Prisoners in Israel

August 31, 2010

Peace and Freedom for Ni’lin Popular Committe Leaders

by Sandra Twang (videos)
PLEASE DONATE AND HELP THESE FAMILIES
For me most of the time I feel so insignificant when it comes to being able to help those who live so far away and live under such horrible occupation…This is a way I can help and I hope that others understand what a powerful way that you change another persons life…Thank u Saeed for sharing your story and to everyone in your village for fighting for justice for us all, because in reality it is for all of us….

http://supportibrahim.com/our-story/

Our Story
On 12 January 2010 my father Ibrahim was arrested by the Israeli army and sentenced to two years in prison for organizing and participating in nonviolent protests against the Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank. The wall cuts us off from our land and our olive groves, robbing our family of its livelihood.

To date there have already been 15 court hearings. We feel the Israeli occupation bureaucracy is deliberately delaying court proceedings. This creates an additional layer of punishment for my father and for our family. At each hearing, he must wait from 6am to 2pm in a hot room without food or water. Once each hearing begins he is tired, hungry and thirsty.

My father has been charged with the following offenses:

Being present in a declared military zone. The “military zone” is actually our olive groves, which Israel declared a military zone, once they started building the wall. The continued construction of the wall is a clear violation of the July 2004 International Court of Justice ruling declaring it illegal under international law.

Organizing illegal and violent demonstrations. My father is a strong opponent to violence and in fact has discouraged others from reacting violently whenever we have been attacked by the Israeli military.

Incitement to throw stones and use other means of violence. The Israeli authorities claim that my father paid money to demonstrators to throw stones at soldiers, their jeeps and the wall. This charge is completely absurd. After my father first got involved with the nonviolent protests in 2008, the Israeli authorities revoked his work permit. Since then he has been unemployed and struggles to put enough food on the table for my six siblings, our mother and myself. To claim that he was paying others to throw stones or cause damage to the wall mocks the terrible daily reality of our life and the lives of other Palestinians living under occupation.

All of these charges are based on the forced confessions of two young men from Ni’lin, one of them mentally ill.

Mostly, my father is worried about us, his family. Not only because it is even harder now, without him, to cover our bare necessities, but also because our family is being intimidated regularly by the Israeli military. They have raided our house already 25 times in the middle of the night, eight times after my father was arrested. Sometimes they just come to harass, mock and threaten us. Other times they come with dogs, unleash them inside the house, rummage through the house and cause a great deal of damage. Due to the repeated abuse we have endured, both of my five-year-old twin brothers are terrified and suffer from nightmares.

My father wishes for nothing but peace and freedom and he believes that a lasting peace can only be reached with peaceful methods. In his opinion, violence will only add to the hatred and confusion and further worsen the situation of Palestinians living under occupation. This is why he taught us not to consider violence a solution in our struggle to restore our rights.

However, he does believe that it is our duty to protest a terrible wrong that destroys the very existence of the inhabitants of Ni’lin village. Hence, when Israel started marking the course of the wall that led straight through our olive groves in May 2008 stealing a third of the village’s land, the inhabitants came together and formed the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against The Wall. The Popular Committee nonviolently resists the construction of the wall.

The Popular Committee chose my father to be part of the leadership as well as its official representative, because they want the world to see the truth about us: we are peaceful people who reject violence and we do not intend to harm anybody. We believe in freedom, peace and justice for every human being on earth and we dream to spread it from Ni’

lin throughout the entire world.

We started with our protests on 27 May 2008, walking toward the bulldozers that were uprooting our olive trees. We walked with our hands raised, so that the Israeli soldiers could see that we were unarmed. Initially, our protests were successful and we managed to delay the construction. Soon Israeli forces started to shoot sound bombs, tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and even live ammunition to disperse our peaceful demonstrations.

Since the protests started, five persons have been killed by Israeli soldiers, including a 10-year-old child, Ahmed Moussa, and more than 500 individuals have been detained. We have endured curfews, destruction of our property, snipers shooting demonstrators in their legs from the roofs of houses in Ni’lin. All of these acts of repression are intended to to discourage villagers from participating in the nonviolent protests. My 12-year-old sister Sammer has been shot in her hand with live ammunition simply for participating in the protests. My 10-year-old sister Rajaa was hit in her leg by a sound bomb when she tried to prevent snipers from climbing on our rooftop to shoot at other villagers.

Ni’lin, our village, our home, is being turned into an open-air prison. The current entrance to the village will be closed, and will be replaced by a tunnel that will be built under Route 446 — a road which only Jewish settlers are allowed to use. The tunnel will not only divide Ni’lin into two parts. It will also give the Israeli military the power to decide when and if they will open or close the gate, and therefore cut us all off from the outside world.

On Monday 12 July, my father appeared in court again. The Ofer Military Court sentenced my father to 11 months and 15 days in prison and a fine of 9,000 shekels ($2,330) with a prohibition from joining future protests. To avoid staying in prison my father pleaded guilty, otherwise he would stay in jail longer and the authorities would continue to postpone the hearing. We have been given two months to pay the 9000 shekels, but have no means to pay this amount. If we do not pay the fine then my father’s sentence will increase to 20 months and 15 days.

Together with my father, two more members of the Popular Committee, Hassan Mousa and Zaydoon Srour, each received the same sentence as my father. Their families are undergoing the same ordeal that we are.

We always try to be strong in the face of the oppressor. However, when they read the sentences, my mother started crying. We had to watch as my father, Hassan and Zaydoon and left the court room in shackles. When my father was asked if he wanted to say something, he stated that this ruling is against humanity and that we all suffer from the occupation and can’t do anything about it.

We are all very upset and worried about my father. He is sick and he doesn’t even get the medication he needs while in jail. We are also very sad, because only my mother can visit him in jail, and only after he had been in prison for four months. Still, my father maintains that nonviolent protests are the only solution. Please show your support for Ibrahim Amireh and your objection to his illegal imprisonment; for more information join the Facebook group “Support My Father: Peace & Freedom Activist Ibrahim Amireh.”http://supportibrahim.com/our-story/

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7 Responses to “Prisoners in Israel”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    End indefinite detention and unfair trials
    Close Guantanamo Now!
    http://www.causes.com/causes/129?m=276fc669&recruiter_id=142545464

  2. kruitvat Says:

    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/causes/129/

    Close Guantanamo Now!!

    Welcome to the cause! We’re excited to have you, and hope you’ll get involved and spread awareness by inviting your friends to join.

    For more info, join Amnesty International’s Counter Terror With Justice Campaign: http://www.facebook.com/withjustice

  3. kruitvat Says:

    Video ‘Peace And Freedom For Ni’lin Popular Committee Leaders’
    Filmed and Produced By: Hamoudh Amerah
    Funding And Cooperation With: Nileen Sons Organization

  4. kruitvat Says:

    A video of my father Ibrahim and Hassan and Zaydoon about our resistance
    Saeed Amireh | August 31, 2010

    http://wp.me/pZKMd-2D

    In 2009 the villagers of Ni’lin were suffering so hard and payed an unbearbly high price for the non-violent protests against the wall. Not only were they beaten, arrested and shot at, but also all inhabitants lost their work permits and were unable to feed their families.

    To help all those who were suffering from the wall and opressed and who didn’t have a voice, my father established a non-profit organization, called “Ni’lin’s Sons”, to support the people to stand steadfast against the wall and don’t fear the Israeli opression.

    They also funded a Media Center where all the injustice and wrong-doing and violence against us is being documented as part of our resistance. Both are connected to the Popular Struggle Against The Apartheid Wall. Everyone can contribute what they filmed or photographed during our resistance.

    My uncle Hamoudh Saeed Amireh has filmed, produced and edited a video that shows our father Ibrahim and the two other leaders of the Popular Committee and lets my mother and my grandparents about our suffering.

    Please watch the video and share it. Thank you!

    ——

    About Saeed Amireh

    My name is Saeed Ibrahim Amireh, I am 18 years old and I have been born and raised in Ni’lin, in the Westbank. During the summertime, I love to sleep on the rooftop of our house. When I see the beautiful stars, I dream to travel to far away places and meet people from all over the world. I can see the Mediterranean Sea from our roof. Often, I imagine what it is like to be at the beach and see the sun go down. I have never been to the sea because Israel does not allow us to go there. One week before the final exams in 12th grade, Israeli soldiers raided our house in the middle of the night, locked the whole family but me in a room, beat me, destroyed my room and arrested me. I was in jail for 4 months. They kept me in a small cell in complete darkness, with mice and cockroaches everywhere. They beat, threatened, and interrogated me constantly. To this date I know nothing about why they even arrested me, other than to punish my father for his non-violent activity in the “Popoular Committee Against The Wall”. I’ve always dreamt to study and become a communication engineer. But since my father is in jail, me and my older brother have to work and take care of our mother and our small siblings. I miss my father so much, I would give anything for him to be free. But I am not even allowed to go and visit him in jail. Only my mother is allowed; she could go visit him for the first time after he was imprisoned for 4 months. Like all the villagers of Ni’lin, I wish I could taste the flavour of freedom just once.

    http://supportibrahim.com/2010/08/31/video-of-my-father-ibrahim/

  5. kruitvat Says:

    Free Our Children Protest at Ofer Military Prison
    Palestine Monitor – September 12, 2009

    Last Monday, residents of Bil’in, a centre of non-violent resistance in the West Bank, gathered outside Ofer Military Prison to protest the detention of villagers for participating in peaceful protests
    For almost five years, the residents of Bil’in have been organizing weekly non-violent protests against the wall Israel is building which cuts them off from 60% of their land.
    In these creative and peaceful demonstrations, villagers and international supporters walk together to the wall, where they are routinely met with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition from the Israeli army.
    The Israeli government has been taking steps to crush the growing Palestinian nonviolent movement. Nineteen peaceful protesters have been killed in demonstrations against the wall.
    In the last three months, the Israeli army has arrested 29 residents of Bil’in for participating in demonstrations, 12 of whom are children. The arrests are made during night raids, in which hundreds of Israeli soldiers enter the village, wearing combat paint and masks.
    Last Monday, villagers and supporters of Bil’in gathered outside Ofer military prison to show solidarity and to demonstrate that they will not be discouraged from non-violent resistance.
    http://alethonewsa.wordpress.com/2009/09/13/free-our-children-protest-at-ofer-military-prison/
    (The Israeli government is supported by the governments of the rich western countries)


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