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Bil’in resident turns himself in to Ofer military prison

22 November 2010 | Haitham al-Khatib, Bil’in Popular Committee

On Sunday morning, 30-year-old activist Ashraf al-Khatib turned himself in to Ofer Military Prison after weeks of military and Shebak harassment to his family and the village.

The military had been searching for him due to his involvement in weekly demonstrations against the wall and occupation. During recent night raids of the village, soldiers beat villagers, activists, and photographers attempting to reach Ashraf’s house. IDF soldiers aggressively entered the homes of Ashraf’s family, breaking down doors to look for him, but were unable to find him.

Shebak officials (Israeli Intelligence) called two of his brothers to come in for questioning in Ofer Prison. One brother was threatened to have his permission to work in Israel taken away if Ashraf was not found.

Ashraf told family that he had been afraid to be arrested because of the particularly aggressive and violent nature of the recent searches. He finally turned himself in because he wanted to stop his families suffering.

Two months ago, Ashraf was shot in the leg by a sniper using the banned 0.22″ caliber live ammunition during the village’s weekly demonstration. 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.