Tag Archives: arrests

Small-Town Palestinians Are Fighting the Israeli Occupation With Their Cameras

By Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery June 24, 2014 | Vice News

Rani Burnat spends every Friday afternoon engulfed in tear gas. For the past nine years, his hometown of Bil’in, a small Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, has held weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation, and Burnat photographs the clashes from his battered wheelchair.

Friday protests in the West Bank are hardly unique to Bil’in. The village of Nabi Saleh protests against the seizure of its only water source by an illegal Israeli settlement nearby, while people in Kufr Qaddoum protest Israel’s blockade of its main road to the nearby city of Nablus. Like Bil’in, residents of the villages of Al-Walaja and Ni’lin protest against Israel’s separation wall, which runs through their land.

Media outlets don’t cover these protests, so people like Burnat have stepped in and taken on the role of citizen journalist for their communities. With no formal training, they document the struggles of their fellow villagers, filming and photographing clashes and posting what they record online.

“My hope is that we will become liberated and then we will throw all the cameras away,” Burnat tells VICE News. “But something tells me the occupation won’t end, and I will continue fighting through my camera.”

* * *

Burnat was part of the Palestinian resistance movement long before he started taking photos. On the first day of the second intifada in 2000, he was shot in the neck by an Israeli sniper while protesting the Israeli occupation on the streets of Ramallah.

“They declared me a martyr,” Burnat says. “The Palestinian media reported me as killed because my injuries were so bad that they assumed I would die. The next day, I was still alive and they moved me from the hospital in Ramallah to a hospital in Jordan. I spent six months in the Jordanian hospital, three of them in a coma.”

Burnat photographs a protester in Bil’in. Photo by Sheren Khalel

Burnat is now paralyzed from the chest down. He is confined to a wheelchair, has lost much of his ability to speak, and has normal motor function in only one hand. He wanted to continue participating in the resistance, but he needed to find another way to do it.

When Bil’in began its Friday protests, he found it.

“The army started to confiscate land and properties in Bil’in to begin building the separation wall,” he says. “It was then that I decided to be a photographer.”

His photography helped the village win a rare victory: After six years of demonstrating every Friday, Bil’in succeeded in changing the path of the wall, reclaiming half of the village’s land that had been taken. Protests continue in hopes of reclaiming the rest.

* * *

Burnat says he’s been shot with rubber-coated bullets and tear-gas canisters more than 10 times since he was confined to his wheelchair. Because he has no feeling from the chest down, he must check his body after every protest in case he’s been shot without realizing it.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Palestinian journalists like Burnat are commonly targeted by soldiers, even though they often wear clothing identifying themselves as press.

“There is no question that Palestinian journalists are more at risk of arrest, harassment, or you name it than an international journalist,” said Bill Van Esveld, senior researcher at HRW. “And they are much more likely to be subjected to Israeli military law rather than civil law.”

Bilal Tamimi, a village journalist in Nabi Saleh, has experienced this first hand. Like his fellow journalists around the occupied West Bank, he is not accredited with any media organization, which means no company advocates on his behalf when he is arrested for filming soldiers — which is actually legal under Israeli law — and he and his family are responsible for posting bail and paying any fines or hospital bills that result from his work.

Tamimi says he’s been arrested four times, and has been beaten on several occasions. His family endures Israeli military raids in the middle of the night so often that his teenage children sleep with their shoes on.

“They target me with tear gas canisters and stun grenades, and many times they’ve pushed me and beat me to keep me away,” Tamimi says. “But of course I believe that what I am doing for the village here is very important and that I should stay close to [the soldiers] so I can document everything.”

Al-Qaddoumi covers protests in Kufr Qaddoum. Photo by Sheren Khalel

While Bil’in’s popular resistance got results, Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh has gotten attention. It’s been the focus of a New York Times Magazine story and the documentary Thank God It’s Friday, and it has hosted political figures from around the world.

Many in the town credit its notoriety to Tamimi and the small team of volunteers he has gathered under the umbrella of the Tamimi Press.

“Before in Nabi Saleh, if you googled us you would find just information on the prophet Saleh, because Nabi means prophet in Arabic,” Tamimi tells us. “But now if you google Nabi Saleh you will find millions and millions of films and reports, pictures, articles — everything.”

