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Harassment of Palestinian Ghandi continues

Bil’in, 3.20 am

Israeli Occupation Forces bang on the door of Abdallah Abu-Rahma, prominent member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, demanding that he attends an interrogation session at Ofer Military Base at 12 o’clock midday with “Rizik”, or else “there will be trouble”. The notice was served on a handwritten piece of paper from a note book and did not identify which branch of the Occupation Forces “Rizik” works with. Abdallah, however, is only too aware that “Rizik” is the head of Shabbak in the region.

Bil’in village will loose 2,300 dunams, over half of its land, behind the Annexation Wall, which will facilitate a huge expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the area. Bil’in has been at the front line of Palestinian resistance to the Wall, with regular demonstrations and creative direct action that utilise the non-violent methods of Muhatma Ghandi. Abdallah Abu-Rahma has been a driving force behind Bil’in’s struggle.

On 17th June Abdallah, along with his brother Rateb, was arrested at a demonstration in Bil’in and charged with throwing stones. Video evidence of the demonstration shows that no stone throwing took place and that the army opened fire on the non-violent protestors with potentially lethal crowd dispersal weapons without provocation. This was acknowledged by the judge at Rateb’s bail hearing, who said that the reality of what had happened was “strangely different, to put it mildly, from the testimony of the prosecution witnesses”, a border policeman. Nevertheless, Abdallah awaits trial on the 28th of September and Rateb has a trial pending.

Meanwhile, the harassment of non-violent protesters continues. When Abdallah arrived for interrogation today what he received was more of a warning. He was told that what he is doing in organizing demonstrations is worse than throwing stones. He was reminded of Biddu, where five people were killed by the Israeli military during demonstrations against the wall. He was told that he is being watched closely, that they know everything he does and that. He was warned against making trouble.

A transcript of the interrogation follows (see Transcript of Abdallah’s Interrogation)

On Friday, 8th July there will be another demonstration against the Wall in Bil’in at 11am.

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