posting this call by my friend jess and the youths running the center.
In the latest attempt to intimidate the villagers of burin, volunteers of the Bilal Al Najjar centre came under attack in the early hours of 11 April.
At 12am, in excess of 200 soldiers entered the village accompanied with border police and Shin Beit interrogation officers and proceeded to destroy the houses of the volunteers. Many of the families had several small children and babies present. One family were harassed only ten days prior to this invasion.
Of the 20 homes searched and destroyed, three young men have been arrested. Saed Suhail Najjar (18), Muhammad Najjar (20) and Oday Eid (21) were arrested by the Army and are currently still being held with no contact with their families or lawyers. This is in addition to five more men of the village who were arrested following the popular peaceful action Al Manitar and are currently in administrative detention.
As well as targeting the volunteer’s homes, it was quickly realised that the Bilal Al Najjar cultural centre, at the very heart of the village had come under the worst attack the members had seen since opening in 2007. It is not uncommon for the volunteers to find the soldiers have broken into the centre, but this was the most extreme. Nothing was spared breakage this time. Items destroyed include the front door, 6 newly fixed computers, electricity cables, windows, phone, scanner, printer, filing cabinet, all hard drives removed from computers, Palestinian flags ripped and chairs broken.
All of this destroyed equipment has taken years to accumulate, depending on patient internal fundraising and international support.
It is imperative that at times when the Israeli occupation tries to intimidate and break down the strength of communities that the international community step up and support them in their struggle.
The cultural centre in Burin is an integral part of the community. Since 2007 volunteers have strived to provide projects that need to be kept alive, not only does the centre 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.
“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about change” Malcolm X
I hope these latest images of the cruel and unjust attack on Burin have not made you sad and feel pity, but to ignite some anger and to make you feel that you want to stand in solidarity with the community.
This is an international callout to provide funds for the regeneration of the Bilal Al Najjar cultural centre. I am so convinced of the work of this centre 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.
For all enquiries please contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and background please visit burinlandoflove.wordpress.com