Bassem Tamimi injured and arrested with 3 others at Boycott Israel protest

24 October 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

Four people, including Bassem Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh, were arrested by Israeli police today as Palestinians staged a peaceful direct action in an Israeli supermarket near the illegal settlement of Shaar Binyamin, north of Ramallah, calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. Two Palestinians were injured and removed in ambulances. Before he was arrested, Tamimi’s ribs were reportedly broken.

Two of those arrested were international human rights activists. One is an American and the other is from Poland. The American activist was dragged away by four Israeli officers.

Starting at around ten this morning, Palestinians and international activists gathered in the parking lot of Rami Levi supermarket, which is frequented by Israelis from the surrounding illegal settlements. The activists entered the market and walked up and down the aisles, holding Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) placards and waving Palestinian flags.

Demonstrators left the market voluntarily when the Israeli army arrived on the scene. As activists exited the building, about forty police, border police and soldiers were waiting in the parking lot. There, the Israeli authorities attacked the demonstrators and fired sound bombs at them.

Even though the demonstrators remained non-violent, soldiers punched, dragged and choked them. As one Palestinian man was pulled away from the soldiers by other demonstrators, to prevent his arrest, his walking stick was taken away as he lay on the ground – following this, he could not walk without assistance. A sound bomb was thrown just metres from the head of another Palestinian man who was already unconscious following attacks from the authorities.

Bassem Tamimi is the head of the popular committee of Nabi Saleh, a village that has suffered drastically from the creation and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Halamish settlement was created less than 1km away from Nabi Saleh, stealing a great deal of the villages’ land, as well as a spring that provided a vital water source for the village. Tamimi was released from prison in April of this year after spending 13 months in an Israeli prison for being accused of “taking part in illegal gatherings.” He was released on bail in April in order to take care of his elderly mother who had suffered a stroke.

The action today aimed to highlight the BDS campaign (www.bdsmovement.net ), which calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.

The status of the detained demonstrators is currently unknown, they remain held in the police station of the illegal settlement of Shaar Binyamin.

A Paletinian demonstrator gets arrested by Border Policemen during the protest at the Rami Levi Supermarket

A demonstrator gets first aid help after being injured by a sound grenade at the protest

Bassem Tamimi arrested as Palestinian activists stage BDS protest at Israeli supermarket in Occupied West Bank

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 24 October 2012

Photos by ActiveStills

Activists called for the boycott of occupation and its products. Four activists were detained and several injuries due to soldiers’ brutality

This morning, more than 100 Palestinians, joined by number of international activists staged an action protest at the entrance of Rami Levi’s supermarket in Sha’ar Benjamin settlement north of Ramallah, to protest occupation and settler terror. They entered the market and walked up and down the aisles chanting for freedom and waving Palestinians flags. As activists exited the building, about forty policemen and soldiers were waiting outside, they attacked physically the demonstrators and fired stun grenades at them, causing several injuries, two of which were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Four people, including Basim Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh, were beaten and arrested by Israeli police. Tamimi’s ribs were broken and several Palestinians were injured. Protesters called for the boycott of occupation and all its products, and stressed that “as long as there is no justice to Palestinians, Israeli and settler daily life can’t continue on as normal.” Two of those arrested were Palestinians including Bassem Tamimi in addition to two international activists, an American and Polish. The protest was part of Popular Struggle Committees’ actions to protest the occupation and settlers terror against Palestinians. Last week about 50 Palestinian activists blocked the Apartheid Road 443 (known as Modi’in, which passes on West Bank lands, connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem). The road was blocked for about 30 minutes to Israeli and settler traffic.

Amnesty International: Israel must release Palestinian prisoner of conscience, Bassem Tamimi

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT

2 March 2012   AI Index: MDE 15/008/2012

Photo by Oren Ziv - Activestills

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Israel must release Palestinian detained for organising peaceful protests against expanding Israeli settlement

Palestinian human rights defender Bassem Tamimi is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his role in organizing peaceful protests against the encroachment onto Palestinian lands by Israeli settlers, and should be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today.

Bassem Tamimi was arrested on 24 March 2011 and charged days later with “incitement and support of a hostile organization, organizing and participating in unauthorized processions, incitement to throwing objects against a person or property” and other offences. Bassem Tamimi denies the charges. He is currently detained in Ofer prison while his trial continues.

Bassem Tamimi, aged 44, is married with four young children. He has repeatedly affirmed non-violent principles in his defence of villagers against the construction of settlements on occupied territories which violates international law. In a statement in court on 16 November 2011, Bassem Tamimi said:

“International law guarantees the right of occupied people to resist Occupation. In practicing my right, I have called for and organized peaceful popular demonstrations against the Occupation, settler attacks and the theft of more than half of the land of my village… I organized these peaceful demonstrations in order to defend our land and our people… The military prosecutor accuses me of inciting the protesters to throw stones at the soldiers. This is not true. What incites protesters to throw stones is the sound of bullets, the Occupation’s bulldozers as they destroy the land, the smell of teargas and the smoke coming from burnt houses. I did not incite anyone to throw stones, but I am not responsible for the security of your soldiers who invade my village and attack my people with all the weapons of death and the equipment of terror.”

