Israeli Occupation Forces falsely arrested photographers during Nabi Saleh protest, court rules

11951368_988545937863918_7644792514082098265_n                             Nabi Saleh – teargas fired by IOF. Photo by Manal Tamimi

11954774_988553671196478_7067320470336901335_n                                 Arrested photograpahers in Israeli Occupation Court

IDF falsely arrested photographers during Palestinian protest, court rules

Israeli soldiers arrested two Israeli and one Palestinian photographers during a demonstration in the West Bank. What followed showed just how differently Israelis and Palestinian detainees are treated.

By Oren Ziv / / 23 August 2015
Published: +972 Magazine

Soldiers arrest Palestinian photographer Bilal Tamimi and Israeli artist David Reeb during a weekly protest against the occupation, Nabi Saleh, West Bank, August 21, 2015. (photo: Haim Schwarczenberg)

Israeli soldiers arrested three photographers, two Israelis and one Palestinian, during the weekly protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh last Friday. On Saturday night, an Israeli court ruled that there was no reason for the arrests and released the two Israelis from detention.

On Sunday morning, Israel Police agreed to release the third photographer, Bilal Tamimi, without conditions, following a request by his attorney. Tamimi is expected to be released soon.

Weekly anti-occupation demonstrations have been taking place in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, for the past several years. Every week, dozens of Palestinians, Israelis and international activists march toward a spring that has been taken over by residents from the nearby settlement, Halamish. The soldiers arrested Tamimi, himself a resident of the village, toward the end of the demonstration, as village youths clashed with soldiers on a nearby hill.

A short while later, the soldiers arrested B’Tselem Spokesperson Sarit Michaeli as well as Israeli artist David Reeb, both of whom have been documenting the protests with their cameras for years. The two were arrested for refusing to clear the area, which they deemed a “closed military zone.” The soldiers, however, refused to present the required, written order.

The three were taken to the Binyamin Police Station, where they discovered that along with violating the closed military zone order, Reeb and Tamimi were accused of attacking an officer, while Michaeli was accused of obstructing a police officer in the line of duty. After their interrogation, Michaeli and Reeb refused to sign off on the conditions of their release, which would ban them from the village for two weeks, while setting their bail at NIS 1,000. Upon refusing, the two were taken into detention. Tamimi was not offered these conditions and was taken straight to jail at Ofer military prison.

“It was clear that the arrest was unlawful,” Michaeli said following her release. “The fact is that they agreed to release us, even on condition, while it was clear that they would never allow Bilal the same conditions. That is why we refused to agree to those terms, even if it meant a night in jail.”

Israeli artist David Reeb seen as he is brought before a judge at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, August 22, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/

Michaeli and Reeb were brought before a judge at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Saturday night. During the hearing, Attorney Neri Ramati, who represented the detainees on behalf of Attorney Gabi Lasky’s office, asked the police representative whether the soldiers presented Michaeli and Reeb with a written copy of the closed military zone order. When the representative admitted that they had not done so, Judge Gad Arenberg ordered the two be released without condition.

“In this case the judge decided to release the detainees not only because they were not shown the closed military zone order, but also because they demanded to see the order and were arrested. Furthermore, the judge noted that the detainees were filming and were not connected to the clashes taking place,” said Ramati following the decision.

It is important to note that because it is unclear whether violating a closed military zone order is in fact illegal, and because it is doubtful whether such a violation merits arrest and release on condition, soldiers and policemen often tack on additional violations such as obstructing or attacking an officer. “Violation of a closed military zone order has no parallel offense in Israeli law, and we have never had a case in which someone has been accused solely of violating such an order. In these cases the police always add additional offense.”

Michaeli points to the different treatment that she and Reeb, both Israeli citizens, received, as opposed to Tamimi. “David, Bilal, and I were arrested at the same spot and interrogated over the same offenses, but we were treated differently, since Bilal is Palestinian and is subject to Israel’s military law. We are Israelis, and thus enjoy the benefits of Israel’s civilian legal system.”

B'Tselem Spokesperson Sarit Michaeli (center) is seen after a judge ordered her release from detention without conditions, August 21, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/

Following the court’s unequivocal decision Saturday night, Israel Police accepted Attorney Ramati’s request to release Tamimi without conditions.

Tamimi’s release is not an everyday occurrence. Most Palestinians arrested in the occupied territories remain in detention until the end of legal proceedings. Moreover, the military legal system almost never offers alternatives to detention, such as house arrest, while the conviction rate for Palestinians in Israel’s military courts stands at 99.74 percent.

Several months ago, soldiers violently attacked Israeli photojournalist Haim Schwarczenberg and a Abbas Mumani, who works for AFP, as they attempted to comply with orders to leave the area. The army decided to try the attacking soldiers after the incident was filmed and first published on +972 Magazine,

Mariam Barghouti released on 18 April, after being arrested in Nabi Saleh the week before

by the International Solidarity  Movement: 18 April 2014

15th April 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Occupied Palestine

Update Friday 18th April:

Mariam was released yesterday evening and is now home with her family.


Update Thursday 17th April:

Mariam had a military court hearing this morning and the military judge agreed to release her on bail. Mariam’s bail has been paid and she is expected to be released later this evening.


Update Wednesday 16th April:

At Mariam’s military court hearing today, an Israeli military judge stated that he “has doubts if the evidence supports the prosecution charges” and agreed to her release on bail. Nonetheless, he ruled that Mariam should remain in military detention until tomorrow morning, April 17th, at 11:00, so that the military prosecution has a chance to appeal his decision.


