Home / Reports / Palestinians demonstrate and appeal for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq

Palestinians demonstrate and appeal for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq

Palestinians demonstrate and appeal for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq

1. Palestinians demonstrate and appeal for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq
2. Hebron: Palestinians offer their help to gain freedom for kidnapped CPTers
3. Palestinian Solidarity Activists Amongst Four Peace Activist Hostages in Iraq
4. Our son is an HRO
5. Sabbath Riot by Settlers in Hebron
6. Joint Police, IDF, and Settler Campaign to Remove Human Rights Workers from Tel Rumeida, Hebron

1. Palestinians demonstrate for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq
December 1st, 2005
A demonstration will be held in Rammallah today at the Al Manara square 3:00 PM to call for the release of the four kidnapped peace activists in Iraq; Harmeet Sooden, James Loney, Norman Kember, and Tom Fox.
Speakers at the demonstration will include a representative of the Palestinian Islamic Forum, Shawkat Samha The Mayor of Jayouss (where Harmeet and Tom volunteered), Mustapha Barghouti head of the Palestinian Initiative and Kadura Fares of the National committee against the wall and settlements.
Another demonstration will be held in the village of Tawani, tomorrow at 1:30, where American Tom Fox served as a volunteer.
The four workers for the group Christian Peacemaking Teams – an American, a Briton and two Canadians – were shown in a video released by an Iraqi militant group on Tuesday. Three of the four CPT (Christian Peace Maker Teams) activists Kidnapped in Iraq spent time in the West Bank aiding the Palestinians in CPT and ISM (International Solidarity Movement).
Calls for there release have been made by Head Mufti Akrema Sabri, The Al Aqsa Martyr Brigades, The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces in Hebron, The Popular Committees Against the Wall and Settlements and the Palestinian Islamic Forum.

Palestinians appeal for release of Western activists kidnapped in Iraq
November 30th, 2005
Palestinians, led by their top Muslim cleric, appealed to Iraqi insurgents on Wednesday to release four Western peace activists, saying three of them had spent time in the West Bank aiding the Palestinians.
The four workers for the group Christian Peacemaking Teams – an American, a Briton and two Canadians – were shown in a video released Tuesday by insurgents in Iraq.
While in the West Bank, American Tom Fox and the two Canadians demonstrated against the construction of Israel’s security fence, helped Palestinian children to get through Israeli army checkpoints and pitched in with the olive harvest, Palestinians across the West Bank said Wednesday.
“We demand that these aid workers be released immediately,” said Mufti Ikrema Sabri, the Palestinians’ top Muslim clergyman. “We tell them that these aid workers have stood beside Palestinian people and it’s our duty now to stand beside them.”
Sabri said Islam opposes taking civilians hostage and said such kidnappings are “inhumane.”
Palestinians in several towns said they had worked with the three activists and asked Sabri to issue the appeal. Hundreds of international activists have aided the Palestinians in largely nonviolent demonstrations during the more than five years of fighting with Israel.
“They subjected themselves to grave dangers when they stood in front of Israeli bulldozers,” said the mayor of the West Bank village of Jayyus, Shawkat Samha. “We knew them as people who were against occupation and supported freedom for occupied peoples, like the Palestinian and Iraqi peoples.”
Samha said he had met Fox and recognized him in the video that was shown on the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera.
Fared Tomallah from the West Bank village of Salfit said he cried when he recognized captive Canadian Harmeet Sooden on television.
“I saw him many times suffering through tear gas with the Palestinians when demonstrating against the wall,” Tomallah said, referring to the separation barrier. “We appeal to Iraqi insurgents to release him and we assure them that these people have nothing to do with the occupation.”
The local branch of Christian Peacemaking Teams in the West Bank city of Hebron said that one of the captives, James Loney from Toronto, Canada, had helped Palestinian children get through Israeli army roadblocks in the divided city. Loney was slated to return to Hebron next week to continue his work, said Rich Meyer, an activist with the group.
“The kidnapping prevents him from coming here to work,” Meyer said.
The group’s Toronto branch released a picture of Fox sitting with children.

2. Hebron: Palestinians offer their help to gain freedom for kidnapped CPTers
December 1st, 2005 | Posted in Press Releases
(Palestinians hold photos of Tom Fox, one of the four members of theaid group, Christian Peacemaker Teams, who were kidnapped in Iraq,during a protest outside a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron,Wednesday Nov 30, 2005. Palestinians led by their top Muslim clericappealed to Iraqi insurgents Wednesday to release four Western peace activists, saying three of them had spent time in the West Bank aiding the Palestinians. The banner on the right reads in Arabic:’ we demands the release of the CPT members ‘ and the banner on the center reads: ‘ CPT are friends of Palastine and the Arabs, release them ‘. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi))

On November 30, 2005 the National and Islamic Forces in Hebron held a press conference to ask for the release of four CPTers being held by an Iraqi armed group. The first speaker was Sheikh Najib Al Ja’abri, who hosted the press conference at the Ali Baka’a Mosque in the Haret e-Sheikh neighborhood of Hebron. He spoke of his warm sense of working together with CPTers over the years. The second speaker was Abdul ‘Alim Dana of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, followed by Fahmi Shahin, Coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in Hebron, representing the Palestine People’s Party.
Naim Daour, Public Relations Director for Hebron University, talked about repeated closures of the university and CPT’s work to help to re-open the university. “Sometimes it is hard to tell who is working for us and who is against us, but really Christian Peacemaker Teams helps us – whoever is holding the CPTers has made a mistake.” Fariel Abu Haikal, Headmistress of
Qurtuba Girls’ School, emphasized the difference between CPTers and the American government. “Saif al-Haq (‘Sword of Justice,’ the Iraqi armed group holding the CPTers) I don’t know, but these problems in Iraq, they come from George Bush. He is the problem, not CPT.” She described the accompaniment that CPTers have provided for teachers and students at her school, who are often assaulted by Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Beit Hadassah.
The last Palestinian to speak was Jamal Miqbal of Beit Ummar. Jamal and his family live in the shadow of the Israeli settlement of Karme Tzur, and the Israeli military issued a demolition order on their home. Many CPTers have stayed at their home, both in tense times when the Miqbals feared that the bulldozer would come, and in more relaxed seasons.
At the conclusion of the press conference, CPTers read this message:
“We are very worried about our four friends. We fear that whoever is holding them has made a mistake. They are four men who went to Iraq to work for peace. They oppose the occupation. They are not spies.”

3. Palestinian Solidarity Activists Amongst Four Peace Activist Hostages in Iraq
November 30th, 2005
CORRECTION: Three of the group of four have previously been in Palestine, not only two as previously stated. James Loney was in Palestine five years ago as an activist with CPT Hebron.
Two of the four Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) hostages in Iraq of whom a video was released today have been in Palestine working as Palestinian Solidarity activists. Tom Fox (54) worked with CPT Hebron and participated in demonstrations against the apartheid Wall in Jayyous. Harmeet Sooden (32) a Canadian citizen who had been living in New Zealand, came to Palestine to join the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in December 2004 and stayed until January 2005. He worked in solidarity with local Palestinian people, mostly in Nablus and Jenin. While in Jenin, he worked with a group of ISM activists who planted Olive trees on the ‘Swithart’ farm outside Jenin, He was committed to come to Palestine for three months to join the ISM again at the beginning of December 2005 as a long term activist for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation, but first decided to join a two week CPT delegation to Iraq.
Palestinians in Ramallah will hold a demonstration tomorrow at 3pm in solidarity with all four kidnapped peace activists and to appeal for their release. The demonstration will be attended by notable Palestinian religious and resistance figures.
Mustafa Jayyousi a local Palestinian activist in Jayyous who knew Tom said: “When he worked in Jayyous, Tom was part of a group who went down to the gates everyday with local farmers to help them access their lands made inaccessible by the wall. He also participated in demonstrations with the people of Jayyous against the apartheid Wall in Jayyous”.
Mohammed Ayyesh a local Palestinian activist in Balata camp, Nablus said of Harmeet: “I was touch with Harmeet and was looking forward to him coming here to work next week. We must do everything we can to secure his release”.
Basem Abu-Bakar a local Palestinian activist in Jenin said: “Harmeet came as a volunteer in solidarity with the people of Jenin. He supported the Palestinian people and the people of Jenin with his presence here, and with his work in New Zealand”.
In an email to his friends Harmeet described the purpose of the four-person team’s work in Iraq as: “providing humanitarian aid in the form of training and documentation of non-violent responses to lethal inter-group conflict. We will also record the current conditions in Iraq, meeting with representatives of NGOs, Christian and Muslim clerics, Iraqi human rights groups and others”. He also recounted a story from Iraq: “A little 3-year old girl, Alaa, ran up to me and gave me a big hug me yesterday. She reminds me of my niece. She, however, does not see as my niece sees. She sustained severe shrapnel injuries to her abdomen and micro-fragments peppered her eyes, face and body during a US military attack in May on al Qaim, Iraq. Her mother lost an eye. She lost two brothers and several other relatives”.