Before his arrest, Bassem Tamimi had been organising weekly protests against the encroachment onto village lands of al-Nabi Saleh near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank by a neighbouring Israeli settlement, Halamish – Neve Tzuf. The protests began in December 2009 – a few months after the settlement began to expand rapidly despite a temporary settlement construction freeze announced by Israel following US pressure – and have been largely peaceful.

The Israeli army has repeatedly used excessive force in countering these demonstrations, as a result of which the organizers reiterate instructions for Palestinian demonstrators to adhere to non-violent methods. Occasionally, individual protestors have engaged in throwing stones at soldiers. One such protestor, Mustafa Tamimi, was shot in al-Nabi Saleh on 10 December 2011 by a high-velocity tear gas projectile fired at his head at close range from an Israeli military jeep. He died the next day in hospital.

At another hearing on 19 February 2012, Bassem Tamimi said:

“International law gives us the right to peaceful protest, to demonstrate our refusal of the policies that hurt us, our daily life and the future of our children… I do not know and do not care if they [the settlements] are permitted by your law, as it was enacted by an authority I do not recognize…True justice would not have me stand here before this court at all, let alone while I am imprisoned and shackled. This case is baseless and made up with the sole goal of putting me behind bars.”

Amnesty International has previously documented the torture of Bassem Tamimi by the General Security Service, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, in 1993. After his arrest on 9 November 1993, he was subjected to violent shaking during interrogation. He suffered a subdural haematoma, as a result of which he lost consciousness for six days, during which he underwent life-saving surgery. He was subsequently released without charge on 6 December 1993 (see Amnesty International, “Under constant medical supervision”: Torture, ill-treatment and the health professionals in Israel and the Occupied Territories , Index: MDE 15/037/1996, August 1996, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/037/1996/en).

Background

Some 490,000 Israeli citizens live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a result of years of government-sponsored settlement construction. The establishment and retention of civilian settlements in occupied territory violates international humanitarian law. The “transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is considered a war crime under Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute of the ICC, “when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.” Israel’s settlement policy is also inherently discriminatory and results in continuing violations of the rights to adequate housing, water and livelihoods for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli authorities continue to construct new housing and plan entire new neighbourhoods in settlements in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, adding to over 230 already existing localities.

Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to put an immediate end to the construction or expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to take measures to evacuate Israeli civilians living in settlements in the West Bank. All Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip were removed by the government in 2005. The establishment of settlements not only violates international humanitarian law, but also constitutes a serious violation of the prohibition on discrimination, as laid out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which Israel is a state party. The International Court of Justice found in July 2004 that the ICESCR is applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The presence of Israeli-only settlements has led to mass violations of human rights of the local Palestinian population

Nabi Saleh Welcomes Released Prisoner Naji Tamimi, Stands in Solidarity with Hunger Striking Hana Shalabi

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 2 March 2012

This weeks’ protest in Nabi Saleh was held in solidarity with hunger-striking political prisoner Hanaa Shalabi. The village also celebrated the release of Naji Tamimi, member of the local popular committee released after a year in military prison.

Video by Israel Puterman

Naji Tamimi, member of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, was arrested by the Israeli army on March 6th 2011, and subsequently charged with “incitement”, “organizing unpermitted processions” and “solicitation to throw stones”, together with his cousin and fellow veteran activist, Bassem Tamimi. Returning to his village after a year in military prison, Naji Tamimi opened this week’s weekly demonstration in a speech held above the grave of Mustafa Tamimi who was shot dead by the Israeli army during a demonstration three months ago.
Picture Credit: Yotam Ronen/Activestills
Picture Credit: Yotam Ronen/Activestills

The demonstration then preceded towards the main road leading from the village to the nearby settlement of Halamish, built mainly on Nabi Saleh’s agricultural lands. Protesters carried signs and posters calling for the immediate release of Hana Shalabi, a woman administrative detainee who has gone on hunger strike. Israeli soldiers used tear-gas canisters, rubber coated bullets and the “skunk”, a water canon spraying foul smelling water, to disperse the demonstrators. Some clashes between the army and local youth took place in the outskirts of the village, following which the army invaded the village shooting large amounts of tear-gas canisters inside populated areas. One demonstrator was slightly injured by a rubber coated bullet shot at his arm from close range. He required medical treatment and was taken to the hospital.
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills
Picture Credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills

Hana Yahya Shalabi (30) from the Burqin village near Jenin was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, after being held in administrative detention for over two years (Sep. 2009 to Oct. 2011). During her arrest she was sexually harassed, put in solitary confinement and was denied trial. No allegations were brought against her by the Israeli security forces. On February 16th 2012 she was re-arrested and put under administrative detention for six month along with several other Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal. Hana began a hunger strike, inspired by the hunger strike of Khader Adnan, to protest administrative detentions and abuse during interrogations and arrests. Hana Shalabi and over three hundred Palestinians are imprisoned for long periods without any charges and are never brought to trial. As a woman, Hana Shalabi faces a great risk of humiliation and sexual abuse, and has already been harassed in the past. Her strike calls attention to the physical and mental violence suffered by Palestinian women and men in Israeli jails.

European consuls attend non-violent demonstrations in Nabi Saleh

On Friday, 17 June, the Consuls from Malta, France, EU and Holland attended the non-violent demonstrations in Nabi Saleh to observe the village’s resistance to Israel’s ongoing occupation.   In response to the non-violent demonstration, the Israeli Occupation Forces violently attacked village residents and supporters with teargas and rubber bullets.  

Video by Tamimi Press