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Demonstrators to protest arrest of prominent grassroots activist Wa’el Al Faqeeh Abu As Sabe

13 December 2009

For immediate release:

A demonstration will be held outside Jelemeh Prison in Haifa at 12pm, Monday 14 December 2009, to protest the arrest of prominent grassroots Palestinian activist Wa’el Al Faqeeh Abu As Sabe. Al Faqeeh, renowned throughout the Nablus region for his tireless campaigning and non-violent action against the Israeli occupation, was kidnapped from his home by Israeli Occupation Forces in the night of Tuesday, 8 December.

Al Faqeeh is now being held at Jelemeh Prison in Haifa, Israel. The prison is notorious for its ill-treatment of prisoners, in particular Palestinian political prisoners. Protesters will gather outside the prison at 12pm, Monday 14 December, to protest the persecution and imprisonment of Al Faqeeh. Protesters plan to plant olive trees outside the prison, in celebration of Al Faqeeh’s organisation of numerous tree-planting actions in Palestinian villages close to settlements. In the spirit of Al Faqeeh’s love and support of culture and the arts, demonstrators are encouraged to bring drums, musical instruments, and any other tools to gain attention and ensure our message is heard.

Al Faqeeh was arrested in the early hours of 8 December 2009, when the Israeli army in the force of 200 armed soldiers invaded several districts of Nablus city, refugee camps and a nearby village in a coordinated operation, raiding houses of targeted grassroots activists and arrested nine. Amongst the arrested were four leading members of the popular resistance from Nablus, a fifth activist from Awarta village and four young activists from Al-Ein Refugee Camp:

Wa’el Al Faqeeh Abu As Sabe, 45
Mayasar Itiany, 45
Abdul-Nasser Itiany, 38
Mussa Salama, 47
Nabih Abdul-Aziz Awwas, 47
Mahmud Huleiman
Muhammad Ibrahim Dahbour
Yousef Raja
Rubi Abu Khalifa

Al Faqeeh, 45 years old, worked with various groups in the Nablus region such as the Nablus Youth Union, the Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum and many international groups, supporting and organising Palestinian non-violent struggle. He champions the struggle of Palestinian farmers and villagers, as well as working closely with youth groups in the fields of education, culture and the arts. His co-ordination work of the yearly olive harvest, as well as year-round organisation of demonstrations, fund-raising, community-building and educational events has played an instrumental role in the communities of the region. Favouring grassroots, cross-spectrum peaceful activism to politics, Al Faqeeh has always strived to bridge political divides between Palestinians. He was taken from his home at 1am on 8 December when 50 Israeli soldiers entered his house in the north of Nablus, aiming their weapons at Al Faqeeh and his family.

To get to Jelemeh take busses 175, 188, 180 or 181 from Haifa.