4. Our son is an HRO
December 1st, 2005
Statement From Andrew’s Parents
Thursday 24th November 2005: “A Human Rights Observer from the UK was arrested in Tel Rumeida, Hebron earlier today. He had just finished escorting Palestinian children to school.”
This report appeared last week on the web-site of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) the movement dedicated to “non-violently resist the overwhelming military occupation force” in Palestine.
Monday 18th August 2003: “A Scots peace activist is to be deported from Israel after trying to stop soldiers blowing up and bulldozing the house of a Palestinian family at a refugee camp near Nablus”. Report in The Herald, August 2003.
Our son Andrew Muncie was the ‘peace activist’ of 2003, and also the ‘human rights observer’ arrested last week.
Two years ago, he had been arrested on the West Bank in Palestine. He and Swede Andreas Koninek, a fellow member of the ISM, had chained themselves to a pole in the house. “It was less likely they would blow the house up if internationals were present,” Andrew explained later. They were deported after an unsuccessful appeal and told not to return to Palestine (by the Israelis) for ten years.
On 18th August this year, two years exactly to the day of the report from Nablus, Andrew flew out from London Gatwick via Prague, on his way back to Palestine. He had gone out in 2003 to try and support the ordinary Palestinians. The attempt had been cut short. He was still of a mind to help them.
‘Andrew MacDonald’ was the name on his new passport. He had legally changed his name. As ‘Andrew Muncie’, he would have been stopped at Tel Aviv airport. This in spite of the fact that Andrew Muncie had committed no crime or offence when he had last been there. But the plight of the Palestinians, whose dignity and forbearance in the face of the constant erosion of their human rights, had awoken his concern for justice and peace.
Andrew has been in Palestine for almost fifteen weeks now. But he will be home soon. The Israeli authorities have finally identified him. They do not want Human Rights Observers reporting on what is happening. He is being deported again. But at the time of writing he has been in detention for five days with no date set for his deportation.
When he went out in August this year, he had decided that he would concentrate on capturing images of some of the injustices perpetrated on Palestinians while at the same time helping them in less confrontational situations than before. He attended peaceful demonstrations against the great wall which the Israeli Government are continuing to construct through Palestinian farmlands, towns, villages, and business areas, effectively strangling and devastating these communities. In spite of international calls from people of conscience for the wall to be halted, Israel continues unrelentingly destroying the livelihoods of tens of thousands.
The Israeli settlers, recently in the news loudly and bitterly complaining as they were forced to leave the land in Gaza they had occupied for some years, were all compensated by up to $400,000 for each family. The Palestinians, on their land for some centuries, and whose homes are demolished by the inexorable progress of the great wall, whose lands are wrecked by bulldozers, whose access to their land is made impossible by the huge barrier, receive nothing. Israel may be a democracy, but injustice is the face shown to Palestinians.
Andrew went to Tel Rumeida, an area of Hebron, south of Jerusalem, where the Palestinians live in a virtual hell caused by the daily abuse of the 500 or so settlers who live in an enclave established some few years ago in the Palestinian area of the city. Countless instances of brutality to the dwindling Palestinian population were recorded and photographed by Andrew and his colleagues, who lived in an apartment in Tel Rumeida. They daily escorted Palestinian children to and from school to try and protect them from the assaults of settlers. Because of the extremely dangerous and cruel situation here, the Tel Rumeida Project was established to try and protect the Palestinians. (See their website telrumeidaproject.org) The organisation Christian Peacemaker Teams also worked in an effort to alleviate the plight of the Palestinians in Tel Rumeida. Like the ISM, all are non-violent and peaceful.
The catalogue of violence against Palestinians and these Human Rights Observers is staggering.
Andrew reported a typical incident on 27th October this year from Tel Rumeida.
“At around 1.20pm on Thursday the 27th of October I received a phone call from one of the three internationals who had come to the aid of a Palestinian schoolgirl near Qurtuba School, and who were now under attack from a mob of settlers.
I made my way quickly to the end of Shuhada Street, stopping at the soldiers’ post there. On the right, a narrow stone staircase leads up to a hillside path which leads to Qurtuba School. By this time the three internationals and the Palestinian child had been removed from the area by the police and army.
