25 August 2009
On Tuesday, 25 August 2009, at around 2:00 in the morning, a hundred Israeli soldiers with 8 jeeps invaded the Palestinian village of Ni’lin. They went directly to two family houses.
The Israeli army came to the house of Abdallah As’ad Amira (19 years old), located at the main street of the village. At around 3:00 am, 6 soldiers came into his house and forced the rest of the family (5 sisters and his mother) to go into one room. Three soldiers stayed in the room with them, while other three went directly to the room of Abdallah and picked him up. They handcuffed, blind-folded him and put him into a military jeep. Outside of their home, another 10 soldiers surrounded the house. “Everything happened very fast, the soldiers seemed to know perfectly where Abdallah’s room was. We tried to give him water but the soldiers didn’t allow us”, remember one of his sisters. Abdallah was taken to an unknown location. As’ad Amereh family has lost all of their land (30 dunums with hundred-year-old olive trees) due to the construction of a checkpoint on the settler road 446 and the Hashmonaim settlement. This is the second time that soldiers came to his family home looking for Abdallah. The first time, on November 2008, the army took Abdallah’s brother by mistake, and released him few days after.
At the same time, another group of soldiers invaded the house of Mohammed Attalah Amira (19 years old). His 4 sisters, mother and 2 nephews were at home when 8 soldiers came. Four soldiers forced the family to stay in one room, while the rest came to the terrace of the house. There were around 30 soldiers surrounding the home simultaneously. The harassment from the army lasted 20 minutes, after which the soldiers exited leaving two papers, one for Mohammed and another for Hassan Awad Amereh, Mohammed’s brother-in-law. These papers demanded that both show up at the Israeli Ofer prison the next day at 10:00 am, for interrogation. Hassan, 27 years old, went to Offer this morning and was released after an interrogation about the demonstrations in the village. He and his family have suffered harassment for several months with night invasions and phone calls from “Captain Foad.” The Attalah Amira family lost all their land because of the illegal construction of settlements around the village. In 1997 during a protest against the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land from people of Ni’lin, Mohammed’s father was killed by an Israeli soldier.
As the soldiers were leaving the village at around 3:30 am, they broke the back glass of a car that was parked in front of Mohammed’s house. The owner of the car is Hassan, a teacher in the Ni’lin girl’s school.
The Israeli arrest and intimidation campaigns on West Bank villages that demonstrate against the Wall, have led to the arrests of over 76 Palestinians in Ni’lin alone as of June 2009.