Tamimi Press regularly posts updates on its website and its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. It also sends updates to local news outlets and human rights organizations.

Tamimi Press is just incredible — they have an entire do-it-yourself news service that they created themselves to get information out,” Van Esveld tells VICE News. “They [village journalists] often have the first information on something that is going on, which is extremely important. They have access to witnesses, they have stories told direct from the ground, information that has not been filtered through spokespeople.”

In 2011, the small village of Kufr Qaddoum, nestled between hills in the north West Bank and surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, was cut off from the city of Nablus — and the jobs it provided to many Kufr Qaddoum residents — when the Israeli army set up a blockade on the road out of the village. Residents protested, but there was almost no media coverage. Kamaal al-Qaddoumi was one of the villagers affected, and he found himself taking on the mantle of unofficial village photographer.

Just a typical Friday for Burnat. Photo by Sheren Khalel

“I started the same year the protests here started,” he says. “I noticed there was no media, nobody cared about what was happening in Kufr Qaddoum. So I started to take pictures and put them on the Internet to let people see.”

Like Burnat and Tamimi, Quddoumi believes his role is to show the world what’s happening in his small area of the occupied West Bank. But the men are more than just documentarians. For starters, footage village journalists shoot is frequently used in court to get Palestinian protestors released from detention after being wrongfully arrested. In addition, the presence of their cameras during clashes can often protect their fellow villagers from increased army backlash.

That’s one reason why the Israeli human rights group B’tselem launched its Camera Project to provide free cameras and advice to budding citizen journalists in the Occupied Territories. Tamimi, who was one of the project’s first recipients, says the presence of cameras in Nabi Saleh makes soldiers think twice about how much force they use.

“If they know that there will not be a punishment or that no one will know about what they are doing because there are no cameras, they will be very tough with the people, and they would be much worse at demonstrations — and all the time really,” Tamimi says.

While the Coalition for the Protection of Journalists tells VICE News that they consider Burnat, Tamimi, Qaddoumi and others like them journalists, all three seem torn between the identities of journalist and protestor. Tamimi proudly wears a high-visibility vest which, rather than having the word Press emblazoned on it, states: We will refuse to stay silent.

“Everybody has their own role in the resistance,” Quddoumi says. “Some people throw stones, some people take video, some people take pictures, some people help with medical things. What they do is for Palestine. Me taking pictures is like the same as another throwing stones.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, Other villages, Photographs

Israeli Occupation Forces invade Nabi Saleh; damage houses & arrest 2 residents (24 April 2014)

Video by Bilal Tamimi of the night raid and invasion of Nabi Saleh last night (24 April) – 2 residents arrest and many houses damaged.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Video

Israeli high school refuseniks (conscientious objectors) join demonstration in Nabi Saleh – 11 April

Photos and report by Haim Schwarczenberg: 11 April 2014

Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international activists gathered in Martyrs Square at the centre of Nabi Saleh, in order to mark the weekly Friday demonstration against the occupation and land annexation. Demonstrators marched down the street and into the nearby valley, reaching close to al-Qaws spring (expropriated by the settlement of Halamish) when they were attacked by tear gas and stun grenades, hurled by IOF soldiers attempting to disperse the march. No major injuries reported. However, two Palestinian female activists and three journalists were detained at the entrance to the village. While the journalists were eventually released, the Palestinian women were arrested and taken to police interrogation.

refuseniks - haim

Israeli high school refuseniks

rally start - haim

bilal -haim

sound grenade - haim

firing - haim   iof firing - haim

 

ns res and iof - haim     stand off - haim

attacking man - haim

teargas and flag - haim

 

injury - haim

naji boshra haim

women flags haim

Leave a comment

Filed under Latest News

IOF arrest three Nabi Saleh residents in night raid (11 March – updated 16 March)

11th March 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine

*Read in other languages: BulgarianFrenchGermanItalian

Updated 16th March: The Nabi Saleh three have now been freed from Ofer prison. Thank you for all your support, Jihad, Mahmud, and Rami Tamimi are now at home with their families. However, Israeli forces yesterday arrested Baha and Oday Tamimi also from Nabi Saleh, we hope you can continue your support for those now imprisoned. More information about these new arrests will be posted as soon as it is available.

*****

Updated 13th March: $1500 are still needed to cover the bail for the release of Jihad, Mahmud and Rami Tamimi from Israel’s Ofer prison.

Please write to Bassem Tamimi at ba.tamimi@hotmail.com specifying the amount, so we can allocate it directly for the release of the Nabi Saleh three. Please follow the link to make your donation!

*****

Jihad, Mahmud and Rami, residents of Nabi Saleh, have been imprisoned for three weeks now and need your support to be released.

Jihad Tamimi

An Israeli military judge ruled that six demonstrators who were kidnapped from their homes three weeks ago, could be released on bail of 2500 shekels each. With the help of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and the villagers, three of the prisoners, Fadel Tamimi (54) Mohammed Tamimi (24) Basel Tamimi (16) have already been released. We need your help to raise the remaining 7000 shekels to release Jihad Tamimi (25) Mahmud Tamimi (21) Rami Tamimi (36). Any amount will help.

The six have been accused of throwing stones at the Israeli military. The “evidence” presented against them is edited pictures of them participating in a demonstration- not throwing stones- and a testimony of a solider who says “the people who we took pictures of threw stones.” They were arrested the 18th of February when the villagers of Nabi Saleh were awakened once again by about a hundred soldiers invading their village.

 

Since residents of Nabi Saleh began demonstrating against the confiscation of their land and spring by the illegal Israel settlement of Halamish,  five years ago, such night raids have become a regular occurrence.

Since the protests started, 155 people have been arrested for demonstrating, including fifty children and fifteen women. 500 people were also injured, 45 per cent of them children.  Two of the demonstrators Rushdie and Mustafa Tamimi were murdered by the Israeli military in Nabi Saleh and Muaataz Washaha who  participated in the demonstrations in Nabi Saleh and was executed in Beir zeit last month.

Please, donate for the Nabi Saleh three to be released. You can do it through PayPal or by bank transfer to: Basem Tamimi bank of Jordan Al Bireh branch Iban number PS13BJOR005010023012014133000.

Free the Nabi Saleh three!

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

Tamimi Press: Night raid in Nabi Saleh – 5 people arrested

by Tamimi Press: 18 February 2014

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Around 2 a.m. the Zionist Israeli forces violently raided the village of Nabi Saleh searching brutally in the houses for ‘wanted’ people by using an album of photos to identify youth from the village.. 5 people were arrested:

  • Mohammad Attaallah Tamimi – from Tamimi Press / 25 years old
  • Rami Hussein Yousef Tamimi / 36 years old
  • Jihad Muhammad Rushdi Tamimi / 23 years old
  • Mahmoud Mohammed al-Tamimi Wagih / 19 years old
  • Basil Abdul Ilah Saleh Al-Tamimi / ONLY 16 years oldThey were brought to unknown destination.

Photos from the wall of Tamimi Press Office and Media were also confiscated. The photos were used to show visitors the violations and abuses carried out by the Israeli Forces against the people and the village of Nabi Saleh.

***Update on arrests in Nabi Saleh***

Muhammad ‘Atallah al-Tamimi, who was arrested last night at his home in Nabi Saleh, was released today on 1000NIS bail. The hearing for Basel Tamimi, 16, arrested during the same raid, is set for tomorrow. However, his father was detained after a verbal altercation with an IOF officer. In addition, Islam Dar Ayub al-Tamimi was sentenced today to 15 months in the occupation prison.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

Four arrested at Nabi Saleh’s weekly protest

by International Solidarity Movement: 3 August 2013

Update 3th August: The fourth Israeli activist was released this morning at 5am.

On Friday August 2, Israeli Border Police aggressively attacked protesters marching in Nabi Saleh’s weekly demonstration, shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs at very short distances while arresting protesters and  covering them in skunk water. The attack was initiated without any  previous action from the demonstrators and resulted in the arrest of four Israeli activist.

Protesters marching down the road towards the spring (Photo By Tamimi Press)

Protesters marching down the road towards the spring (Photo By Tamimi Press)

After midday prayer,  around forty people, Palestinians together with Israeli and international activists, gathered in the village’s square,  marched through Nabi Saleh’s streets and down the hill towards the stolen water spring. Israeli occupation forces were heavily present from the beginning and quickly charged at the demonstrators.

