24 December 2010 | International Solidarity Movement
Three days before the first anniversary of the weekly demonstration held in An Nabi Saleh, on December the 22nd, Israeli forces arrested 23-year-old Bahaa Tamimi, a member of the community. He will face a trial in an Israeli Military court within the following week. The military has been searching for him for the past few weeks, frequently entering the village and asking for him. He was on his way to his work in Ramallah in the morning, when he was stopped by an apparently private car. Police asked for his ID and arrested him.
In December 2009, the village started to hold a weekly demonstration as their answer to the Israeli occupation. One year has passed since that first peaceful demonstration, and the Israeli army still responds with excessive violence. Ever since then, the village has been subject to severe repercussion – night raids, demolition orders and arrests. More than fifty members of the community have been arrested since the beginning of the demonstrations. A big part of the village youth has served some time in jail, convicted on dubious charges and released (often after several weeks or months imprisoned) without any charges held against them.
This latest arrest of Bahaa Tamimi is continuing the Israeli policy of random youth arrests, serving as a tool to intimidate and threaten Palestinian families. Oftentimes their only offense is being young, male, and Palestinian. After the imprisonment of a family member, the whole life of the family revolves around this incident: affording money in order to pay for the court, the long process to be granted a permission to visit, the procedures of going through on such a rare visit. For the youth, future prospects – such as education, the chances to be granted a working permit, visas – are often smashed.