On one occasion during the next hour four settler children followed me back along Shuhada Street, throwing stones at me. I was also spat at and shoved in the chest by two 18 year old settler males. I was told by the soldiers who were standing on the street that the Israeli Army were unable to ensure my safety.
At 2.30pm I walked with three Palestinian women to the bottom of the staircase, waiting until they had reached the top before I left. Seconds after I turned to leave, I heard several loud crashes and screams from the top of the staircase. I turned to see at least two teenage settler girls who had jumped up from behind a wall next to the path the Palestinian women were now on, throwing bottles and stones at them. The women retreated several metres to the top of the staircase, but were now effectively stranded there as four or five settler men (one of whom was brandishing a power drill) had now approached the bottom of the staircase.
I shouted to the soldiers to do something and went to join the women who were still trapped at the top of the stairs, but out of range of the missiles which continued to fly in their direction. The soldiers remained standing on the street with the settler men.
Five Palestinian kids had now arrived at the bottom of the stairs, and were being prevented from passing by the soldiers and settlers there. As I made my way back down the stairs to join the kids, the settler with the power drill began waving it in the air, shouting. He then charged at the kids, chasing them away. The soldiers continued to stand on the street.
Two police officers then arrived who despite requests to assist the stranded women continued to do nothing for 10 minutes until the settler girls who were throwing the rocks and bottles had left. They then went up to the women to escort them along the path. The soldiers continued to stand on the street.”
This lack of protection for the Palestinian population means that mob rule dictates the streets of Tel Rumeida.
Just over a week after this incident, Andrew was stopped and harassed by eight soldiers of the Israeli occupation force. He and his colleagues whom he phoned for help and who joined him on the street near their apartment, were arrested and taken to the police station in Hebron. They were falsely accused of assaulting an officer. The next day, Judge Rafi Strauss said as he released them, “I would like to express outrage and contempt for the behaviour of the police.”
Andrew and his colleagues were in contact with several Members of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, who expressed concern over the abusive behaviour of the Israeli police.
However, it is the Palestinians who continue to suffer. And the HROs who try to help.
Andrew was arrested last Thursday as he walked home.
According to the Israeli police, on Saturday 26th November, “Three thousand settlers from around the West Bank and Israel have come to the Palestinian city of Hebron ‘to show solidarity with the pioneers of Hebron’.” Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, estimated the number at “twenty thousand”.
This report appeared on the ISM site: “Between 2pm and 5pm that day, a hostile mob of between 100 and 150 of these Israeli settlers visiting from outside Hebron besieged five Human Rights Observers inside their apartment in Hebron. Palestinian families were besieged in their homes. ISM and Tel Rumeida project volunteers alone recorded six assaults on Palestinians and twelve assaults and five stonings on HROs. The police were called on eight separate occasions and the army four times, but most of the time they did not arrive.”
As Andrew’s parents, while sympathetic already to the plight of the Palestinians, as any decent person must be, and fully supportive of Andrew’s actions throughout, we have become more aware, while keeping abreast of his experiences in Palestine, of the depth of misery in which the Palestinians are unjustly forced to live. We are proud of him, and commend him and his colleagues for their moral and physical courage.
Sadly, it is rare to see any mention in the media of the daily torture of the Palestinian people. The only mention of Palestinians in the press seems to be when a suicide bomber blows himself and others up.
The overwhelming majority of Palestinians need to live in peace and be able to work unhindered towards a decent life.
As Unicef state on their website unicef.org/infobycountry/oPt.html
“The decline in the wellbeing and quality of life of Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) over the past two years has been rapid and profound. This is directly linked to the violence and mobility restrictions children experience daily, including death and injury to family and friends, damage to their property, and the frustration and poverty they sustain through stifling closures, curfews and home confinement. Children are paying a heavy and disproportionate price for this conflict – many with their lives.”
With the international media largely ignoring the plight of the Palestinians, the general public is not fully aware of the real and terrible situation in Palestine. And so the terrorization continues of a people without even any comment.
Web-sites to check for more information:

