I do not wish to put my words into other people’s mouths, I assure you I have agreeance that the past few months in Burin have been quite. This does not undermine anything that has happened, it just illuminates that after the late summer break, business is as usual for the soldiers and settlers and there antics on the village of Burin.
The last two weeks have seen two settler attacks, evening sieges on the village including multiple house raids and the arrests of three young men. One member of the village describes how he feels about the consistency of the soldiers entering the village ‘we all know that in the hours between 11pm and 4am the village is the soldiers, not ours’.
The settler attacks left a Palestinian man injured resulting in a visit to the hospital, windows damaged and an attempted break in. The house raids leave families vulnerable and tired with their privacy taken in a swoop, trodden on with dirty military boots and left. They leave the children tired. They leave one and all on guard. Residents of Burin have the past to remind them of what might happen again tonight.
The escalation of harassment is not just in Burin. Madama and Asira Al Qibliya have also been frequented by soldiers and settlers in past weeks. The most recent to report on was the arrests of 4 men in Asira Al Qibliya, taken from their homes in the middle of the night after house raids. They have not been released and I will update this post when I know more.
Burins arrests came on the friday just gone (13.1) Soldiers surrounded three men with the ages of 20,20 and 21. They were enjoying a tin fire on their holiday.They were quickly surrounded by the military. They were taken at around 2pm and later returned with no charges a little after 5pm. I suppose the commander of this set of arrests would expect all the families to be thankfull for this?
And so I repeat myself…life continues as normal. The village is the soldiers playground once again. The men are there for the taking, there in full view to be indiscriminately picked to be the next in a long line of political prisoners. The doors are open for searches and the air is ready for the tear gas. But this does not change the attitude of the village. Still there is an overwhelming amount of restraint and calm. This is life. This is Burin. This is Palestine. This is occupation.
BUT, this is not humane.
As I was leaving Burin today, it seemed the settlers were just arriving. From the service(yellow bus) on the road out of Burin we could see small groups of settlers on the hills, all coming from the illegal settlement of Bracha. Parked near too all of these groups of settlers were one of their two comfort blankets, the private security of the settlements, there to make them feel safe. As we drove a bit further I noticed their other comfort blanket, Israeli soldiers, and many of them. As we turned the final corner of the village we was passed by three more jeeps of soldiers.
I was later informed by Ghassan Najjar, director the of Bilal Al Najjar center in Burin that there were approximately 50 settlers, 10 of wich were armed with M-16.
Inevitably clashes broke out between settlers and the youths of Burin, as always the tactic was to get the settlers off nearby land and away from residents homes. Stones were thrown back and forth and a group had broken away and taken favour to attacking a Palestinians home. This group of settlers eventually grew restless with just throwing stones and tried to break into the house, this however was unsuccessful due to the youth of Burin forcing them to retreat.
Soldiers were present the entire time adding nothing more to the chaos then the usual concoction of rubber coated steel bullets, sound bombs and tear gas.
Two settlers and one Palestinian were injured.
Call for urgent financial support for youth center in Burin near Nablus.
As some of you may know, I have spent the past half-year in and close to the village of Burin in the Nablus area. Those who have visited this beautiful village know that Burin is situated between two settlement. It is also surrounded by three military camps. I originally came to report on a settler attack that burnt down 400 trees in early June, since then it has been hard to stay away from the special village.
One project that has grown particularly close to my heart is the Burin youth center. The center provides projects that need to be kept alive, not only does the center serve the community it also gives the youth of Burin a sanctuary. A place that is theirs, where they can work, learn, plan communal activities and unite. These activities have an overwhelming importance within community. To bring children and adults together, to feel united and most of all to have and create new happy memories to be taken with everyone in the future.
The youths who run the center have not been able to pay the rent for seven months, and are now in a situation where they urgently need the amount of 5000NIS for the period of June 2010 – January2012, or else they will have to leave the premises. The center up to this point has been completely self-sufficient. The founding member even saved for two years previous to the opening to ensure enough to be succesful.
I am so convinced of the work of this center that I can only urge you to please try to help, or to please spread this wide. Between all of us, it is a small sum, I think, and if we could raise it, we would enable a beautiful place in Palestine to continue to exist.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to contribute any some. Thank you