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Bil’in Children Arrested

Mohammad Ahmad Hamad in the back of the police car.

Two Palestinian children from the village of Bil’in were arrested mid morning on Tuesday April 12th.

Mohammad Abd Al Fattah Burnatt, aged 17, and Mohammad Ahmad Hamad aged 13 were tending a herd of goats close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Modi’in Elite. The settlement is built on land that has belonged to the village for generations.

According to Hamad’s father, the boys picked up one of the pieces of scrap metal that litter the fields next to the construction site. One of the settlers noticed and called the police accusing them of theft. The police arrested the pair and later made additional charges of entering Israel illegally, and of throwing stones at a recent demonstration in Bil’in against the apartheid wall.

In an ironic protest against Israeli settler tactics, the village has established it’s own settlement outpost on land stolen for settlement construction. Villagers and a peace activist from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were at the outpost, and ran across in time to witness the arrest. Afterwards, they shepherded the goats to a safe enclosure.

The ISM secured the release on bail of Mohammad Ahmad Hamad (13) for a cash payment of 5,000 NIS early this afternoon. It is not known when the boys’ trial will take place. The ISM has been active in supporting the village of Bil’in’s non violent protests and legal action against the building of the settlements on village land, and the construction of the apartheid wall. If Israel completes the wall and the settlements, about half of the village’s pasture and olive groves, including a holy site, will be stolen.

The ISM urges all its supporters to continue raising money for the legal fund, so that we can continue to support non-violent protest against illegal occupation and theft of Palestinian land, and continue to free jailed children.

To donate see the PayPal link at palsolidarity.org