3 August 2009
At around 3am on Monday morning, a large military force wearing combat paint and masks invaded the West Bank village of Bil’in. Israeli soldiers raided several homes, arresting 2 Palestinian children, 5 Palestinian adults including Mohammad Khatib of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. The home of another member of the Popular Committee was raided, but soldiers could not arrest him because he was not present at home.
Also arrested were the three brothers Khaled Shawkat Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 23), Mustafa Shawkat Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age18), and Mohammed Show gut Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 16); Abdullah Ahmad Yassen (age 18); Abdullah Mohammed Ali Yassen (age 16); Issa Mahmoud Issa Abu Rahma (age 40); This brings to 19 the number of Biliner’s currently in custody.
Monday’s raid is another in a series of many that Israeli forces have carried out in Bil’in since June 29 June 2009, Israeli forces have arrested 25 people (most are under 18). Israeli forces have been using interrogation techniques to pressure the arrested youth to give statements against Bil’in community leaders.
Abdullah Abu Rahme, coordinator of the popular committee stated, “Mohmmad Khatib and Adib Abu Rahme along with other leaders of the Palestinian popular struggle are being targeted because the mobilize Palestinians to resist non- violently. The fact is that the Apartheid Wall and the settlements built on Palestinian land are illegal under international law, in the case of our village even the biased Israeli court declared the route illegal. Yet Israel is prosecuting us as criminals because we struggle nonviolently for our freedom.”
What you can do?
Attempts to criminalize the leadership of non-violent protests where curbed in the past with the help of an outpouring of support from people committed to justice from all over the world.
1. Many of you have met Mohammad Khatib and perhaps one of the others mentioned above. We need you now to personally testify about your knowledge of them and their commitment to non-violence. Write a letter to the Israeli military judge and please send to [email protected]
2. Please Protest by contacting your political representatives, as well as you consuls and ambassadors to Israel to demand the release of Mohammad Khatib, Adib Abu Rahme and all Bil’in prisoners.
3. The Popular committee of Bil’in is in desperate need for legal funds in order to pay legal fees and Bail. Please donate to the Bil’in legal fund by paypal click http://tinyurl.com/lcr6rg . If you would like to make a tax deductible donation in the US or Canada contact: [email protected]
The Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements
The Palestinian village of Bil’in has become an international symbol of the Palestinian popular struggle. For almost 5 years, its residents have been continuously struggling against the de facto annexation of more then 50% of their farmlands the construction of the apartheid wall on it. In a celebrated decision, the Israeli Supreme court ruled on the 4 September 2007 that the current route of the wall in Bil’in was illegal and needs to be dismantled; the ruling however has not been implemented. The struggle of the village to liberate its lands and stop the illegal settlements has been internationally recognized and has earned the popular committee in Bil’in the Carl von Ossietzky Meda. http://tinyurl.com/nfmsvm
On 21 July 2009, a military judge decided to hold Adeeb Abu Rahma, a leading non-violent activist that was arrested from a demonstration against the barrier that took place in Bil’in village on 10 of July (see video at: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/07/7652), until the end of proceedings against him. This could mean months or a year in military prison for Adeeb, who is being charged with incitement to violence and rioting. He is the sole provider for his family of 9 children, wife and mother.
One demonstrator, Basem Abu Rahma, was killed at a demonstration as he was attempting to speak with the soldiers. (Video can be seen on http://palsolidarity.org/2009/04/6185)