5. Sabbath Riot by Settlers in Hebron
November 29th, 2005
by ISM activists in Hebron
On the 26th of November in the West Bank, a large number of armed Israeli Settlers visiting Hebron for the commemoration of the Biblical character Abraham’s burial of Sarah broke Palestinian property and assaulted Palestinians. The rioting Settlers, numbering some one hundred and sixty people rioted in the ‘H2’ area of Hebron, so designated after the Oslo Two Peace Accord and the Hebron Protocol. ‘H2’ is that area of Hebron under Israeli civil control as opposed to the larger more populated ‘H1’ area which is under Palestinian Authority civil control. A large number of Palestinian families still remain in this Israeli controlled (and Settler occupied) ‘H2’ area and are subject to daily intimidation by local Settlers and Israeli military restrictions. International Human Rights Observers (HROs) remain in Tel Rumeida (H2) and daily escort Palestinian children to school and accompany the adults about daily errands.
Large numbers of Settlers began roaming the streets of H2 around midday. The majority were teenage youths. Initially, they shouted obscenities and spat at passing Palestinians. Around two thirty in the afternoon, a large fight broke out between the mob gathered at the top of Tel Rumeida street and the sons of several Palestinian families who were standing outside their house. One son received a fractured collarbone and another was badly beaten. The Israeli military had quickly arrived to keep Settlers away from the Palestinians, however they were greatly outnumbered by Settlers and were unable to break up the mob or prevent much of the stoning. After the Palestinians fled into their homes, attention then turned on the nearby home of the Human Rights Observers and for over two hours, five of them, with a German photojournalist remained locked indoors while their apartment was stoned and obscenities and death threats yelled at them. Another three HROs unaware that their nearby home was under siege tried to escort a single Palestinian student through this crowd and were beaten until the Israeli soldiers pulled them out.
Large numbers of the Settlers carried automatic weapons. Members of the Settler Militia were particularly aggressive toward the Western HRO’s throughout the day often shouldering and tripping them in an effort to provoke them. The HROs reported twelve separate incidents of physical assault including grabbing, pushing, shouldering, tripping and knocking one person to the ground. The mob toward evening moved along Tel Rumeida street entering Palestinian property, preventing returning Palestinians from entering their houses, breaking windows and beating on doors. The Israeli military closed a checkpoint which allows Palestinians from H2 to access H1 for over two hours while the mob paraded and Palestinians were also prevented from accessing their homes in H2 from the south. It was observed that television journalists were prevented by an Israeli soldier from entering the H2 area to film the riot and the Settlers that surrounded the soldier. Settlers remained on the street until sunset when the Sabbath fast ended.
Although the Israeli Police were called on over eight separate occasions during the day, their presence on the street was minimal and was of short duration when they did arrive. Only one Settler was seen to be detained. It was left to a small number of Israeli soldiers to hold back the Settlers. Nevertheless, many windows, doors and rooftop water heaters were smashed and Palestinians stoned, beaten and intimidated by Settlers. Despite repeated pleas, Police and army numbers remained minimal thus giving these armed Settlers free reign to roam the streets of ‘H2’ and continue the process of intimidation toward its Palestinian residents, a process which has the ultimate goal of evicting them from their homes. On Shuhaddah street adjacent to Tel Rumeida alone only eleven out of the fifty two families remain. One more family is currently trying to leave. Despite the recent high publicity Gaza pullouts, the remainder of the Settler community continues to use violence and intimidation to expand and consolidate unabated.

