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Israeli army represses dissent with 3am child arrests (Part 1)

“They come for our woman and our children,” Bassem Tamimi, the leader of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh recently told me, “they [the Israeli army] know that woman are half our population and half our strength and so they target them along with the children.” Tamimi, a gentle man with a warm smile spoke to me about the repression of his village as we sat in his home overlooking the settlement of Halamish. “They know where to apply pressure on our resistance. It has become really difficult since the last wave of arrests.”

Israel is devoting maximum effort to the repression of Nabi Saleh’s determination to demonstrate against the Occupation. The specific method of repression has been in development for the past eight years and is not only designed to break the demonstrations but to leave permanent psychological scars on the next generation of Nabi Saleh villagers. In short, children are used to implicate the leaders of the Popular Committee for incitement in demonstrations, providing evidence for their long term incarceration. In the last month, six children have been arrested or detained in Nabi Saleh by the army.

[vimeo width=”500″ height=”400″]http://vimeo.com/19749432[/vimeo]

The videos embedded in this post were taken in a night raid three weeks ago. The army invaded the village at 03h00, woke everyone up and went from house to house photographing children and recording their ID information. The photographs are complied and used by soldiers in demonstrations to systematically target and arrest the children. Once arrested, children are given a brief interrogation at an undisclosed military base and then returned to the village.

Based on the initial investigation, the General Security Service (Shabak in Hebrew) determines which child is the most susceptible to psychological torture and will most likely implicate the leadership of the popular committee This unlucky boy is then rearrested, charged with stone throwing (evidence other than confession is usually not provided to back up this charge) and subjected to a much longer interrogation without lawyer or parents present. After two or three children go through this punishment, the army raids the home of the popular committee leaders and they are then imprisoned for between one and three years on charges of incitement. This is what happened to Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmha, whom the European Union has labeled a human rights defender. He was given a sentence of 16 months for charges of incitement based on the coerced testimony of four children from Bil’in.

[vimeo width=”500″ height=”400″]http://www.vimeo.com/19747148[/vimeo]

14 year old Islam Tamimi, one of the children seen being photographed in a night raid, has been in jail for the past three weeks. Days after the video was shot he was arrested and detained for a number of hours at the Halamish military base. Two days after he was detained, the army raided his home at 02h00 and arrested him. He was left in the cold, blindfolded and bound for the rest of the night and then taken imminently to interrogation without lawyer or parents present. The interrogation lasted eight hours. Incidentally, the day that Tamimi was arrested the IDF Spokespersons office tweeted that ‘a wanted suspect was arrested overnight and taken for security questioning.’ Tamimi is awaiting a trial set to begin on the 14th of February. Israel deiced that he was too dangerous to be released on bail and remains in jail until the hearing.

The language in these videos is short and simple. The scene is eerie in its simplicity. Soldiers enter in the middle of the night, wake everyone up and coldly go about their business. Names are written down along with the ID information. The children are asked to stand for a photograph and the soldiers leave. What you are watching in these videos is a small but crucial component of , in the words of Jonathan Cook, Israel’s ongoing project of human despair.

Over the next two days I will release more videos from the repression of Nabi Saleh. These videos provide a real time window into how the unarmed movements of resistance to Israeli Occupation are treated by Israel.

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    1. Bmfc

      F the IOF

      Reply to Comment
    2. Norris Nordin

      I cannot think of a word sufficiently disparaging, vulgar, degrading to describe the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jason B

      Thank you so much for making this information and these videos available. It’s incredible that you have them – were they leaked to you? I can’t imagine that the IDF soldiers would allow someone other than one of their own to shoot during such an operation.

      Again, thanks


      Reply to Comment
    4. MikeinBrentwood

      So they come in at night, get details of the kids, arrest them later at demos, have them sign false confessions or whatever you want to call them and then use the confessions to convict the leaders of the nonviolent resistance movements. Lesson: nonviolent resistance doesn’t work in the wild West Bank.

      Reply to Comment

      Any suggestions about how the IDF should go about its business?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Arex

      Taking pictures of young boys. What more can you say?

      Reply to Comment
    7. WTF

      This really reminds me of a Nazi raid on a Jewish home. chilling.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Kesef

      One would think that some of the senior commanders and politicians in charge of the IDF would have some memory of what a police-state looks like.

      @APARATCHIK: when dealing with children, how about during normal waking hours, for starters.

      Reply to Comment
    9. […] הוא איחוד בין שני טקסטים שפורסמו באנגלית במגזין המקוון 972+ 0 […]

      Reply to Comment
    10. jerry

      This really reminds me of a Nazi raid on a Jewish home. chilling

      so…where are the corpses of the “victims” ?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Helene

      On tonight’s news (channel 2) I saw Palestinian children working, living, eating, sleeping in garbage………….What is happening here, my God !! I am an holocaust survivor………… what are we doing, what are we doing !!??!! What have we become !! I am so ashamed and so so sad

      Reply to Comment
    12. Stig-Lennart Johansson

      This practice of listing potential opponents began already during the British mandate period
      (i.e. in the 1930s according to Morris and Pappé)
      and hence is not an answer to the nazi atrocities during WW II.

      But it seems all opressors are good at learning from each other …

      Reply to Comment
    13. Marva

      Two or three cameras are just floating around there. I’m not buying this for a second.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ilana Sebba


      I have repeatedly asked if regarding this treatment of children, is there any activism, any way that people can protest against this and have not received any responses from you – is there nothing that can be done?

      Reply to Comment