11 February 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Madama, Occupied Palestine.
Thanks to your help Mamun Nasser has been released from Israeli imprisonment. Mamun had spent nearly two months in jails after he was violently attacked whilst working his land in Madama. The land he was working on is privately owned Palestinian land, which, unfortunately for Mamun, is next to the most violent settlement in the West Bank, Yizhar.
Mamun was last seen before his arrest by his mother. “I am really worried about Mamun. He was in really bad shape, covered in blood, his face was swollen and he was frothing from the mouth. I hope they give him the medical attention he needs”, she said.
Prior to the recent attack, the Nasser family were able to tend their sheep on the land near the Yizhar settlement. Around the beginning of December, settlers went before an Israeli judge claiming Mamun Nasser was grazing his sheep inside the settlement. Considering the high fence and military infrastructure surrounding the settlement, the judge deemed that to be impossible. Yizhar settlers have since then enacted a ‘price tag’ on the Nasser family, involving the destruction of a well and a wheat field. The Eid festival last year saw 20 of their olive trees cut down, to be discovered with the written message “Have a Happy Eid”.
This climaxed in the middle of December when Mamun was beaten and arrested on the charge of assaulting settlers. Once in custody he was tied and beaten with a truncheon by three Israeli soldiers. Members of his family suspect that the reason for detaining Mamun for so long was to hide the brutality of the assault, where he sustained blunt trauma injuries to his head, torso as well as having two teeth broken and losing another two of them. Two months later he is still unable to eat solid food.
In custody he was interrogated and provided only with paracetamol for his injuries. He went on a three day hunger strike in order to be taken to a hospital, which eventually succeeded.
Mamun’s brother Hamid provided two video statements from witnesses at the Huwwara military checkpoint on January 18, but as usual he was ignored. Another brother, Amir, made a formal complaint about the assault to Israeli authorities and was subsequently arrested while grazing his sheep on January 20. He is still in Israeli custody. Since his arrest he has been subject to interrogations, causing him to lose weight. At the time of his arrest he was not charged with any crime. On January 24, the Nasser family home was raided and searched by the Israeli military, without a search warrant. During the raid soldiers viciously verbally insulted the family.
Initially Mamun was released to house arrest, barring him from entering the village and forcing him to sell his goats. On appeal, his lawyer was able to reduce this to prohibiting Mamun from going near Yizhar and Israeli military personnel. However, this is difficult as Israeli military vehicles routinely pass in front of the Nasser family home on patrols.
As a result of the attack, Mamun now suffers from chronic pain on the left side of his face and his right hand as well as headaches and problems sleeping. He is currently under medical supervision for a blood clot in his brain and has lost of sensation in his right hand. The arrests of the two brothers has cost the Nasser family 6000NIS in various associated fees, but thanks to your help we managed to raise 4000NIS for their release.
The Nasser family have lost exactly what the Israeli authorities wanted them to lose: access to their land near the settlement. Mamun was defiant but subdued, he said “For me to stay at home and not be allowed to graze my sheep, is not a solution”.
Mamun will return to court to hear an appeal against him on March 4. Amir Nasser will have his next be in court date on February 26.