Breaking News: Bassem Tamimi is free

Bassem Tamimi is free. He was released on Sunday, 10 February (Palestinian Time).

Bassem was arrested 4 months ago in the first BDS action in an illegal Israeli colony – a non-violent protest against Rami Levy supermarket.  At the time, Israeli occupation forces violently detained Bassem, breaking three of his ribs in the process. He was subsequently interrogated on participating in an unauthorized demonstration and assault of a police officer.

Bassem has previously spent one year in prison for his non-violent leadership of the popular resistance in Nabi Saleh and released in March 2012.  During his previous imprisonment he was recognised as a human rights defender by the European Union and a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.

abir kopty-bassemBassem hugs his wife, Nariman.  Photo by Abir Kopty

keren manorBassem with his wife, Nariman. Photo by: Keren Manor/

oren zivBassem with wife Nariman at welcome home party: Photo by Oren Ziv: Activestills

Ashira HakanBassem with his children.  Photo by Ashira Hakan

2 Ashira HakanWelcome home party for Bassem: Photo by Ashira Hakan

Nabi Saleh calls for the release of Samer Issawi and all Palestinian political prisoners; 12 injured by IOF fire.

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity

Today’s demonstration (Friday, 8 Feb 2013)  in Nabi Saleh called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and in support of Samer Issawi and all Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike. Activists on the ground report that Israeli Occupation Forces fired non-stop teargas, rubber bullets and skunk.

Activists in Nabi Saleh also reported that dozens of IOF entered the village for at least 30-40 minutes. While in village, the IOF fired lots of teargas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and skunk. In particular, there were reports of journalists deliberately being targeted by IOF with teargas and stun grenades. Skunk also fired directly at houses.  At least 10 people were injured by rubber coated steel bullets and at least 2 people by teargas canisters, including one hand injury as a result.  Many people were also overcome by the teargas.

Photo: photo by Tweet Palestine.

Photo by Tweet Palestine

Photo: medic attending shabab overcome by teargas - photo by Tweet Palestine.

Photo by Tweet Palestine

Photo: IOF jeeps, soldiers and skunk truck invade Nabi Saleh - Photo by Abir Kopty

Photo by Abir Kopty

Military Court to Sentence Palestinian Activist, Bassem Tamimi, on Tuesday 29 May 2012

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 27 May 2012

Bassem Tamimi (right) at the time of his release in April 2012 with fellow Nabi Saleh popular committee member, Naji Tamimi (centre) who also spent a year in jail for organising unarmed resistance to Israel’s occupation and Jonathan Pollak from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (left).  Photo by Keren Manor,

Tamimi was convicted of protest-organizing related charges, despite the court’s harsh criticism of the prosecution and police. The conviction was denounced by the European Union.

The sentence of Palestinian activist, Bassem Tamimi, will be delivered at the Ofer Military Court on Tuesday, May 27. Tamimi, a grassroots organizer from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, was arrested in March of 2011, indicted on protest-organizing related charges, and has spent 13 months in jail before he was granted bail last month. Tamimi was convicted last week, a move that was followed by harsh criticism by the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who said that “The EU […] is concerned at the use of evidence based on the testimony of a minor who was interrogated in violation of his rights”

Last week, the court acquitted Tamimi of incitement – the central charge brought against him – but convicted him of organizing and participating in illegal marches as well as of solicitation to throw stones. Despite the harsh criticism it suffered for the integrity of the case, the Military  Prosecution has petitioned for Tamimi to be sentenced to a period longer than 18 months.

The bulk of the indictment against Tamimi was based on the testimonies of three youth from the village, aged 15, 19, and most heavily on that of a 14 year-old. The judge ruled the statement given by the 14 year-old, Islam Dar Ayyoub, is unreliable and could not substantiate a conviction. The court therefore acquitted Tamimi of the incitement charge, that included allegations, supported only by  Dar Ayyoub’s testimony, that Tamimi had formed battalions who lead the demonstrations.

In regards to the 19 year-old’s statement, the judge ruled after viewing the recording of his interrogation, that the transcript of that was handed to the court was mendacious, and that the interrogators put words in his mouth, leading him to incriminate Tamimi.

