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Israeli soldiers arrest Bassem Tamimi, coordinator of Nabi Saleh Popular Committee

Bassem Tamimi, coordinator of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, was arrested when dozens of soldiers raided his house at noon today beating his wife and daughter in the process. Only yesterday the military court had ordered the indefinite remand of Naji Tamimi, another member of the Nabi Saleh population committee.

Bassem Tamimi of Nabi Saleh in Bil'in last friday with Abdallah Abu Rahmah. Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Bassem Tamimi of Nabi Saleh in Bil'in last friday with Abdallah Abu Rahmah. Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Minutes after Bassem Tamimi entered his home to prepare for a meeting with foreign diplomats, dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed his house at the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and arrested him. The soldiers tried to prevent Tamimi’s wife, Nariman Tamimi, from filming the arrest, hitting her and trying to grab the camera from her. When she passed the camera to her 10 year-old daughter, the soldiers grabbed it from her using violence and threw it outside in the mud.

Tamimi is one of the prominent figures of the Palestinian popular struggle in the West Bank and considered by many as the engine behind Nabi Saleh’s grassroots mobilization against the occupation and for the protection of the village’s lands from settler take over.Just yesterday, another leading protest organizer from Nabi Saleh, Naji Tamimi, was indicted on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. The court extended his arrest until the end of legal proceedings. Bassem Tamimi is expected to face the same charges.Over the past two months, the army has arrested eighteen of Nabi Saleh’s residents on protests related suspicions. Half of those arrested are minors, the youngest of whom merely eleven.

The majority of recent Nabi Saleh arrested are made based on incriminations extracted from a fourteen year-old boy from the village, recently arrested at gun-point during a military night raid. The boy was then subjected to verbal and emotional pressure during his interrogation, denied his fundamental right to legal consul and interrogated in absence of his parents, albeit obliged by law. The interrogators have also never bothered informing the boy of his right to remain silent.

Ever since the beginning of the village’s struggle against settler takeover of their lands, in December of 2009, the army has conducted 64 arrests related to protest in the village. As the entire village numbers just over 500 residents, the number constitutes a gross 10% of its population. Tamimi’s arrest today corresponds to the systematic arrest of protest leaders all around the West Bank, as in the case of the villages of Bil’in and Ni’ilin.

Only recently the Military Court of Appeals has aggravated the sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahmah from the village of Bilin, sending him to 16 months imprisonment on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. Abu Rahmah was released last week. The arrest and trial of Abu Rahmah has been widely condemned by the international community, most notably by Britain and EU foreign minister, Catherin Ashton. Harsh criticism of the arrest has also been offered by leading human rights organizations in Israel and around the world, among them B’tselem, ACRI, as well as Human Rights Watch, which declared Abu Rahmah’s trial unfair, and Amnesty International, which declared Abu Rahmah a prisoner of conscience.

From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

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    1. Frank

      As terrible as this arrest is, they’re is no drain for you to over sensationalize it. Grabbing a camera from someone,, even violently does not = beating

      Reply to Comment
    2. […] פורסם במגזין המקוון 972+ 0 תגובות למאמר // תגיות: באסם תמימי, הגדה המערבית, הפגנות, כיבוש, מאבק עממי, מתנחלים, נבי סלאח, צה"ל […]

      Reply to Comment
    3. Nancy

      Another day in the neighborhood. Sadly.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Lulu

      This comment was edited: a personal insult was deleted.

      No, Frank, but hitting someone before grabbing the camera from them qualifies.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Leonid Levin

      I believe that it is through the nonviolent efforts of these Palestinian villagers and people like them that Palestine will get its freedom and independence. Just like Gandhi, despite arrests and harrassment, managed to organaze Indian masses and get independence from Britain, they will be victorious in the end.

      In the mean time, can we do something for them, even a small thing like sending a postcard to them in prison or to their family?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Piotr Berman

      I think Leonid has excellent point. The whole point is to make it a struggle of symbols and ideas rather than bullets and stones. Tanks win against bullets and stones, think tanks against ideas — not so much.

      How to get the addresses to send postcards to prisoners and the families?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Rich Katz

      I am outraged at the arrest of Bassem Tamimi and the treatment of his family by the IDF. A postcard to him and/or his family is good, but I doubt the prison will allow the postcards to reach him.

      Today, I retrieved my Israel bonds from the safe-deposit box at my bank, and I’m going to send them for redemption on Monday. I DO NOT want the Israeli government to use my money to continue their occupation of Palestine. I DO NOT want to subsidize the IDF as they pursue their relentless and brutish arrests of non-violent activists like Bassem Tamimi, whom I had the privilege to meet in December while visiting Palestine. What will I do with the money? Send it to his defense fund, of course!

      Reply to Comment