International Solidarity Movement http://palsolidarity.org Nonviolence. Justice. Freedom. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:20:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma receives guilty verdict from military courthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/human-rights-defender-abdallah-abu-rahma-receives-guilty-verdict-from-military-court/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/human-rights-defender-abdallah-abu-rahma-receives-guilty-verdict-from-military-court/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:20:19 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40911 21st October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Bil’in, Occupied Palestine

On October 21st, Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”.

“Demonstrating against the occupation cannot be a criminal offence. Finding Abdallah guilty only shows that the [Israeli] military force is a tool to perpetuate the occupation.” Stated Gabi Lasky, lawyer of Abdallah Abu Rahma, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Abdallah at a demonstration in Bil'in on November 9th, 2012.

Abdallah at a demonstration in Bil’in on November 9th, 2012.

Abdallah spoke to the ISM about his recent conviction. “Yesterday the military court ruled that I was guilty, showing once again that they stand on the side of the occupation, and not that of truth and justice.

I was arrested on the 13th of May 2012 in front of Ofer Military prison at a demonstration commemorating the Nakba and in solidarity with the prisoners, many of who were on hunger strike. I was imprisoned in Ofer for 16 months a year earlier, for my role in the non-violent demonstrations in my village, Bil’in, against the Apartheid wall and settlements built on our land.

This time when I was arrested I was held for a few hours and released on bail, I was not summoned to court until the beginning of 2013, following the success of the popular committees in the construction of the Palestinians villages Bab Al Shams and Bab Al Manatir.”

Abdallah Abu Rahmah is the coordinator of the Bil’in popular committee, which began popular demonstrations against the Apartheid wall and settlements in January 2005. The route of the Apartheid wall originally planned to separate the village form 50% of its agricultural land. As a result of the village’s continued popular struggle, the route was changed and 25% of the village land was effectively annexed by the wall to the illegal settlement of Modiin Elite.

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested and injured by Israeli forces in Bil’in since the popular struggle in the village began. In 2009 during a demonstration, Bassam Abu Rahmah was shot directly in the chest with a high velocity tear-gas projectile, dying of his wounds minutes later. On Januray 1st 2011, Jawaher Abu Rahmah died of poisoning after inhaling excessive amounts of tear gas during the weekly demonstration the previous day.

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Family home and five other structures demolished by Israeli militaryhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/family-home-and-five-other-structures-demolished-by-israeli-military/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/family-home-and-five-other-structures-demolished-by-israeli-military/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:46:13 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40903 21st October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Jordan Valley, Occupied Palestine

On October 20th, the Israeli military destroyed six structures belonging to a family in the village of al Jiftlik, in the Jordan Valley.

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At approximately 6:00 am, Israeli soldiers destroyed the family home of Mohammed Mousa Mohammed Abohernam, as well as five other buildings, including his family’s storage unit and two buildings used to house goats.

Mohammed and his father.

Mohammed and his father.

The village of al Jiftlik belongs in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military civil and security control.

Al Jiftlik village is also used as a testing area for Israeli weapons.

As ISM activists interviewed the family, four Israeli jets flew in formation over the village in two, separate passes.

Abohernam said he intends to rebuild his home.

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His father, and grandfather, lived on the same land. “This is my land and I am not leaving,” he stated.

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Palestinian man successfully harvests olives for the first time in 14 yearshttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-man-successfully-harvests-olives-for-the-first-time-in-14-years/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-man-successfully-harvests-olives-for-the-first-time-in-14-years/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:06:47 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40896 20th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Tel Rumeida, Occupied Palestine

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron) Hashem Azzeh, a Palestinian man living in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood was able to successfully harvest his olives, on a certain part of his land, for the first time in 14 years.

Hashem, and volunteers from ISM and CPT pick from his olive tree. Part of the illegal settlement can be seen in the background.

Hashem, and volunteers from ISM and CPT pick from his olive tree. Part of the illegal settlement can be seen in the background.

Hashem and his family live in H2 (the area of Hebron under full Israeli military civil and security control), right next to the illegal settlement in the heart of Tel Rumeida.

Hashem Azzeh

Hashem Azzeh

Since the year 2000, Hashem has applied for a permit from the Israeli authorities to harvest his own olive trees but has been either denied, or received “permission”, and had his olives stolen by Zionist settlers.

This year, Hashem received a permit to harvest six trees today, and along with his brother and activists from ISM and Christian Peacemakers Team – Palestine (CPT), he began to work on his land. Two colonial settlers soon arrived an attempted to convince the Israeli police and army present that Hashem´s land belonged to them and that he should not be picking olives on “their land”.

