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Collective punishment continues as army raids Nabi Saleh

13 January 2011 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

From the hours of 12:00 until 03:00 last night, soldiers raided eighteen houses in the village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers, in full combat equipment, raided the houses in order to photograph people, mostly young men, and check ID cards. No arrests were made. However, the intentions of the army are clear.

The pattern has been used many times in the past. The army raids a house in the middle of the night. Soldiers take a photograph of a 15 or 16 child and match the photograph with ID information. Then, some days later, during the weekly nonviolent demonstration, soldiers go from house to house with a picture book of people and arrest them. It does not matter if the suspected person is in the middle of the demonstration or inside the house watching television.

Once soldiers apprehend the suspect, they create a story that the person was throwing stones or ‘rioting”. This story is usually based on zero evidence and it does not have to be in order to be used in an Israeli military court. The only thing necessary is for a soldier to say that he saw the person throwing stones. No photographic or video evidence is needed. Not even another witness.

Last night’s raid was the second time this week for Nabi Saleh. Bassam Tamimi, one of the Popular Committee leaders of Nabi Saleh, said that the army has raided almost every house in the village this week. Every male between the ages of 12 and 22 have been photographed by the army and their ID numbers have been taken..

Nabi Saleh, a small village west of Ramallah, has engaged in an unarmed demonstration against the confiscation of their land by the neighboring Jewish settlement of Halamish for the past year There have been countless injuries, arrests and collective punishment against the village over the past year as the army has tried to crush the protest. This Friday afternoon, Nabi Saleh will once again march to its land and demand an end to the Israeli occupation.