Significance Of Night Confusion Protests In Palestine

Palestinians have been protesting all over the occupied lands to showcase their renewed sense of strength and unity from the beginning of this year. The nights of confusion have been one way to demand what legitimately belongs to them: their cities, villages, praying sites, properties,…their Land.

During the dubbed night confusion, the youths participate in night-time protests that last until dawn, during which they use various means, such as igniting rubber tires, to confuse the Israeli army, and settlers. Some sources explain that these are weekly protests, others that they are daily, but what should be the focus is that they aim to stop the Israeli colonial settlement construction plans.

Although renewed, this form of protesting can be traced back to 2018. Back in March 2018, Palestinians were organizing “night confusion” activities during the “return marches” in the Gaza Strip. Today’s locals in Beita, a town in the northern West Bank near Nablus with around 17,000 Palestinians, have begun using this nonviolent resistance method, and have inspired other people in the rest of the Palestinian territories. In Beita, Israeli settlers have built the “Eviatar” outpost in early May, triggering these nightly protests.

Beita’s citizens have, in fact, adopted this method from the Gaza Strip protesters, says the deputy mayor of Beita, Musa Hamayel to Al-Monitor. Hamayel has explained that the night confusion activities are aimed at preventing settlers from breathing fresh air on the lands of Beita, let alone sleeping calmly. They aim to pollute the air by igniting rubber tires and disturb the settlers’ sleep by using horns.

The latest tool used is a powerful light, laser beams, and flares These activities are an initiative on the part of the town’s young people away from the interference or support of any party, and the events are funded by the people themselves.

Palestinian protesters use high-powered lasers during a demonstration against the Israeli illegal settlers’ outpost of Eviatar, in the town of Beita, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, occupied Palestine, July 1, 2021. (AFP Photo)

It is worth mentioning, that these nonviolent protests are confronted by harsh measures from the Israeli side. The Israeli military frequently fires less-lethal and lethal ammunition at the protesters, and, as a result, six Palestinians protesting the Beita outpost have been killed by the Israeli forces, including two teenagers and two men in their late 20s, while hundreds have been wounded.

Latest night confusion

Most recently, on November 1, Israeli forces have detained at least 17 Palestinians, including a university lecturer, from various parts of the occupied territories.

In southern West Bank, the sources confirmed a raid in Hebron city, resulting in the detention of a Hebron University lecturer identified as Huthayfa Jabari. In central West Bank, mayor of Ni’lin town, Imad Khawaja, said that a large Israeli military force conducted a large-scale detention campaign in the town, west of Ramallah, at around 4:00 AM, resulting in the detention of five Palestinian residents. Soldiers surrounded several houses and entered interrogating the inhabitants and conducting a thorough search.

The soldiers held scores of youths from the town, interrogated them, and threatened to detain them should they continue with nigh-time protests. During these confrontations, dozens suffered from suffocation due to tear gas inhalation.

Tensions have been running high in the town in recent months following the leveling of some 300 dunums of the village lands at the site of al-Alem Mount (Jabal al-Alem) for the construction of the new colonial settlement outpost.

Palestinians from all districts of the West Bank have had enough of seeing how settlers take their lands and houses. The settler movement has long been happening and is an Illegal practice. In June, the U.N. accused Israel of violating international law by expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The U.N said the settlements are illegal and urged the country’s new government to halt their expansion immediately.

The core premise of the settler movement is to build on confiscated or stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem where some 650,000 Israelis now live. The Israeli government supports the settlers by giving economic and political advantages.

Palestinians are trying to resist occupation in a nonviolent manner, while the Israeli military is raiding towns and districts, detaining multiple people, and disturbing their everyday life. Night confusion is a symbol of Palestinian resistance and their vow to never allow settlers to stay on their own land.

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