The PLO’s Executive Committee on Sunday commended the “leading role” played by the Palestinians who set up a tent camp dubbed Bab a-Shams, or Gate of the Sun, in the controversial E1 area east of Jerusalem on Friday. Fatah on Saturday called on its members to head to the hill and fight “the monster and the cancer that devour Palestinian land through settlements.”
Palestinian politicians from across the political spectrum have weighed in on the importance of the tent encampment, which was evacuated by IDF soldiers early Sunday morning, although the tents remain intact.
PA dailies lauded the first Palestinian settlement drive as the implementation of Mahmoud Abbas’s call for non-violent resistance to Israel — a natural continuation to the weekly demonstrations at the West Bank village of Bil’in, which eventually caused Israel to change the route of the security barrier on village agricultural lands.
“The Palestinians learned the lesson of steadfastness six or seven years ago in the ‘Bil’in school,’ but last Friday’s lesson was different,” wrote columnist Hassan Batal in al-Ayyam, the Ramallah-based newspaper, on Sunday.
“Peaceful popular protest was transformed into peaceful popular resistance, and passive defense turned into initiative.”
Adly Sadeq, writing for PA mouthpiece al-Hayat al-Jadidah, claimed that Israel can never win in the court of public opinion when unleashing the IDF against peaceful citizens.
“If [Israel] attacked, it would create a new equation: an army boasting its offensive capabilities waging a war against the core of a village inhabited by people of the land in their national home. Then, people near and far will know… that these wars are shameful to those who wage them.”
Rival movement Hamas also commented on the E1 developments. Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum falsely claimed that Israel destroyed the tent encampment, calling on West Bank residents to step up their “resistance and combative actions” against the “Zionist occupation.”
“This proves the continued policy of uprooting and deportation practiced by occupation against our Palestinian people,” Barhoum added.