The conviction, therefore, was based on the testimony of the 15 year-old, which the judge ruled is credible despite clear video evidence to the contrary. The audio-visual recording of his interrogation proves that he, too, was questioned in an unlawful manner, told to implicate others and was led to believe that doing so may earn him a more lenient treatment by the court. The boy was told, numerous times, “Tell us what happened […] and who in the village incited you to throw stones. […] (shouting) you were incited! You…. you are a young boy, incited by people. Grownups, we know. It’s the grownups who incite you, right?”

Tamimi’s trial has become the center on international interest and subject to criticism on the use of military justice to repress civil resistance to the occupation and on the treatment of minors. Following his arrest, Tamimi was recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union and pronounced a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. His verdict today was attended by a dozen diplomats, including the British, Spanish, Dutch, Slovenian and Cypriot Consul Generals, as well as the representative of the European Union. Diplomats from Germany, Sweden, Ireland the USA and the UN were also in attendance.

During the course of Tamimi’s trial, new evidence has emerged, including first hand verification given by a military commander of disproportional use of force by the army in response to peaceful demonstrations, as well as police admittal of systematic violations of Palestinian minors’ rights during police interrogations, when a police interrogator who questioned both material witnesses against Tamimi, said on the stand that in his 25 years as an officer, he cannot recall a single time in which a Palestinian minor was allowed the presence of his parents during questioning.

Continue reading “Military Court to Sentence Palestinian Activist, Bassem Tamimi, on Tuesday 29 May 2012”

West Bank protest leader Bassem Tamimi released from prison

Roughly a year after being arrested for organizing illegal protests, Bassem Tamimi is released from prison, amid suspicions that he will resume illegal protest activity.

by Amira Hass, Haaretz, 27 April 2012

A popular Palestinian leader was released on bail on Friday after serving a year in Ofer Prison.

Military judge, Maj. Amir Dahan decided to release Bassem Tamimi, a resident of the Nabi Saleh village, because of his mother’s medical situation. Tamimi’s mother suffered a stroke two weeks ago.

Tamimi’s defense attorney, Laviv Haviv, claimed that if he were not released at the end the legal proceedings, Tamimi would have served more time than the expected sentence he could have received for unauthorized protest processions and stone-throwing efforts.

The claim was based on the sentence received by Naji Tamimi, who was charged with similar crimes.

The army prosecutor opposed the release, claiming that the punishment Tamimi received as part of a plea bargain was less than the punishment received for similar convictions without a plea bargain.

In an article published by Tamimi in Haaretz on April 20, he claims that he poses an “ideological danger.”

The prosecutor, Eran Levi, said in an appeal that Tamimi will “most definitely continue to use the status he received because of his arrest to influence young people to throw stones.”

“The danger here is concrete. The crime here is ideological, and anything short of imprisonment will not prevent him from acting,” continued Levi.

The judge, Lt. Col. Tzvi Lakah, rejected the prosecutors appeal, and decided to release Tamimi on condition that he not leave Ramallah, and he spend weekends at the hospital with his mother, or at his nephew’s residence on house arrest. Two Israelis that participated in the protests in Ramallah signed on the third party bail of NIS 25,000.

Nabi Saleh stands in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoner on hunger strike, Hana al-Shalabi

by Anarchists Against the Wall: 17 March 2012

video by Israel Puterman

Hana Al-Shalabi, an imprisoned Palestinian woman held under administrative detention after she was released by Israel as part of the last prisoners swap, is on hunger strike for an entire month now to protest her treatment and bring about her release. Nabi Saleh residents and other Palestinians joined Al-Shalabi this Friday, carrying posters, as the weekly procession left the center of the village.

The demonstration was immediately attacked by Israeli occupation forces “skunk” truck, spraying foul smelling water. This was shortly followed by volleys of tear gas canisters shot from a military jeep with an automated cannon. Israeli soldiers also approached the village’s built area on foot, until they raided the village and its surroundings entirely, targeting protesters by shooting tear gas and bullets directly at them. In one such attack an Israeli protester was shot in the back of her head by tear gas canister or some other kind of “less-lethal” bullet. She was rushed to a hospital in Ramallah and released after she received initial treatment. At least two more protesters were also injured by Israeli fire. Todays demo followed a week of heavy repression by Israeli forces, who raided Nabi Saleh four nights, entering and searching houses and arresting youths at gunpoint.