Invading the village, Israeli Border Police surrounded the protesters and without warning began firing rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water at them. Though illegal by Israeli law,  the rubber and plastic coated steel bullets were shot from distances down to 10meters, barely missing the heads of fleeing international activists.

Despite the peaceful vibe of the protest, Israeli Border Police officers arrested four Israeli demonstrators and took them to the settlement nearby. One activist was humiliatingly handcuffed and blindfolded as he was taken away,  in spite of him offering no resistance to the arrest. Three of the four activists were later released.

The village of Nabi Saleh has demonstrated against the theft of their natural spring by the nearby Halamish settlement and the occupation in general since December 2009. Israeli forces violently suppress the weekly Friday protests by shooting tear gas canisters, skunk water, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and even live ammunition at protesters. Two people have been killed, Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi, and many others severely injured.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

Four Israeli activists arrested by IOF at Friday demonstration in Nabi Saleh residents against occupation

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 2 August 2013

Four Israeli activists were arrested in Nabi Saleh on Friday, 2 August at the regular Friday demonstration. Three were released on Friday evening, the fourth was not realeased until 5 am on Saturday morning. 1 international activist was also arrested

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Video by David Reeb

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

When non-violence is criminal: Palestinian women stand trial for West Bank protest

By |+972 Magazine: July 8, 2013

 

The IDF did not charge the two protesters with stone throwing, violent conduct or illegal gathering – but rather for violating a ‘closed military zone order,’ a highly unusual indictment. If the pair are convicted in court, it could set a precedent that demonstrates Palestinians are forbidden by Israel to oppose the occupation in any way.

 

The IDF’s Ofer Military Court in the West Bank will hold its first hearing tomorrow (Tuesday) in the trial of Nariman Tamimi and Rana Hamadah, two Palestinian women who were arrested on Friday, June 28 at the weekly demonstration against the occupation in Nabi Saleh.

The two women were held in Sharon Prison, in Israel, for more than three days before being brought before a military judge and indicted for entering a “closed military zone.” Rana Hamadah was also charged with obstructing a soldier in the execution of his duty.

Hamadah told +972 that during her arrest she asked the IDF soldier why she was being handcuffed, to which he replied: “Because I feel like it.” Hamadah said the pair were left handcuffed and blindfolded for nine hours, and were driven around in a vehicle with two male soldiers for seven more hours before being booked in Sharon Prison.

“Seeing the prisoners’ struggle from the inside gives an incredible urgency to their cause,” she said, adding that, “what we don’t see, and easily forget, is that the prisoners really must struggle for every passing minute.”

Nariman Tamimi told +972 this was the fifth time she has been arrested. She speculated that her arrest was part of the IDF’s efforts to crack down on the village’s right to protest, saying that Israel is “trying to make an example out of the village” by inflicting collective punishment.

A foreign national arrested along with the two Palestinian women was released later the same night and barred from entering the village for 15 days.

According to Israeli military law, under which Palestinians live, there is no such thing as a legal protest without permission from a military commander, which is rarely if ever granted (which is why arrests for stone throwing or organizing protests are so rampant).

According to B’Tselem, the legal proceedings initiated against Tamimi and Hamada since their arrest – and especially the IDF request for their remand for duration of proceedings (which was denied) – are unprecedented given the minor nature of the offense they are charged with. The indictment does not claim that the two women acted violently – which is usually the pretense for IDF arrests –  and the military prosecution rarely issues indictments for violating a “closed military zone.” From personal experience, I can attest that the IDF often baselessly issues such orders as a tool to repress protests, and in violation of Israeli High Court rulings, so the suspicion is that Israel is using its military legal control in the West Bank to repress legitimate protests.

As indicated by video footage, the demonstration was not violent and the women were not involved in any stone throwing or other act that could be construed as violent. Two military judges who watched video footage of the women’s arrest stated that they found no evidence of violent or menacing behavior on their part. It will therefore be interesting to see if and how the courts uphold the IDF’s arrests.

