By Maria and Anna
On Christmas day, a day representing love and hope for millions of people around the world, the brave people of Bilin brought a new caravan on their land that has been unrightfully cut off by the Israeli authorities for the construction of the annexation barrier and the expansion of the Modi’in Ilit and Matityahu settlements ( the first caravan was evacuated by the Israeli military and police on Thursday 22 December, only a day after it was erected ).
This time the people of Bilin decided to build a “house” ( literary a single room ) near the caravan during the night. Nine people, members of the Bilin Popular Committee against the Wall and the Settlements and Israeli activists spent the cold and rainy night in this little Palestinian
“outpost”, a few metres away from the settlements.
This morning, 26 Dec, the Israeli military and police evacuated and removed the new caravan, in the presence of settlers’ security personnel, just like the previous one. Two ISM volunteers -us- who were inside had to get out before it was lifted by a crane. As for the “house”, it has been given a 10-day notice by the Israeli military and police before they demolish it on 5 January.
During these 10 days (and cold nights!) there will be locals, israelis and international
activists in and around the house, and it looks like the Bilin Popular Committee are determined to keep on building a new house every time the previous one gets demolished. It is really a great irony that the Israeli authorities are going to demolish the tiny Bilinian house built on Bilinian land when, at the same time, they allow massive construction in the settlements nearby against international and even israeli law.
Luckily the weather got better and the rain stopped (rain is good for farmers but uncomfortable for activists!) A welcoming fire kept on burning in front of the “house” of Bilin and we had a good time telling jokes and eating nuts and sweets around it. All this time an Israeli army jeep was very close with its headlights on, straight to us, making a very loud noise from time to time in order to scare us or just annoy us.The settlements have so many lights!