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Action Alert and Update on Bil’in prisoners

Another Arrest Raid

On the 27 of November at 2:30 in the morning a large Israeli military force accompanied by Israeli border police entered the sleeping village of Bil’in. Israeli border police entered the home of Mohammed Hashem Burnat asking about his brother, 25-year old Farhat. When the border police did not find Farhat, they ordered the family, including eight children and a ten month old baby, out of their house at gun point and began overturning everything in the house threatening to return every night until they found Farhat at home.

Israeli forces also entered the home of Mohammad Ali Burnat and took his eldest son, 19-year old Saji Burnat, from his home. His three younger siblings twelve, ten and seven years old waved goodbye to their brother as he was handcuffed, blindfolded and placed in a military jeep.

Saji is the 18th resident from Bil’in to be taken from his family in a series of night raids conducted by Israeli military and border police since the 21st of October when villagers from Bil’in, in a non-violent direct action, dismantled part of the annexation barrier being constructed on their land.

Update on the detainees

On the 24th of November a military judge ruled that Ashraf Abu Rahme, known as Dubbah, will be held in detention until the end of his court proceedings. Dubbah, a big bodied, much loved, non violent activist, suffers from severe learning disabilities. Israeli military and Secret Service interrogation includes physical and psychological torture. Dubbah’s attorney, Mahmud Hassan and Firas Sabar from Addameer presented the military court with documentation of Dubbah’s condition. In response, in a display of what the Occupation authorities consider benevolence, the court gave an instruction that a military doctor should examine him within one month.

21-year old Hamza Samara was released from custody on a 10,000 shekel bail on Friday the 18th of November. Thanks to all of you who donated to the ISM Palestine Legal Fund, making his release possible. During 25 days in jail, Hamza was subjected to torture on several occasions.

Fadel Awad Ali Yasin, father of two, and Issrar Samara have been in custody since October 24th and will appear in front of a military judge in Ofer military base tomorrow, the 29 of November.

19-year old Khelmi Abu Rahme, who has been held in custody since his arrest, will face trail on the 25 of December.

Wajdi Khatib (17), Jawad Khatib (19) and Faraj Yasin (19) have been held since the 23 of October and will stand trail on the 8th of January, 2006.

Abdullah Ahmed Yassin (14), Nour Mahmoud Yassin (19), Nayes Gazzi Al Katib (18), Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin (28), Khalid Shokat Al Katib (20), Baasil Shokat Al Katib (21), Hasan Awad Yassin (26) and Mohammed Omran Khatib (23) were all given prison sentences between two and four months with an additional 1000 shekel fine. They are being held at Ofer military detention center and Ketsiot military detention center in the Nakab Desert.

For more information about the use of torture in Israeli prisons see:
http://www.stoptorture.org.il/eng/
http://www.trc-pal.org

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

A) Send a letter!
Lend your voice to those who are silenced. Call for the release of the Bil’in sons being held by the Israeli military for allegations of nonviolent direct action against the construction of a barrier deemed illegal by the international community. Please send a letter using the following sample written by Gush Shalom or (even better) in your own words on behalf of those taken from Bil’in.

Dear Sir,

The people of Bil’in, as in other villages, have been trying to change the nature of the struggle that is taking place between your peoples, moving from violence to the ways of non-violence. Now I hear that the Israeli army has been sending provocateurs to participate in the protest demonstrations of the Bil’in villagers and their supporters, in order to turn these non-violent protests into violent incidents. In addition, I’ve learned that the army has been entering the village at nights and arresting youngsters for participating in demonstrations against the confiscation of their land. Am I to understand from this that you prefer violence?!

Furthermore, I have learned that the route of the Separation Barrier has been planned so that you will be able to expropriate the land on its west side for the sake of building settlements (Modi’in Illit). For this purpose you have been using “security” arguments. All of this is being doen in flagrant violation of international law, as established by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Consequently you have been sending your soldiers to perform land theft. There is no justification for this!

I appeal to you:

*To follow the UN resolutions against setting the Separation Barrier upon occupied Palestinian territory,
*to follow international law,
*to cease the attacks on Bil’in and free the prisoners,
*and to put an immediate end to violent provocation.

Yours sincerely,
……..

Send your letters to:

  1. American Consulate, Jerusalem
    Email: [email protected]
    Fax: +972-(0)2-627-7230
  2. European Union, Jerusalem
    Email: [email protected]
    Fax: +972- (0)2-532 6249
  3. UN Special Coordinator, Gaza
    Email: [email protected]
    Fax: +972-(0)8-282-0966

    or

    S/SMEC, Office of the Special Middle East Coordinator
    Fax: +1-202-647-4808

  4. White House Comment Line: +1-202-456-1111
  5. State Department Bureau of Public Affairs Comment Line: +1-202-647-6575
  6. Minister of Justice Tzippi Livni
    Ministry of Justice
    29 Salah al-Din Street
    Jerusalem 91010, Israel
    Phone: +972-2-670-8511
    Fax: +972 2 6285438/6288618
    E-mail: [email protected] (may bounce), [email protected], [email protected]
  7. Brigadier-General Avichai Mendelblit – Head of the military’s legal branch
    Fax: +972 (0)3-569-4370
  8. Colonel Yair Lutstein – Legal adviser for Judea & Samaria command
    Fax: +972 (0)2-227-7326

B) Donate towards the release of Bil’in’s youth!
Please make donations to ISM’s Legal Fund to help us secure the release of those imprisoned. Donations can be made on the ISM website through PayPal (above on the right or at www.palsolidarity.org/main/donations/), or by mailing checks to:

ISM – USA
PO BOX 5073
BERKELEY CA 94705-0073
USA

Please make checks out to: “MECA (ISM-USA Fund)”. The Middle East Children’s Alliance is the fiscal sponsor for ISM-USA. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Their tax exemption number is: 94-3074600.

If your organization is able to pledge money, please write to us. We thank Israeli lawyer Tamar Peleg of Hamoked, and the Palestinian Prisoner support organization Addameer, who have generously donated their services and represented activists from Bil’in pro-bono.