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They punish the village by stealing our children

Qusin, September 24th 2007.

After reports of reprisals by IOF against the peaceful inhabitants of Qusin, two ISM activists visited the village today to receive first hand accounts of the harassment the villagers have received. After a non-violent and successful demonstration led by the people of Qusin and supported by international activists, the village has endured two nights of arrests.

Starting on the evening of the 21st, not one hour after internationals left the village, it was invaded by three vehicles of the IOF. They arrested two youths, claiming they had been throwing rocks during the terrifying occupation of Al-Ayn refugee camp several days before. Later that evening around 9pm they returned arresting another three on the same charge.

Two days later on Sunday 23rd, the IOF again saw fit to harass the villagers of Qusin taking youth from their beds at around midnight. One father who refused to let the soldiers take his son was beaten. Three were arrested that night bringing the total to eight.

This is collective punishment in action. This is blatant repression of the non-violent struggle. These children marched alongside international Human Rights Workers last Friday, they marched with their families and compatriots. They would’ve marched alongside Israelis if the Israelis had not been blocked by the army from coming. They marched also side by side the Israeli army provoking them. But they were not provoked, they did not respond. The demonstration was non-violent, and successful, and this is what has the IOF running scared.

Due to these outrageous actions from the village, of rising up for justice peacefully, the community must be punished. How does the army do it? How will they try to crush the movement? By kidnapping children from their beds in the middle of the night. At the moment the future of these young men (all 18 or under) is unsure. The recent Jewish festival coupled with IOF’s usual unwillingness to help means no-one is exactly sure where they are being held captive, or for how long.

For information on the non-violent demonstration in question click here: