Friday, 31 January 2014
Palestinians launch 'Melh Al-Ard' Campaign by Reviving Ein Hijleh Village in the Jordan Valley
"Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of 'Melh Al-Ard (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos Monastery. The campaign is launched in rejection of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley.
"Campaign organizers and participants declared, We, the daughters and sons of Palestine, announce today the revival of Ein Hijleh village as part of the Melh Al-Ard campaign in the Jordan Valley. The action constitutes a rejection of the political status quo, especially in light of the current, futile 'peace' negotiations aimed at destroying the right of our people to liberate and reclaim their land.
"Accordingly, we have decided to revive an old Palestinian Canaanite village in the Jordan Valley next to so-called 'Route 90' linking the Dead Sea to Bisan. This action is just one step in an ongoing campaign against the Israeli occupation's plan to annex the Jordan Valley. It is an act of popular protest against Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and the Judaization of their land.
"From the village of Ein Hijleh, we the participants, announce that we will never let go of our right to all occupied Palestinian lands. We reject US Secretary of State Kerry's plan to establish a mutilated Palestinian state and force us to recognise the Israeli entity as a Jewish state. Such a state would turn Palestinians living on lands occupied in 1948 into mere residents and visitors who can be deported at any time. We affirm the unity of our people and their struggle, wherever they are, for our inalienable rights.
"Ein Hijlah village is located in what is called 'Area C' in the Jordan Valley, which is threatened by annexation and Kerry's plan. We have therefore decided to take charge and call for a national action to protect the Jordan Valley and put an end to the constant Judaization of Palestinian lands.
"Based on our support for the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement we call upon our friends and international solidarity groups to support the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies, particularly Israeli factories and companies that operate in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources.
"We ask you, for example, to boycott Mehadrin, the largest exporter of fruits and vegetables, some of which is grown in the Jordan Valley, and Hadiklaim, which exports dates produced by Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley. We also call on you to boycott both Ahava and Premier, cosmetics companies that use Dead Sea minerals in their products.
"Our village is located near Deir Hijleh or St. Gerassimos Monastery, on land belonging to the Orthodox Church. It consists of a few abandoned houses and some palm trees. The soil is highly salty, and it is surrounded by Israeli settlements on confiscated land. An Israeli base separates the land from the monastery, which owns about 1,000 dunums, some of which has been taken by Israeli forces under the pretext of 'security.'
"The name of the campaign, Melh Al-Ard (Salt of the Earth), refers to a verse in the Bible (Matthew 13:5), which says, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. The name of our village, Ein Hijleh, derives from the original Canaanite name and the spring (Ein) which is present there.
"We, the sons and daughters of Ein Hijleh, call upon our people to join the struggle to revive the village and protect our rights, our history, our culture and our land. Daughters and sons of Palestine, be the salt of the earth and stay steadfast on it."
MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Alzeer, 0592400300 or 0525339054