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Israel arrests Nabi Saleh local leaders and children

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Image courtesy of Alison Ramer

Including summary from blog of Alison Ramer, 26.1.11

One of Nabi Saleh’s leaders, Bassam Tamimi, pictured here, was arrested by the Israeli army today at 12pm local time, along with two 15 year old boys.

Bassam was released shortly after, but the whereabouts of the two boys remain unknown.

Nabi Saleh is a small village in the West Bank engaged in the Popular Struggle, a non-violent resistance movement working to end the violent and aggressive occupation of the Israeli Army.

Alison Ramer, a Jewish American Israeli journalist who works closely with the village reported that Bassam Tamimi was “beaten cruelly’ before being taken by the Army.

Villagers report that the Army were actually looking for another man, a videographer documenting the village’s resistance for human rights organisation B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Bassam’s arrest follows similar targeting of the villagers since their involvement in resisting the occupation, including the arrests of children and young people reported on WVoN last week.

Yesterday, a 10 year old boy from the village was arrested and detained for 7 hours by the Army and was only released after intervention from an Israeli law firm.

On 23 January, at 2am the Israeli Border Police illegally abducted a 14 year old boy, Islam Saleh, from his bed, in his house in Nabi Saleh.

They did not provide a warrant for his arrest and did not tell his family where they were taking him. His whereabouts were not known for 48 hours. The Border Police interrogated him without a lawyer or a parent present – which is illegal under international law.

Islam Saleh is now in Ofer Military Prison awaiting trial for stone-throwing. He is alleged to have confessed, following interrogation.

The fact that he was arrested illegally, says Alison Ramer, makes his arrest “more of an abduction or kidnapping. Most likely, his confession is in Hebrew [rather than his own language, Arabic].”

The arrest of Bassam Tamimi, of the two 15 year old boys, and of Islam Saleh, Alison says, “falls in line with [the Military’s] policy of arresting peaceful Palestinian activists like Abdallah Abu Rahmah, who was sentenced to 12 months in prison for organizing demonstrations against the wall in Bil’in.”

“Amnesty International and the EU have publicly criticized the Israeli military court for their decision, yet Israel extended his time in prison by three months.”

WVoN is working closely with Nabi Saleh villager and leader of the village’s Women’s Project, Manal Tamimi and Alison Ramer, in support of the village’s Women’s Project, which is aiming to build a sewing factory in the village that will provide vital jobs for the village women.

Yet progressing the village’s economic development and autonomy is repeatedly hampered by the violent attacks on the village launched by the Israeli Army.

Since the New Year, this violence has spiralled, along with the increasing targeting of young people and children by the army in attempts to encourage them to become collaborators against their own neighbours, family and friends.

Collaboration is a crime in Palestine.

WVoN is set to partner in an official campaign to raise money for the Nabi Saleh’s Women’s Project. Watch this space over coming weeks for more information.

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