FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palestinians active in non-violent struggle against the illegal Israeli annexation barrier were taken from their homes in the West Bank last night. This happens at a time when media attention is focusing on the taking of one Israeli soldier by Palestinians, and the mass-taking of 64 Palestinian government officials last night, including 20 MPs and 8 cabinet ministers.
Israel took 2 Palestinians from Bil’in and 1 from Beit Ummar – villages active in the struggle against the annexation barrier.
The Israeli military took 28 year-old Yousef Abu-Marya from Beit Ummar, Hebron region.. He has been active in non-violent resistance in that region in the past two years and is a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar. The Committee has recently been organising non-violent actions in the area that try to gain access for Palestinian farmers to their farm land after it has been is closed off by settler violence, or closure by the Israeli military.
In Bil’in, father of three, 29-year old Ahmad Katib (the brother of Mohammed Katib, one of the organisers of the weekly non-violent demonstrations against the apartheid barrier in the village) was taken by the army. Abdullah Abu-Rahme, from the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in said that another villager, Ayad Burnat, was being held hostage in order to pressure the family into “giving up” his brother Mujahid who they want to get hold of for reasons that were unclear.
Musa Abu-Marya, a member of the Popular Committee in Beit Ummar does not believe that they arrested Yousef for security reasons, but to continue a policy of threatening and arresting Palestinian peace activists. “They don’t like what we are doing in the Hebron region,” he said.
Arresting activists or threatening them with arrest or violence is not a new Israeli policy. It has often been used as a scare tactic against Palestinians active in non-violent struggle against the various forms of Israeli occupation in their daily lives.
For more information call:
Musa Abu-Marya: 0545-838 925
Abdullah Abu-Rahme: 0547-258 210
ISM Media office: 02 297 1824
CORRECTION: A previous version of this press release incorrectly stated that Israel had kidnapped 64 elected Palestinian representitives. In fact, out of the 64, 20 are elected MPs and 8 are ministers.