Despite the attempts to prevent Hashem from picking on his land, the group succeeded in harvesting all of Hashem´s olives in that area.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Transcript from the interview

For how long have you and your family lived here?

Actually my family is refugees and we came here near 1950 and my grandparents and parents, so three generations lived in this area here.

How many trees do you have?

In this field I have six olive trees one of it destroyed from there and removed totally. But from up there I have another 50 olive trees.

When did you last get a permit to pick your olives from your own land?

The settlers and the Israeli army have prevented us from taking our olives since 2000. I filed applications to take my olives; they gave us permit in the year 2007. In 2007 I said to my self even though I have this permit why wouldn’t the settlers come and attack us? So I invited international activists, ISM, CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams] too. They came here and we started to pick the olives but the settlers came and started to attack us. The Israeli solders did not do anything for that and they took all of our olives. Last year in 2013 they gave us our permit at 8th of October to harvest our olives, but the settlers came on the 3th of October and stole them. So we have not got any olives since 2000.

So this year I am so happy, this year we have the permit today 20th of October and with the coordination with ISM we have managed to harvest the olives. I am so happy that I have managed for the first time to get the olives. I am so grateful for ISM and for CPT that came to help me get the olives.

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Palestinians dismantle illegal settler outposthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinians-dismantle-illegal-settler-outpost/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinians-dismantle-illegal-settler-outpost/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:12:25 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40885 12th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Susiya, Occupied Palestine

Today Palestinians and international activists participated in a Palestinian village community action which involved reaching an area of their land which has been declared a closed military zone. The action also consisted of dismantling a new illegal settlement outpost built by settlers. Over the past month the settler outpost has been dismantled by the Palestinians and rebuilt by settlers three times.

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According to Palestinians living in the area, Israeli forces have permanently stationed a military jeep in this area to survey and protect the illegal settler outpost. The illegal outpost is right next to a water well which the Palestinians rely on for daily use and livestock. Each time the Palestinians go near this piece of land the area is declared a closed military zone by Israeli forces and the Palestinians have been prevented from reaching it many times in the past.

Palestinians from the local community and international activists successfully and peacefully dismantled the outpost. A Palestinian child also removed an Israeli flag from a military outpost nearby. Settlers were present in small numbers watching and shouting at the Palestinians and activists. After a short time, the Israeli armed forces forced the Palestinians and international activists to leave the area, declaring it a closed military zone.

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Mosque burnt in apparent price tag attackhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/mosque-burnt-in-apparent-price-tag-attack/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/mosque-burnt-in-apparent-price-tag-attack/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:58:53 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40873 15th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Aqraba, Occupied Palestine

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a group of Zionist settlers from the illegal settlements close to Aqraba near Nablus, set fire to a mosque in the outskirts of the village.

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The investigation so far shows that the building was set on fire at approximately 02:00 when a molotov cocktail was thrown through a window on the ground floor, into the women’s prayer room. Hours later, neighbouring villagers observed the flames and managed to put the fire out. The fire caused severe damage inside the mosque.

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The police arrived at approximately 06.30 AM and the collection of evidence began. However the policeman ISM spoke explained that the main responsibility for the investigation lies on the Israeli authority.

Gloria Nafiz Abu Saqer, Public Relation Officer of Aqraba Municipality explains the difficult situation, “The village of Aqraba is surrounded by no less than seven illegal settlements and the Palestinians living in Aqraba are under constant threat and facing settler harassment and violence daily.”

According to Ayman Banifadl, mayor of Aqraba, the perpetrators might be the same group of settlers who have committed several hate crimes previously in the area. The conclusion is based on the graffiti, written in Hebrew on the wall of the torched mosque, with the same signature as last time settlers burnt down a building near the village. The message  refers to the so called ”price tag campaign” and is based on the notion that the Palestinians should pay for any actions that can be considered taken against the illegal settlements.

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Banifadl stated, “The graffiti says pay the price but we don’t know what price that is. We are under occupation and we are already paying a price every day for something we don’t know what it is.”Word by word the graffiti says: Price tag / Tappuah / Kahane.

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It might refer to the zionist extremist Meir Kahane (1932–1990) who lived in the illegal settlement Kfar Tappuah. Kahane and his son Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane (1966–2000) are known for their militant right-wing extremism and their political party, Kahane Chai (meaning Kahane Lives). Kahane Chai was banned in 1994 and is considered to be a terrorist organisation by the EU and US, Canadian and Israeli governments.

