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Al-Manatir three, have been released

14 February 2013| International Solidarity Movement, Burin, Occupied Palestine

Waheeb, Ashraf and Diaa were released on the 14th of February 2013 after spending 12 days in an Israeli prison following the al-Manatir protest village in Burin.

During the al-Manatir action, the 3 Palestinian activists were detained by the Israeli military and then arrested by the border police. The 3 of them were pepper sprayed and Waheeb was severely beaten and kicked by the Israeli military as shown in the video evidence below:

The reason for arrest given was that they participated in an illegitimate protest as well as allegedly throwing stones. 2 of the 3 men, Waheeb Qadoos and Ashraf Abu Rahma, were also potentially facing an extra charge of assaulting the soldiers. The trials for the 3 were delayed twice and they were finally released, having their charges dropped after their lawyer adel Samara submitted video footage of the proving that it was the settlers and soldiers who attacked the demonstrators. A welcome party was held in the village of Burin, where residents, Palestinian and International activists welcomed the released detainees.

Al-Manatir protest village was established by Palestinian activists, with the support of International activists, in a hilltop located in the northern village of Burin, which has been inaccessible for residents of Burin for the past few years due to the surrounding illegal settlements of: Adei Ad, Bracha, Yitzhar, and MitzpeĀ  which encircle the Palestinian village.

The protest village was simultaneously being dismantled by the Israeli military and border police at the same time it was being established. There was an excessive use of tear gas canisters and stun grenades fired upon the residents and activists, causing many to vacate the area. Illegal Settlers from the nearby Bracha and Yitzhar settlements showed up at the scene and proceeded to steal the metal huts from the protest village and attacked Palestinian houses injuring 17 year old Zackariah Yasir Nijar, on the outskirts of Burin.

Clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military and border police continued until sunset, ending when the Israeli forces retreated from the village.