wall, Rabbis for human rights and other Israeli peace movements). In addition, we have also been joined by hundreds of international solidarity activists, who have come from all over the world to fight alongside us. At the end of our six years struggle we managed to demolish the wall and return a large area of land to the farmers from our village Bil'in.
After 2011, and after the demolition of the wall in Bil'in, we felt a responsibility, together with our friends among the international and Israeli activists, to continue the resistance to the occupation and thwart its plans in other areas, such as opposition to the settlement enterprise in general, and the racist apartheid roads. We worked against the closure of apartheid roads and demonstrated against the prevention of Palestinian access and vehicular trafic on these roads that passed through our lands. In addition, we also acted against the E1 plan in East Jerusalem and in the process we built the villages of Bab al-Shams and Ahfad Yunis, in addition to building the village of Ein Hajala in the Jordan Valley in order to thwart the Judaization and annexation of the Jordan Valley. In addition, we also built the village of al-Manatir in response to the expansion of settlements on Burin lands south of Nablus.
At the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, we established the village of Bawabat Al-Quds on al-Azaria lands in order to express our opposition to the demolition and displacement of the Bedouin communities in East Jerusalem area.
In 2016, together with a group of Ta'ayush activists, we participated in thwarting the construction of some outposts in the northern Jordan Valley, and in 2017 we succeeded in building a number of schools in several Palestinian localities in the Bethlehem and Hebron governorates, as well as in other areas threatened with demolition and deportation.
Our biggest campaign in 2018 was to save the Khan al-Ahmar community from demolition and deportation. We were able to recruit thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of international and Israeli activists for protest vigils at the Khan al-Ahmar School for 4 consecutive months, day and night, in order to protect the community from demolition and deportation of its residents, and the community remains steadfast to this very day despite threats to destroy it and expel its residents.
In recent years, despite the spread of the Corona plague, we have participated in many activities, events, rallies and protest marches with the aim of curbing the spread of settlements and outposts and their attacks in many places from Masafer Yatta, the Old City of Hebron, etc.).
We want to break free from the occupation and establish an independent state, and free of danger and without threat to the lives of our children, enjoy freedom of movement and live safely. To achieve these goals we work together, in a joint struggle with our friends from Israel and internationals worldwide. We oppose injustice and oppression and will work for the liberation of the people and the victory of humanity throughout the world.
The Israeli occupation used all forms of oppression to dissuade and prevent us from continuing our struggle. I was arrested 8 times, I have been in prison for about two years, my house was raided
dozens of times, doors and furniture were broken, my children and family were subjected to terror. Two members of my family were killed, and I was persecuted and was several times threatened to be to killed but none of this this would stop me from continuing my path in the struggle for the freedom of my people and for the victory of man and humanity.
We strive for a broader and stronger Israeli and international partnership in order to break free from the occupation and achieve independence.
Abdullah Abu Rahma
Activist in the non-violent popular resistance against the Israeli occupation
Translation from Arabic: Yehudit Harel