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Stories from Burin during the olive harvesthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/stories-from-burin-during-the-olive-harvest/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/stories-from-burin-during-the-olive-harvest/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:49:22 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40862 15th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Burin, Occupied Palestine

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On Monday, three Palestinians were picking olives in Burin. Their field was in a very exposed area, right between an illegal settlement, a military checkpoint, and a security detention centre. A group of ISM volunteers accompanied them as protective presence.

These are some of their stories:

Ali

Ali, 10-years-old: ”The army keeps coming to our school and throws tear gas at us. One time a boy choked and was taken to hospital. Some children cry and scream.”

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Abu Ali

Abu Ali, 40 years old: “Settlers from the settlements around us (Arusat, Brahay and Itshar) attack us while we are picking olives. We need international volunteers to help us reach our land and see the troubles the Palestinian farmers face. We don’t want our children to go through what we went through.”

Tarek

Tarek, 24 years old: “The army stops us young men at the checkpoint by the entrance of the village of Burin. They take us out of the cars. If one of us doesn’t follow their orders they beat us. Sometimes they make us take our clothes off. Even when other people are present.”

Tarek also told the story of losing both his brothers. One of them was killed by a shot in the head from an Israeli soldier, at the age of 16.

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The close by security detention centre is notorious for their use of violence, and both Tarek and Abu Ali have been detained here. Addameer (Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) wrote that since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel.

Tarek spoke of a story during his own detention, he an another prisoner were woken up in the middle of the night, by two aggressive dogs being locked into their room. Tarek was badly bitten by the dogs and had to go through surgery afterwards.

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Tear gas and stun grenades used against schoolchildrenhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/tear-gas-and-stun-grenades-used-against-schoolchildren/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/tear-gas-and-stun-grenades-used-against-schoolchildren/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:51:41 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40855 13th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Today at the Salaymeh checkpoint in al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli soldiers fired four long-range tear gas canisters, and threw three stun grenades, all towards children leaving school to walk home. One tear gas grenade was also thrown directly at ISM activists documenting the military violence.

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Israeli soldiers were positioned very close to the school, due to the new position of the concrete blocks that designate the end of H2 (the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control). Yesterday they were moved further away from Salaymeh checkpoint to further encroach upon Palestinian territory.

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Two Israeli soldiers also occupied the top floor of a Palestinian apartment block and positioned themselves above the schoolchildren.

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Jewish holiday leads to large influx of settlers, zionist tourists, and Israeli soldiershttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/jewish-holiday-leads-to-large-influx-of-settlers-zionist-tourists-and-israeli-soldiers/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/jewish-holiday-leads-to-large-influx-of-settlers-zionist-tourists-and-israeli-soldiers/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 17:21:15 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40840 12th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron), as part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, thousands of settlers and Zionist tourists descended upon the city. The Israeli military presence in Hebron, which is already a large an oppressive part of everyday life, greatly increased.

Many tour buses lined up filled with Zionist tourists

Many tour buses lined up filled with Zionist tourists

Hebron is the only city in the West Bank where there is an illegal settlement in the heart of the city. It is split into H1 and H2, H1 under Palestinian Authority Control, and H2 under Israeli military control.

This morning, in both the Salaymeh and Qeitun neighbourhoods, the checkpoints designating the end of H1 were extended further into Palestinian territory.

A closed road in Qeitun.

A closed road in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Salaymeh.

The roadblocks moved further down in Salaymeh.

Israeli soldiers drove between Salaymeh and Qeitun, entering houses, hiding in alleyways, and aiming their guns at passing schoolchildren and other people in the area.

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In the afternoon, the army presence was just as heavy, with children walking home past heavily armed soldiers.

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In H1, Bab al-Zawiye (the centre of Hebron), Israeli forces partially closed the road to allow settlers and Zionist tourists through the checkpoint to visit a religious holy site.

Settlers entering their religious site in H1.

Settlers entering their religious site in H1.

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They were escorted by approximately 45 Israeli border police and soldiers. Several Palestinian shops were forced to close for several hours, to allow the setters and tourists to pass.

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The Ibrahimi mosque and nearby checkpoint was also closed today, with all Palestinian shops in the area forced to close with it.

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Israeli forces arrest disabled Palestinian manhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/israeli-forces-arrest-disabled-palestinian-man/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/israeli-forces-arrest-disabled-palestinian-man/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:18:35 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40828 9th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Yesterday at approximately 10 PM in the Qeitun region of Al-Khalil (Hebron), a group of 6 Israeli soldiers accused 14-year-old Amjad Taha of throwing fire crackers at them outside of his home. Amjad’s cousin, Muhammad Taha (17 years-old), was standing close by with his 2-year-old cousin when the Israeli soldiers began to aggressively grab Amjad. A few of the soldiers then grabbed Muhammad, who was still holding his baby cousin. The soldiers began to take Amjad, Muhammad, and their baby cousin away from the front of their house.

