With the passing of World Refugee Day on June 20th, we remember the Palestinian refugees both within the occupied territories and those dispersed around the world. At the same time resistance against the ongoing Nakba – the destruction of our homes and villages to dispossess and exile us – continues. The Sumoud Freedom Camp in the South Hebron hills is just one of our expressions of steadfastness.
In the leveling heat of the occupied Palestinian territories settling into summer and nearing the end of Ramadan, the ethnic cleansing of our people at the hans of the Israeli state continues.
In the village of Sarura in the South Hebron hills, the direct action of Sumud Freedom Camp enters its 5th week of resistance. The camp is an effort to return the family of Fadel Aamer to their ancestral lands and the caves that were the homes of the Aamer family for generations.
Despite facing violence and intimidation from the nearby illegal settlement of Ma’on and the Israeli military, the camp and the family have been successful in attempts to reclaim the land. The intention for the camp going forward is continuing the building and renovating of the caves and slowly beginning to shift into less international and Israeli presence except when determined necessary by potential threats to the family.
The existence of Sumud Freedom Camp comes at a critical moment when the destruction of more remote villages is increasingly frequent. While the attacks on the communities in Area C of the West Bank continue, as well on the other side of the Green Line Israel pursues its attempts to remove the Palestinian Bedouin communities from their lands. Al Araqib, a Bedouin village in the Naqab (Negev), whose existence Israel simply refuses to recognise, was demolished for the 114th time on Wednesday. Another unrecognized Bedouin village in the Naqab, Umm al Hiran, received demolition orders to be completed within the next 48 hours.