Action Report from Center for Jewish Nonviolence
IDF Storms Sumud Freedom Camp in Palestinian Sarura Village At Midnight. Soldiers Punch, Shove, and Beat Several Palestinian, Israeli, and N. American Jewish Camp Members — IDF Tears Down Tents, Confiscates Generator, Threatens Activists With Pepper Spray — No Arrests Made. Activists Vow To Stay And Rebuild
Around midnight on Saturday night, approx. 25 IDF soldiers arrived at Sumud Freedom Camp, which re-established the Palestinian village of Sarura in the South Hebron Hills on Friday. About 90 activists were present, approx. 60 American, Canadian, European and Australian Jews, 20 Palestinians and 10 Israelis. When soldiers arrived, activists sat down in nonviolent civil disobedience. The army did not produce any orders to evacuate the area. They demanded that activists leave, threatening them with pepper spray.
One Palestinian nonviolent activist, Riyad Al Halees, was verbally threatened by a soldier who said, “I will kill you one day.” Another soldier shoved Al Halees, who fell into a group of other activists.
An American Jewish activist was punched in the ribs by a soldier, causing a bruise.
Several activists stood around the camp’s generator. A group of soldiers shoved, punched, and kicked the nonviolent activists to forcibly remove them in order to seize the generator. One soldier hit an American Jewish activist in the leg with the butt of his gun, causing a large visible bruise. Another soldier punched an American Jewish activist in the face. A Canadian Jewish activist was thrown into a table by a soldier.
Soldiers tore down three tents and confiscated tent poles and sleeping mattresses. They also confiscated a generator and threw the camp’s food on the ground.
After approx 45 minutes, the soldiers left the area. No arrests were made. Activists remained in the camp for the night.
This morning, activists have already begun rebuilding the camp. Additional Israeli, Palestinian, and Jewish activists are expected to join today to strengthen the camp.
About Sumud: Freedom Camp: Camp organizers represent a historic coalition comprised of members of the Popular Committee of the South Hebron Hills, Youth Against Settlements, Holy Land Trust, Combatants for Peace, All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective, and the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.
Contrasting with President Trump’s visit to the region this week and the many failures at the political level, Sumud: Freedom Camp demonstrates the power of grassroots leadership to create nonviolent resistance to discrimination, inequality, and occupation and build a future in which the civil and human rights of all people are recognized unequivocally.
Sumud Camp sends a message of solidarity from Sarura to Standing Rock, and asks for organizations and individuals to donate to sustain the camp and to release solidarity statements.