Palestinian and International activists plant olive saplings on village land ordered for confiscation by Israel in Burin

Photo: ISM

By the International Solidarity Movement

March 18, 2018

Palestinian and international activists successfully planted dozens of olive saplings in the village of Burin near Nablus, located in the northern West Bank. Palestinians and internationals together laid pictures of prominent activists in front of the planted saplings; some of these activists were killed by the Israeli army, while others are Palestinian political prisoners.

The activists acknowledged and remembered were:

Bilal Al Najjar, Martyr from Burin
Munther Amira, Political Prisoner
Tom Hurndall, ISM Activist
Khalida Jarrar, Political Prisoner
Ahed Tamimi, Political Prisoner
Rachel Corrie, ISM Activist
Vittorio Arrigoni, ISM Activist

The action was organized by The Popular Struggle Committee and was also attended by Yahia Kadous, the head of the municipal council in Burin, as well as activists from the Arab Group For The Protection Of Nature, International Solidarity Movement, Stop The Wall and the Enlightenment Forum – Tanwer.

Photo: ISM

The secondary school in Burin was the meeting point for today’s action. This is the same school that was attacked three days in a row last week by the Israeli army. The Israeli army fired tear gas and stun grenades at schoolchildren on these days, and many children and teachers suffered from tear gas inhalation. The army also filmed the children with a surveillance drone before entering the school on the last day of their attack as they issued a land confiscation order for around 26 dunums of land belonging to the school. This was the same area of land where the olive sapling action happened today. It is also worth mentioning that the Israeli army has seized 1,000 dunums of land belonging to the school in the past. Israel issued the school with a confiscation of land order for the development of a “security wall.” Such walls are often constructed so that more Palestinian land can be taken behind the wall by the Israeli state.

The village of Burin is surrounded by Jewish-only settlements and is directly overlooked by the illegal settlement of Yitzar and numerous illegal settler outposts. Historically, these outposts are first recognized by the Israeli state and then developed into permanent illegal settlements. The colonialist settlers from Yitzar are notoriously violent and have attacked the Palestinian villagers and property in Burin countless times, often with the backing of the Israeli army.

Everyone gathered at the school in Burin at 11 am. A commemorative plaque was gifted to the International Solidarity Movement from the Popular Struggle Committee honoring and remembering Rachel Corrie. Rachel Corrie was killed fifteen years ago on March 16, 2003, while volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement in Rafah, Gaza attempting to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes. An Israeli bulldozer ran her over, killing her.

Photo: ISM

The army gathered at the top of the hill as the community and activists sang and chanted anti-occupation slogans while digging and planting olive saplings. Towards the end of the action, settlers also gathered at outposts but surprisingly, the activists were not prevented from planting over a dozen olive saplings. Today’s action was very successful.

Wael Al Faqih, who was present at the action today is active in the popular resistance and also a member of the Enlightenment Forum – Tanwer.

Wael said, “this Land was defended by the blood of the martyrs of the Palestinian people and the martyrs of the International Solidarity Movement, activists Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and Vittorio Arrigoni, in order to protect human rights and justice against imperialism, Zionism and colonialism.”

Those killed and politically imprisoned will forever be remembered as the struggle against occupation continues until Palestine is free.