Jamil’s 2-year-old son

The 2-year-old’s father and the boys’ uncle, Jamil, hearing the soldiers outside his home, came outside to where the boys were to find the Israeli soldiers attempting to take his nephews and son away. Jamil took his baby son from Muhammad and then the soldiers became increasingly aggressive to both boys. The Israeli soldiers proceeded to hit Muhammad in his leg and then push him against the wall causing him more pain. While this was happening, the boy’s uncle, Osama Taha (27 years-old), ran towards Muhammad and attempted to stop the Israeli soldiers from beating him by pushing a soldier away from his nephew. Then the soldier grabbed Osama and told him that he would kill him. The Israeli soldier then shot a live bullet into the air as a warning. Seven more Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and they proceeded to blindfold Amjad, Muhammad, and Osama. Then the Israeli soldiers violently forced them into an Israeli army jeep. As Muhammad was being forced into the jeep, the soldiers pushed his head onto the vehicle causing him pain. Amjad was also pushed against the jeep very forcefully resulting in a broken finger.

The three blindfolded Palestinians were then taken to Shuhada checkpoint in Tel Rumeida and transferred into Israeli police custody. The Israeli police took all of them to the police station by Ibrahimi Mosque in H2 for questioning. Amjad and Muhammad were held there until 1 in the morning. Osama Taha was kept in the police station and then transferred to a prison near Bethlehem where he is currently being held without charge. Osama’s brother told ISM activists: “I can’t believe they still have him. He didn’t do anything. He was just trying to protect his nephew. Osama has learning disabilities. I really fear for how this will affect him and how they will treat him.”

As a result of the Jewish holidays, the amount of soldiers in Al-Khalil (Hebron) has increased immensely. The Israeli army enters Palestinian neighborhoods almost weekly, detaining and arresting Palestinians without cause or reason. This method of harassment is one of many tools that the Israeli army uses in an effort to force Palestinians out of their homes.

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Palestinian family attacked by settlers while harvesting oliveshttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-family-attacked-by-settlers-while-harvesting-olives/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-family-attacked-by-settlers-while-harvesting-olives/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:49:46 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40820 10th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Burin, Occupied Palestine

Tuesday afternoon, the 7th of October, olive farmer Mahmoud Rga Mahoud Aid, his wife, and thei three children were attacked by a a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Giv’at Ya’akov. The attack took place on the family´s land near the village of Burin, south west of Nablus.

Mahmoud Rga Mahoud Aid

Mahmoud Rga Mahoud Aid

The the family had only three days permission from the District Coordination Office (DCO) to access their land and pick their olives, starting from the 6th of October. To harvest all the olives on the land would normally take about a month.

On the first day of picking, Zionist settlers came down from the illegal settlement and tried to prevent Mahmoud from entering his land. The Israeli military interfered and told the settlers to leave, and Mahmoud was able to finish his working day without further interference from the settlers.

On the second day of picking the family was able to access the land but in the midst of picking the nearby soldiers started yelling at them, ”They are coming, they are coming for you!”

Mahmoud looked up and saw five male settlers wearing masks coming down from the hill towards him and his family. The settlers started throwing rocks at them and Mahmoud tried to protect his family by covering them with the tarpaulin used to collect the olives in. This helped for a while, but the settlers came closer and physically attacked Mahmoud. They continuously hit him in the chest, stomach and the head, and his foot was badly bruised by a stone thrown by the settlers.mahmoud 2

The Israeli soldiers watched the settlers attack the family, but didn’t react until a considerable amount of time had passed. Eventually they came down from the hill and told the settlers to leave the area.

Mahmoud walked down the hill, wounded, and was stopped by another group of soldiers who detained him for allegedly attacking the settlers and “causing trouble”. The commander called one of the soldiers that witnessed the attack and even though this soldier told the truth, stating that Mahmoud was attacked, the commander asked for Mahmoud’s passport number and personal information to make a file on him. Furthermore Mahmoud lost his permission for the third and last day of olive picking.

Over a period of ten years, illegal settlers have destroyed approximately 240 olive trees owned by the family. They have about 60 trees left and the settlers keep taking over more and more of their land. As mentioned before, they are permitted a very short time to harvest olives from their trees so a lot of the olives goes to waste which ultimately effects the families income. Mahmoud is afraid that the settlers are planning to destroy all the trees so the family will not have any reason to enter the land the settlers are slowly taking over. Mahmoud anticipates the settler harassment to escalate in the olive harvest high season, which is in two weeks.

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