IDF arrests Nariman Tamimi at Nabi Saleh weekly protest June 28, 2013 (Activestills)

Like other high-profile arrests in Nabi Saleh, the women’s case is also attracting international attention. Amnesty International issued a statement on July 4 demanding that Israel stop the “bullying of Palestinian activists.” Its Middle East and North Africa program director said of the two women’s arrest: “They have been denied the basic human right to peacefully protest over land illegally seized by Israeli settlers, and the Israeli judiciary has used spurious legal tools to punish them for exercising their basic human right to peaceful protest.”

Since 2009, Nabi Saleh has been holding weekly protests against Israeli occupation, the wall and annexation of their land, including their spring, which has been seized by settlers from Halamish. Nairman’s husband, Bassem Tamimi, the village’s well-known Palestinian activist and non-violent leader, has been arrested several times and spent years in Israeli jail. Amnesty International declared  him a prisoner of conscience last year.

In this interview below, Nariman Taimimi describes the ordeal of their arrest, which she claims was the first time she was NOT beaten, but included other abuses such as being held overnight in a car and threatened with being strip-searched by male officers:

Video by International Solidarity Movement.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Articles

Rana Nazzal recounts arrest experience, lives of women political prisoners in Israeli jails

by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network:  2 July 2014

nariman-ranaRana Nazzal, Palestinian activist, was arrested alongside Nariman Tamimi on Friday, June 28 at Nabi Saleh village’s weekly protests against illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Both were accused of entering a “closed military zone”, and were held for four days until their release prior to trial on Monday, July 1. Rana Nazzal is a Palestinian Canadian who organizes with SAIA (Students Against Israeli Apartheid) at Carleton University in Ottawa. She blogs at http://zaytouni.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @zaytouni_rana, from which she shared her experiences of arrest, imprisonment, and connection with the 16 Palestinian women prisoners held in occupation prisons:

The following quotes are from Nazzal’s Twitter account on July 2 of her arrest and imprisonment at the hands of the Israeli Occupation Forces: “Was arrested Friday at the #NabiSaleh protest without any provocation. When I asked the soldier why, she replied ‘because I feel like it’.  Nariman, myself, & a Spanish man were blindfolded, transported, & isolated from one another for some 8-9 hours before being brought to police.”

Nazzal reported that “Nariman and I were then kept handcuffed in a car with two male soldiers for 7 hours before finally being admitted to Hasharon prison [where all 16 Palestinian women prisoners are currently held]. . .Hasharon prison put us in a cell with cameras the first night. Only after we threatened to hunger strike they moved us to a regular cell.” She had been arrested previously by occupation soldiers while protesting, and comparing the experiences, wrote “Last year was worse. I was alone, confused, recovering from a beating, & arrest was a bit longer. Neither time was the spirit broken though, especially when you are faced with the ferocious spirits of the women prisoners.”

She related that “We met the 16 other Palestinian women political prisoners who welcomed us warmly. On Sunday they cooked mloukhieh & sent it to our cell. Lina Jarbouni and Alaa Joudeh I met when I was imprisoned last year. Lina has 6 years left on a 17 year sentence & Alaa was arrested at 17.

Sireen Khudiri, who was arrested for ‘Internet activism’ is teaching the 16 women prisoners English. Lina Jarbouni is teaching Hebrew. Tahrir Mansour told us soldiers broke everything in her house-fridge, washer- cut open sofas, even stole money, when they arrested her.”

Nazzal said that her case, and Tamimi’s, is not over. “At our trial Monday we were released on bail but the case isn’t over. We just had a trial now. Today at a follow up trial prosecutor pushed for jail time, but judge decided bail & house arrest. Tomorrow we’re appealing that decision!” noting that the “prosecutor said as part of his case for worse punishment on us, that Nariman and I aren’t afraid of the soldiers. Thanks for the compliment.”

“Lots of soldiers try to ease their consciences on us, perhaps by offering us water (wow) or telling us they don’t even like their job. It is much worse to me when a soldier knows what they’re doing is wrong but are too weak to stop doing it. I’m tired of weakness,” she wrote.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Articles

Video: Two Palestinian women and 1 international arrested in Nabi Saleh

28 June 2013

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Video by David Reeb

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Latest News

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers