About us

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Youth Against Settlements (YAS) is a non-violent direct action group, which seeks to end the building and expanding of illegal Israeli settlements through non-violent popular struggle and civil resistance.

YAS is based in Hebron, one of the hardest hit areas of the Israeli occupation, where fundamentalists Israelis have forcibly established a settlement right in the heart of the city. In order to protect illegal settlers, the Israeli State has imposed on the Palestinian residents of Hebron a regime of forced evictions, curfews, market and street closures, military checkpoints and subjection to military law. Palestinians face frequent random searches, detentions without charge and rampant settler violence. As a result of this, approximately 13,000 Palestinian civilians have fled their homes in Hebron’s city center, turning the city center into a virtual ghost town.

Through empowering and educating Palestinians, especially young people, YAS encourages the population of Hebron, especially in the H2 area under Israeli military control, to remain in the area, stand firm and mount non-violent resistance and resilience campaigns.

Vision:

A 100% non-violent, mass Palestinian uprising of civil disobedience that pressures the Israeli government to dismantle the settlements and end the Occupation.

Strategies:

  • Establishing direct contact and continuous follow up with Palestinians in threatened regions.
  • Raise awareness through newsletters, advertisements, broadcasting, media, workshops, conferences and more.
  • Collecting information about settlement activities and organizing, archiving and distributing them.
  • Pursuing legal actions, such as filing complaints and bringing court cases to Israeli and international courts.
  • Building an active network of supportive local, Israeli and international organizations.
  • Non-violent direct actions and civil disobedience like demonstrations and protests to defy racist laws of the occupation.
  • Recruiting all sectors of the Palestinian community to resist and stand against colonial activities on their lands.
  • Spreading the importance of economic and non-economic boycott of settlements, such as labor in settlements, trade with settlers and buying settlement products.

Goals:

  • Study Israel’s strategy of colonization, development and expansion of settlements.
  • Raise awareness level in the local and global community about Israeli methods of land confiscation and theft from Palestinian landowners.
  • Resist all the stages of Israeli colonization, from settlement planning to construction and expansion.
  • Expose Israel’s settler colonial plans and strategies.
  • Support the presence of the Palestinians on lands vulnerable to confiscation by Israel.
  • Build connections between local Palestinians and Palestinian associations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, that work to study and resist Israeli settlement-related activities.

Guiding Principle:

  • Believing in and committing to our goals and means of struggle.
  • Non-violent direct action, media attention and advocacy work to resist the occupation.
  • Voluntary work to achieve our goals.
  • No cooperation with settlers or other parts of the occupation; no participating in any actions or activities that normalize or support settler colonialism.
  • Rejection of claiming any of YAS activities for a partisan or individual goal.
  • Rejection of any kind of cooperation with fundamentalistic partisan or individuals.
  • Respect for the beliefs, traditions and general values of Palestinian society.
  • Recognize and respect women as equal to men in all sectors of society and in all our work with resisting the occupation.
  • Respect every persons individual religious beliefs.

Where we are:

Somod Center

The heart of our activities and the referent point for all the Palestinians of the area is located inside H2, in the middle of Tel Rumeida neighborhood, is an old Palestinian house that used to be an Israeli military base. Once the soldiers left, the settlers tried to take it, occupying it several times. Despite that, the YAS group decided to fight and resist to take the house and, after several direct actions and legal fight, finally the Israeli court (one of the only cases) recognized that it was a legitimate Palestinian house, preventing any settlers’ intention of occupying it.

After the fight for remaining the house in Palestinian hands, we started building the Somod Center. Nowadays, and after several years, the center became a collective and reference place for the Palestinian resistance in Hebron that hosts several kind of activities and trainings: Kids Activities, English and Arabic Courses, Legal Training, Social Media Training, Video Editing and Photography Training, Film Screening, Social Nights and various activities between others.