Monthly Archives: May 2011

Nabi Saleh: Meeting senseless aggression face-to-face

By GERSHON BASKIN  : Jerusalem Post
05/23/2011

A recent trip to the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh shed a new light on the IDF and its operations.

For months I have been hearing about disproportionate use of force by the army against weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh – a small pastoral Palestinian village northwest of Ramallah. Last week, I watched several YouTube videos filmed by activists in the village, providing vivid visual images of the forceful arrests of protesters by the army. I was disturbed because all of the clips showed how the demonstrations ended; none showed how they began. I was convinced that there must have been stone-throwing by the shabab in the village which provoked the violent army responses. So I decided I had to see for myself.

When I contacted the Israeli activists who regularly participate in the Nabi Saleh demonstrations, I was warned that it was dangerous and that there was no way to know in advance when we would get home. They also warned that there was a high possibility we would be arrested. I am 55 years old, and have been demonstrating since the age of 12. I have been in dangerous situations before, and was prepared for another one.
ON FRIDAY morning I was picked up from French Hill at 10:30. We drove on 443 until the Shilat junction, and turned toward the West Bank. We drove off the beaten settlers’ track through the Palestinian villages in the area. We then turned off the road and parked in an olive grove. From there, we began a trek of about an hour through the hills, finally arriving, after a steep climb, at the edge of the village. Every Friday morning the army seals off the area and prevents entry and exit for all.

The 500 residents of Nabi Saleh, all from the Tamimi family, are demonstrating against the continuous encroachment of the Helamish settlement on their land. Since 2009, Nabi Saleh has been demonstrating every Friday.

In that time, some 200 villagers have been injured, more than 40 percent of them children.

More than 15% of the villagers have been jailed, and about 10 homes face demolition orders by the IDF; the village is located in Area “C,” which, according to Oslo, is under full Israeli control (62% of the West Bank is in Area C). Nabi Saleh has not received the same fame as Bil’in, whose six-year weekly struggle continues with a great deal of international attention.

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Nabi Saleh is the embodiment of the Palestinian Arab Spring

Saturday, May 21 2011|Joseph Dana

Why is it that Palestinians are the only people in the Middle East seemingly not allowed to throw stones at a military regime which oppresses and controls them? Why are Palestinians branded as violent when they use the same tactics which the Egyptian and Tunisian protesters used during their historic revolutions? This question has been stuck in my mind since Obama’s recent speech on the Middle East.

On Friday, the Palestinian ‘Arab Spring’ was on display in Nabi Saleh. Watch the video. What do we see here? You will notice that the demonstration in Nabi Saleh, a small village west of Ramallah, began with no stones and only chants. The army quickly attacked the demonstrators with tear gas and sound bombs resulting in the outbreak of clashes between stone throwing youth from the village and soldiers. Do these youth have a right to throw stones at an invading army?

As the demonstration wore on, the army became more aggressive. At one point, soldiers decided to arrest over 10 Israelis in the village supporting Palestinian. For what reason were these Israelis arrested? For the same reason that at minute 2:55, you see a solider throw a sound grenade at the filmmaker responsible for the clip. The army does not want outsiders to understand what is happening to the Palestinian Arab spring in the West Bank. Who would have thought that the Arab Spring in Palestine would feature Israeli supporters resisting alongside Palestinians?

The shocking part of the clip comes at the end when the army brought in the ‘Skunk truck,’ filled with a corrosive petrochemical, and sprayed the village’s central square. Quietly, it covered buildings with chemical rendering them useless for weeks. This video reflects the realization of the Egyptian revolutionary model in the West Bank. This is what unarmed resistance and joint struggle to Israeli occupation looks like. This is the Arab Spring in Palestine.

Video by Israel Puterman

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Israeli military fire teargas, rubber bullets; spray “Skunk” and arrest at least 11 non-violent protestors.

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) once again invaded and attacked the weekly non-violent demonstration in An Nabi Saleh.  The IOF fired teargas, rubber bullets and sound grenades, declaring the village a closed military zone.   At 11 Israeli activists standing in solidarity with the residents of An Nabi Saleh were arrested.   Before leaving the village at dusk, the IOF spray putrid water from the “Skunk Truck” into the homes of residents and at demonstrators.

video by Tamimi Press

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Free Bassem and Naji Tamimi

May 18, 2011: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Recent events have once more proven the potency of civil resistance, and its ability to bring about change and end injustice. From the Arab Spring to the recent demonstrations commemorating the Nakba, ordinary people are affecting change. While Abdallah Abu Rahmah is finally out of Israeli prisons, a new wave of repression is underway in the West Bank, and more protest leaders have been rounded up as Israel once more is set to suppress civil resistance to the Occupation. we need your help to stand by them.