On Friday, April 11th, 2014, 20-year-old Mariam Barghouti, a university student at Birzeit, was arrested by Israeli forces. She was brought to court on Sunday, April 13th where she was charged and her detention extended until Wednesday, April 16th.

Mariam was arrested while leaving the village of Nabi Saleh. Mariam, along with Abir Kopty (a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship who was later released on bail), and three foreign journalists were detained by soldiers and searched. Mariam had been in Nabi Saleh accompanying some of the journalists on their assignments and translating for them. Soldiers on the scene fabricated charges against her and handed her over to the police who arrested her along with Abir. At her hearing yesterday Mariam was charged with stone-throwing and entering a closed military area; her detention has been extended until Wednesday. Mariam sobbed throughout the whole hearing and told her lawyer that the charges are simply lies.

Mariam is a student at Birzeit University where she is majoring in English Literature and Psychology. Mariam is also active in community work and organizing and received a two-month residency scholarship in the UK, part of a program supporting women.

Abir said that during the arrest incident on Friday, “one of the soldiers who detained us looked at me and with a big smile said, ‘I’m going to mess up your life.’ It was obvious to me then that not only will he fabricate everything for his own purposes, but he knows he has the power to do so.”

Mariam Barghouti


Prominent activist Nariman Tamimi under partial house arrest during weekly Nabi Saleh’s protest

7th July 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine


The weekly protest in the village of Nabi Saleh was, as usual, met with extreme violence by Israeli forces. Tear gas canisters, rubbers coated steel bullets and skunk water were shot at unarmed protesters.


After midday prayers, over fifty Palestinians together with international and Israeli activists met in the centre of the village to march down the main road. As demonstrators walked passed the gas station, several Border police officers approached them from the hill located to the right of the road and shot several rounds of rubber coated steel bullets. When the march dispersed, the skunk water truck drove forward spraying people and homes.


The protest continued for an hour and a half during which Israeli border police were shooting demonstrators with tear gas canisters, rubber coated steel bullets and skunk water at close range.


Unlike every other Friday, Nariman Tamimi, a prominent activist from Nabi Saleh, was not able to attend the demonstration as she was in a partial house arrest. Nariman and Rana Nazzal were arrested at last week’s protest and spent three days in jail. They are accused of entering a closed military zone and had to pay 2750NIS each on bail in order to be released. The prosecution is asking for one week under house arrest. They are currently awaiting the judge’s decision.

Palestinian prisoner of conscience Bassem Tamimi speaks out

by Amnesty International: 2 November 2012

Weekly demonstrations began on 9 December 2009. Every Friday residents of al-Nabi Saleh and solidarity activists gather around noon in the village centre and march peacefully towards the spring. They have been met repeatedly with unnecessary and excessive force by the Israeli army including the use of stun grenades, pepper spray, batons and guns.

Demonstrations are dispersed as soon as they begin and are usually not allowed to reach the spring. The Israeli army raids the village regularly, usually during the night, and conducts house searches and arrests, including the arrest of children under the age of 15.

Israeli military laws in place in the West Bank impose sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, requiring people to obtain advance permission from the Israeli military for any proposed gathering of 10 or more persons “for a political purpose of for a matter that could be interpreted as political”.

Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International that in al-Nabi Saleh and all areas where there is popular resistance, police use extreme violence, noting that “there is nothing [to the protests] except that you chant and express your opinion.”

As one of the organizers of the al-Nabi Salneh protests and a coordinator of the village’s popular committee, Bassem Tamimi and his family have been the target of harsh treatment by the Israeli army.

Since the demonstrations began, his house has been raided and ransacked numerous times. His wife has been arrested twice and two of his children have been injured — Wa’ed was in hospital for five days after he was hit in the leg by a rubber bullet and Mohammed was injured by a tear-gas canister that was shot directly at him and hit him in the shoulder.

Bassem Tamimi has been arrested by the Israeli army 11 times to date, though he has only once been convicted by a military court – on charges that Amnesty International believes were unfounded.

Amnesty International: Israeli soldiers arrest son of detained Palestinian activist at West Bank protest

by Amnesty International: 2 November 2012

Israeli soliders arrested 16-year-old Wa’ed Tamimi at a demonstration in the village of al-Nabi SalehIsraeli soliders arrested 16-year-old Wa’ed Tamimi at a demonstration in the village of al-Nabi Saleh

The 16-year-old son of Bassem Tamimi, a detained Palestinian rights activist in the occupied West Bank, was himself arrested by Israeli soldiers today during the regular weekly protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers onto Palestinian land.

Wa’ed Tamimi was arrested along with four activists during the demonstration on Friday afternoon in the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh, 21km northwest of Ramallah.

“Today’s arrest of Wa’ed Tamimi while he was walking peacefully in his village points to the continuing harassment of activist Bassem Tamimi, his family, and the community of al-Nabi Saleh by Israeli military forces,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director. “This harassment must stop”.

“Wa’ed Tamimi and the four others arrested in al-Nabi Saleh today must be allowed access to lawyers and should be released immediately unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence. His father Bassem is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully protesting Israel’s illegal settlement expansion, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International how she witnessed her son’s arrest: “I saw him being dragged violently by a soldier who immediately put him in a jeep,” she said. “Right now I am very tired and worried, and I am not sure what to do.”

Wa’ed Tamimi was taken to the police station in Sha’ar Benyamin settlement north of Ramallah.

Bassem Tamimi has been detained since his arrest on 24 October following a non-violent demonstration in a supermarket in the settlement of Sha’ar Benjamin. He faces a further prison sentence after appearing before the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday.

All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law. Amnesty International is calling for their construction and expansion to stop as a first step towards removing the Israeli civilians living there.