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Army Raids Bil’in for Fifth Time in 24 Hours

11 November 2010 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

At 2 AM, soldiers returned to Bil’in in another failed attempt to arrest anti-Wall activist Ashraf Khatib, beating a local photographer and international activists. The jeeps returned to the village once more at noon, arresting a resident suffering from Down’s syndrome.

Five military jeeps drove into the village of Bil’in tonight from the south, hoping to catch the residents of the village unprepared due to the late hour, following two raids on the village just a few hours before, and a pre-dawn raid the previous night. The soldiers stopped their vehicles at the center of the village, quickly disembarked and continued to raid the house belonging to the father of 30 year old Ashraf Khatib. Khatib was shot in the leg by a sniper using the banned 0.22″ caliber live ammunition during the weekly demonstration in the village five weeks ago. The bullet penetrated his leg near the shin, causing a fracture, and exited, causing an additional exit wound. At the hospital, Khatib had to undergo an operation.

Once at Khatib’s father’s house, the soldiers violently banged on the door of the house, waking all its residents up from their sleep. After entering the house, soldiers prevented from local cameraman and Khatib’s brother, Haitham Khatib, from filming the search or even from merely entering his father’s house.

In the street, a second group of soldiers violently prevented international and local activists from nearing the house. Two international activists and local photographer Hamde Abu Rahmah were beaten up for try to reach the houses.

After searching the home for about half an hour, again without showing any warrant, the soldiers left the house, got back into their jeeps and drove away towards the Wall.

At noon, as school children began leaving their classes to head back home, three military jeeps drove into Bil’in again throwing concussion grenades. Another group soldiers then entered the village by foot.

On their retreat from the village, the soldiers arrested Tareq Abu Rahmah, who suffers from Down’s syndrome.