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.

Nabi Saleh Stands with Khader Adnan

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 11 February 2012

Khader Adnan, a 33 year-old Palestinian, has been on hunger strike since mid December, shortly after he was put in administrative detention based on secret evidence.  Residents of Nabi Saleh march in solidarity.

Residents of Nabi Saleh, joined by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, devoted their weekly Friday demonstration to support Khader Adnan.

Protesters held signs and pictures of Adnan, as they marched from the center of the village towards the confiscated lands.  Demonstrators were met by volleys of tear-gas canisters. Heavy fog made it extremely difficult to trace the lines of fire and avoid injuries. Nonetheless, the army continued aiming directly at protesters. The Israeli Border Police also used the “skunk”, a water cannon spraying foul smelling liquid.

Following this assault, protesters created small rock barricades at the entrance to the village, aiming to prevent a deeper Israeli incursion. Others climbed the hilltops, overlooking the spring grabbed by Halamish settlers. Israeli soldiers followed, shooting sound bombs, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets directly at people and into houses. Some youths threw stones to ward off the soldiers. As they were retreating, soldiers shot a few live bullets above the heads of civilians.

The demonstration maintained for a number of hours. Around 4PM an Israeli military jeep carrying multiple-barrels cannon shot massive amounts of tear-gas that covered a large part of the village. The “skunk” was also used once more, more massively than before.  Many suffered from gas inhalation and a few were injured from direct hit by tear gas canisters, among them a Turkish cameraman who was evacuated to a hospital with a suspected fracture.

Khader Adnan, 33, has been refusing to eat since mid-December, shortly after his arrest in the occupied West Bank, and has only drunk liquids since then. “He is not in good shape. People on a hunger strike for more than 50 days are in real danger. The doctors are extremely concerned,” said Yael Shavit, spokeswoman for Sieff Hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, where Adnan has been taken. “He refuses to accept any treatment. He has not agreed to be hooked up to an IV,” she said, referring to intravenous infusion. Despite his grave medical condition, Israeli military authorities have once again postponed action on Khader Adnan’s appeal against his four-month “administrative detention” – without charge or trial. One of the lawyers representing Adnan, Tamar Peleg-Sryck, said after the appeal: “It should be made clear that he is alleged of political opinions and political activities, without a hint of any sort of violence. However the army follows Shabaq (General Security Service) claim that he “endangers the security” and should remain in detention.”

Army unsuccessfully tries to ambush youth in Nabi Saleh

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Residents of Nabi Saleh were surprised to find a group of soldiers attempting to ambush local youth at a private backyard during the weekly demonstration.

Army Using the Skunk Against Protesters in Nabi Saleh
Army Using the Skunk Against Protesters in Nabi Saleh. Picture Credit: Anne Paq/Activestills

A few days after welcoming released prisoners, residents of Nabi Saleh went on their weekly demonstration.  Joined by Israeli and international supporters, residents called for the release of two members of the local popular committee, Bassem and Naji Tamimi, whose trials are currently taking place at the Military Court at Ofer Compound.

The march commenced from the center of the village, shortly after the prayer. The few dozen protesters marched through the village down to the main road. They aimed to reach the village’s lands and the spring that has been confiscated by the adjacent settlement Halamish.

Upon reaching a distance of approximately 100 meters from the village, the march was violently blocked by the army, which began shooting large amounts of tear gas projectiles and rubber coated bullets. The army also tried, largely in vain, to use what is known as the “Skunk”, a truck shooting foul-smelling water.

Following this, clashed erupted between local youth and the army, which entered the village and took over a private patio to ambush the youth. This effort was also quite unsuccessful, as the ambush was shortly uncovered.  A number of demonstrators were hit by tear gas canister and rubber coated bullets, however no severe injuries were reported.

Nabi Saleh welcoming its released prisoners 21 Oct 2011 – Video by Tamimi Press