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West Bank Popular Leaders Arrested in Ni’ilin

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

12 December 2010

For immediate release:

Ibrahim Amirah and Hassan Mousa, members of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Ni’ilin, were arrested tonight from his home during a night-time raid tonight. Amirah and Mousa, together with another man, Zaydoun Srour, were arrested under suspicion of organizing anti-Wall demonstrations in the village.

At around 3:00am tonight, a military force of 15 armored jeeps and about a hundred Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Ni’ilin and surrounded the home of Ibrahim Amirah, the coordinator of Ni’lin’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. After forcefully entering his home, soldiers extracted Amirah from his bed, searched the house and arrested him.

Amirah has previously been arrested twice under the same suspicion of organizing demonstrations against the Wall in Ni’lin, but was never charged. Protests have been held in the village since May 2008.

Hassan Mousa, a high school teacher in the village and a member of the Popular Committee, was arrested immediately when soldiers entered his home last night. Srour, a well known activist in the village, was detained alongside Amirah. A simultaneous raid was also carried in the village of Bil’in tonight, where soldiers arrested 21 year old Yassin Yassin.

The arrests today are an escalation of an ongoing and extensive Israeli attempt to suppress the Palestinian popular resistance generally, and repress its leadership particularly.

Yesterday, Israel staged a night raid into Area A, near the center of Ramallah, to arrest international solidarity activist Eva Nováková for overstaying her visa. Such an incursion into Area A over an expired visa is extremely unusual. A Czech national, Nováková served as the International Solidarity Movement’s media coordinator for the past three weeks. She was deported from the Ben Gurion airport at 6am this morning.

In the past month, since 16 December, the army has staged eleven night incursions into Ni’ilin. Since may 2008, when demonstrations began in the village, 94 residents have been arrested in connection to the protests. Similar raids have been conducted in the village of Bil’in – where 34 residents have been arrested in the past six month and the cities of Nablus, Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Among those arrested in the recent campaign are also five members of the Bil’in Popular Committee, all suspected of incitement, and include Adeeb Abu Rahmah – who has already been held in detention for almost six months and Abdallah Abu Rahmah – the Bil’in Popular Committee coordinator.

Prominent Nablus grassroots activists, Wael al-Faqeeh, as well as Jamal Juma (East Jerusalem) and Mohammed Othman (Jayyous) of the Stop the Wall NGO, involved in anti-Wall and boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigning have also been arrested recently. All three are currently being held based on secret evidence and with no charges brought against them.