6. Joint Police, IDF, and Settler Campaign to Remove Human Rights Workers from Tel Rumeida, Hebron
November 30th, 2005
Joint Police, IDF, and Settler Campaign to Remove Human Rights Workers from Tel Rumeida, Hebron
Contact: Tel Rumeida Project – Luna Ruiz: +972 (0) 54 557 3154, Chelli Stanley: +972 (0) 54 802 4841
From the moment the first international presence of Human Rights Worker’s (HRW’s) came to live in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, in August, 2005, to support Palestinians against settler violence, the IDF, police and settlers in Tel Rumeida have used whatever means, legal or otherwise, to prevent their work from continuing. Now Andrew Mcdonalnd, one of the main long term organizers of the work in Tel Rumeida is awaiting deportation at Abu Kabir Prison.
After the Gaza disengagement, Hebron settlers feel embattled, lacking support, and in their relative weakness present even more of a danger to Palestinian families and the HRW’s who are their only protection and advocates in the lawless, violent neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. The presence of HRW’s, as many Palestinian families tell the volunteers on a daily basis as they offer tea on a cold day or invite them to their homes to share a meal, is crucial. The settler’s stated goal is to expand the settlement in the face of the perceived threat of evacuation. A settler spokesperson, Orit Struck, was quoted recently as saying “the community’s response to the sense that it has been marked for expulsion is to expand Jewish settlement in Hebron.” The only way to expand is for more Palestinian families to leave. HRW’s are there at a crucial time to prevent any expansion and to support Palestinians who choose to stay in Tel Rumeida where mere existence is a great act of resistance.
Police and IDF Illegal Refusal to Protect Palestinians and HRW’s from Settler Violence
• Police fail to respond to phone calls for assistance from HRW’s or Palestinians when settlers attack. When police do respond, they often do nothing, refuse to stop settlers from attacking and do not arrest settlers.
• Police make Palestinians and HRW’s wait for 3 to 4 hours on average to place complaints against settler violence. Police do not act on complaints that are placed against settlers by Palestinians and HRW’s.
• Police capitulation to settler intimidation. Police often claim to be frightened of settler violence and choose to remove themselves from the conflict area to protect themselves, creating a de-facto state of lawlessness.
Details of Police, IDF and Settler Campaign to Remove Human Rights Workers
from Tel Rumeida, Hebron
– Beginning in September, the IDF began the illegal use of Closed Military Zone orders issued only against HRW’s with the sole purpose of removing HRW’s from Tel Rumeida. The orders kept HRW’s effectively under house arrest, going so far as attempting to arrest HRW’s simply for leaving their house to buy food. Rather than preventing settlers from attacking Palestinian families and children, as they are required to by law, the IDF sought to remove the only protection and advocates Palestinian families have in the area. The illegal use of the orders stopped only when Gabi Lasky, the lawyer for the HRW’s, wrote a letter challenging the use of the orders to the Attorney General of Israel and the Attorney General of the Occupied Territories.
– On September 9, after multiple settler attacks, which soldiers did nothing to stop, and on the same day that Closed Military Zone orders began to be issued which kept HRW’s effectively under house arrest for three consecutive days, the Kiryat Arba police detained HRW’s, took them to the police station and lied, inventing a new “order” that said that the HRW’s were no longer allowed to live in Tel Rumeida and would have to vacate their house that same day. HRW’s did not believe or submit to this lie and intimidation and refused to leave their home in Tel Rumeida. HRW’s later learned that there was, in fact, never any such “order.”
– On multiple occasions, when HRW’s called Hebron police to report a settler attack in progress, police arrived and rather than stopping the settler attack, harassed and threatened HRW’s with arrest and refused to protect them or Palestinians from settlers.
– On October 24, police forced a neighbor who lives in the same building as the HRW’s to come to their apartment to convince them to let the police and army inside. The police officer, Hussein Nabia, further threatened the neighbor that if he did not have the HRW’s move out of their apartment by 2PM the next day (even though the police knew that the neighbor is not the owner of the building) that the army and police would make life very difficult for him and his family. Officer Nabia, came back the next day, four separate times, looking for the neighbor. Officer Nabia pointed his video camera at the neighbor and repeatedly screamed at him to say on camera that he did not want the HRW’s living in the apartment. He also tried to force the neighbor to go to the police station to file a complaint saying that the HRW’s were living in the apartment against his will. The neighbor refused to cooperate with any of the police’s requests.
– On November, 8 the police arrested four HRW’s on the false charge of assaulting a soldier. This charge was made only after the police altered their story and the charges multiple times. Judge Rafi Strauss reprimanded the police saying, “I would like to express outrage and contempt for the behavior of the police…“should be seen in a very severe light to hold the defendants in custody for long hours after the interrogation was over.” The HRW’s were released from custody and the police have not issued an indictment on these false charges.
– On November 24th Border Police came specifically looking for a HRW who they wanted to deport. They knew that his visa had expired. When they questioned him on the street he explained that he had made a legal appointment with the Ministry of Interior to extend his visa. He showed the Border Police proof of his appointment issued to him by the Ministry of Interior. But the police took him and he is now awaiting deportation. This same day, a commander of the IDF stopped a different HRW and seemed surprised that she was there. He asked to see her passport. He said he knew the status of her visa would not allow her to be there. She showed the commander her proof of the appointment she has to extend her visa. He noted the date of her appointment and said, “No, you can’t stay that long. We are not waiting that long.” Then the commander drove away.
Video and Detailed Reports of the following are available to the public and press at telrumeidaproject.org. Better quality, broadcast quality available upon request.