Photos by Bilal Tamimi – 14 November 2014
Israeli occupation forces once again attacked the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh against the occupation. The non-violent protest marched towards the village’s land which has been confiscated by the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish. Residents and supporters chanted slogans condemning the occupation and settlements.
Immediately after the arrival of the rally off the land confiscated by the occupation, Israeli occupation soldiers fired on the unarmed protesters with rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas, wounding dozens of cases of suffocation.
Photos by Tamimi Press:
by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 11 July 2014
On Friday, at the weekly demonstration, Nabi Saleh marched in solidarity with Gaza, opposing Israel’s war crimes. The demonstration called on Israel to stop its aggression and war crimes in Gaza. The protest attempted to march to land confiscated illegally by Israeli settlers but were attacked by Israeli Occupation Forces who fired teargas and rubber coated steel bullets.
Video by Bilal Tamimi
Video by Israel Puterman
Video by David Reeb
For the past three days, the gate connecting the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh to the main road leading to Ramallah has been locked by Israeli authorities. Residents of Nabi Saleh, as well as nearby villages, have been forced to use alternative routes and travel long distances in order to get to or return from the city. The army has not given a reason for the closure.
Just hours before Jews begin celebrating Passover, the residents of Nabi Saleh will lead a demonstration against the gate’s locking. According to the residents, the move is intended as collective punishment against the village due to its popular struggle in response to the confiscation of a nearby freshwater spring by the adjacent settlement of Halamish.
Meanwhile, the entire West Bank is under closure for the holiday (as is the practice for every Jewish holiday); even those with permits will not be able to cross checkpoints.
OFER MILITARY COURT (AFP) — An Israeli military court formally charged two Palestinian women on Tuesday over their involvement in a peaceful demonstration in the West Bank last month.
Palestinian activist Nariman a-Tamimi (left) and Rana Hamadah sit for
the verdict in Ramallah on July 9. (photo by Ahmad Gharabli)
In a hearing at Ofer military court near Ramallah, Nariman Tamimi, 37, and Rana Hamadah, 21, who also holds Canadian nationality, were charged with “entering a closed military zone” during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, where villagers have been protesting since 2009 over the seizure of their lands by a nearby settlement.
Both pleaded not guilty.
According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, the two were part of a group of around 25 people who participated in a peaceful demonstration on June 28 which was stopped by a group of Israeli soldiers and border police as they crossed a field near the village.
After a five minute standoff during which the forces informed them the area was a closed military zone, the group turned around and headed back towards the village, said B’Tselem’s Sarit Michaeli, who was videoing the protest.
“A group of five or six of them were just walking back when suddenly they were stopped and three of them were arrested,” she said.
The two women and a Spanish national were then driven around in the back of a jeep for most of the day, and taken to a police station around midnight.
Security forces released the Spanish woman but drove the other two to HaSharon, where they were held until late on Monday night, Michaeli said.
“This particular demonstration did not involve stone throwing,” she told AFP, explaining that despite the peaceful nature of the protest, the military prosecution initially asked for the two to be held until the end of legal proceedings in a step she described as “disproportionate”.
The court rejected the request, but a judge ruled that Tamimi, a mother of four who is married to veteran Nabi Saleh activist Bassem Tamimi, would be placed under house arrest every Friday. She is next due in court on September 3.
Hamadah, who is studying in Canada and is also facing obstruction charges after trying to prevent the forces from handcuffing her, was also barred from entering the village on a Friday. Her next hearing is on July 17.
“Usually the charge is violence or incitement to violence but in this case, there was no claim that they acted violently,” Michaeli said. “This is using the system to try to stop these people from being active politically.”
The arrest in 2011 of Tamimi’s husband on charges of organizing illegal gatherings and incitement sparked international condemnation with the European Union recognizing him as a human rights defender, and Amnesty International declaring him a prisoner of conscience.
Almost all demonstrations in Palestine are defined as “illegal” under Israeli military law, which states that any gathering of 10 or more people requires a permit.
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.
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.