[7]  [8]Recently, two leading protest organizers behind bars. Naji and Bassem Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh were jailed on equally dubious grounds to Abdallah Abu Rahmah. They were arrested based on confessions from teenagers who were themselves seized in midnight raids, denied legal counsel, and beaten. This is not justice.  We must raise our voices again to secure their quick release.

The case against both Naji and Bassem is based on coerced confessions of teenagers taken at gunpoint from their beds in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers. The main “evidence” against them is the testimony of a 14 year-old who was beaten up on his arrest, denied legal counsel, denied his right to have his parents present during his questioning and instead of being told by his interrogators of his right to remain silent, he was told that “it is better you tell the truth”.

Please consider making a donation [9] towards Bassem and Naji Tamimi’s legal defense and/or use the templates in the following links to send an email to your Minister of Foreign Affairs and ask that your government acts for their release.

Click to go to the template for your countryUSA [10]  |  UK [11]  |  Canada [12]  |  Australia [13]  |  Germany [14]  |  France [15]  |  Spain [16]  |  Poland [17]  |  Italy [18]  |  Portugal [19]  |

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Israeli Border Police rampage through Nabi Saleh, severely beating and injuring more than 25 unarmed demonstrators

Video: Tamimi Press

Video by Israel Puterman

Nabi Saleh is a regular target for Israeli military aggression.   This week, the Israeli military exceeded even their normal excessive violence violently beating and attacking unarmed demonstrators at the weekly non-violent demonstration.  At least 25 unarmed non-violent protestors were injured. One Palestinian women in her 50s who was beaten up so badly, she was evacuated from the Salfeet Hospital to the bigger and more advanced Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. A 25 year-old American demonstrator suffered a serious head injury and an Israeli activist was diagnosed with two open fractures in his hand. Both were injured by tear-gas projectiles shot directly at them from short range, in violation of the Israeli Army’s open fire regulations. Four protesters were arrested in Nabi Saleh, including two Palestinian women.

The Violence in Nabi Saleh started today after Israeli Border Police invade the village, taking over the village’s main junction and tried to disperse the non-violent demonstration while it was still well inside the village, The officers began charging the peaceful protesters with batons, shooting large amounts of tear-gas – partly shot directly at the demonstrators – and carrying out arrests.

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Teen critically injured as Israel cracks down on Nakba demos in Silwan, Ma’asara and Nabi Saleh

13 May, 2011: POPULAR STRUGGLE COORDINATION COMMITTEE

17 year-old was critically injured from live fire in East Jerusalem. An American protester suffered serious head injury after being hit by a tear-gas projectile shot directly at him from close range.

Israeli military and police forces responded heavy handedly to demonstrations commemorating 63 years to the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 today all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Morad Ayyash, a 17 year old from the Ras el-Amud neighborhood was shot in the stomach with live ammunition. He has reached the Muqassed hospital with no pulse and the doctors are now fighting for his life.

Tension also rose in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, where 19 protesters have been injured and 11 were arrested. During the evening hours, large police forces raided houses in Silwan and carried out additional arrests.

In the village of Ma’asara, south of Bethlehem, two protesters were arrested during a peaceful demonstration that was attacked with tear-gas for no apparent reason. One of those arrested is a member of the village’s popular committee. In Nabi Saleh – a regular target for military aggression recently – soldiers and Border Police officers injured no less than 25 protesters, including a Palestinian women in her 50s who was beaten up so badly that her wounds required her removal from the Salfeet Hospital to the bigger and more advanced Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. A 25 year-old American demonstrator suffered a serious head injury and an Israeli activist was diagnosed with two open fractures in his hand. Both were injured by tear-gas projectiles shot directly at them from short range, in violation of the Israeli Army’s open fire regulations. Four protesters were arrested in Nabi Saleh, including two Palestinian women.

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The weight of nationalism in Nabi Saleh

Saturday, May 7 2011|Joseph Dana

Palestinians suffer from Tear Gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph DanaPalestinians suffer from tear gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph Dana

Getting to Nabi Saleh is not easy. The army closes all entrances very early on a Friday, the day which has seen demonstrations taking place for the past two years. This forces Israeli and international activists that wish to join the unarmed and largely nonviolent demonstrations to park kilometres away and hike through valleys and up small hills to reach the village.

Israelis soldiers were inside the village long before the demonstration began on Friday, creating an uncomfortable air of uncertainly amongst villagers. Adding to the uncertainty were the aggressive comments of one particular group of soldiers who had taken over a rooftop in the middle of the village.

“Soon,” one of the arrogant soldiers barked at an elderly villager in horribly accented English, “I will make your house go boom.” It was not clear if the solider meant that he would blow his house up or attack it with tear gas and stun grenades. Regardless, the elderly man was clearly shaken by the soldier’s violent comment.

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The arrest of Fadel Tamimi: Did case of mistaken identity put Palestinian man behind bars?

A 52-year-old Palestinian taxi driver has been held in Israeli detention for the past two weeks on allegations by a soldier that the driver had thrown stones at him.

By Amira Hass: Haaaretz, 6 May 2011

A 52-year-old Palestinian taxi driver and father of nine has been held in Israeli detention for the past two weeks on allegations by a soldier that the driver had thrown stones at him a week earlier, and that one of the stones had hit the soldier in the leg. Fadel Tamimi claimed he was arrested in a case of mistaken identity and had not thrown stones at the soldier.

The military judge in Tamimi’s case, Maj. Avraham Einhorn, ordered Tamimi held in custody until the end of proceedings against him. Tamimi’s lawyer appealed the detention order, and the appeal was initially to have been heard on Wednesday of this week, but has been postponed until next Sunday.

Tamimi was detained on April 22 at a temporary checkpoint at the entrance to the village of Nebi Salah near Ramallah in the West Bank. The soldier, Yitzhak Dahan of the Givati Brigade, stopped Tamimi’s taxi, saying that he identified Tamimi as one of a number of people who had been throwing stones at him and other soldiers a week before inside the village.

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Bassem Tamimi: “Our destiny is to resist”

Max Blumenthal    The Electronic Intifada   2 May 2011

Bassem Tamimi at his court hearing in Ofer prison, 12 April 2011. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

When I met Bassem Tamimi at his home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh this January, his eyes were bloodshot and sunken, signs of the innumerable sleepless nights he had spent waiting for Israeli soldiers to take him to prison. As soon as two children were seized from the village in the middle of the night and subjected to harsh interrogations that yielded an unbelievable array of “confessions,” the 44-year-old Tamimi’s arrest became inevitable. On 25 March, the army finally came, dragging him away to Ofer military prison, a Guantanamo-like West Bank facility where he had previously been held for a 12-month term for the vaguely defined crime of “incitement.” His trial before a military court that convicts more than 99 percent of Palestinians brought before it is scheduled to begin on 8 May.

Like nearly all of his neighbors, Tamimi has spent extended time in Israeli detention facilities and endured brutal treatment there. In 1993, he was arrested on suspicion of having murdered an Israeli settler in Beit El. Tamimi was severely tortured for weeks by the Israeli Shin Bet in order to extract a confession from him. Tamimi said that during the torture he was dropped from a high ceiling onto a concrete floor and woke up a week later in an Israeli hospital. In the end, he was cleared of all charges.

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Soldiers Attack Nabi Saleh Procession Celebrating Unity

Thursday May 05, 2011 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers attacked on Wednesday a nonviolent procession in Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Nablus, as dozens of residents marched in the streets celebrating the signing of the Palestinian unity agreement.

Nabi Saleh Village - Tamimi Press Agency
Nabi Saleh Village – Tamimi Press Agency

Soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber coated bullets at the protesters leading several residents to suffocate after inhaling gas.

After sunset, the army fired flares while several army vehicles that gathered at the entrance of the village.

During the procession, the residents chanted for national unity, and expressed their joy for Palestinian reconciliation while thanking Egypt for its important role in achieving this unity agreement.

They also chanted against the Israeli occupation and settlements, and demanding the removal of all Israeli settlements illegally built in the occupied territories.

On Tuesday evening, the army closed the iron gate that leads to the walled village, and deployed its troops in the area.

The National Resistance Movement in Nabi Saleh, welcomed the unity agreement between the Fateh and Hamas movements, and dubbed it as a “historic event”, and a “victory for the Palestinian people”.

It demanded the Palestinian people and their factions to ensure the success of the deal as it protects the national interests of the Palestinian people.

The movement also welcomed the statements of president Mahmoud Abbas who said that the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian factions support the national popular resistance.

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