Journalist Beaten While Filming Youth Arrest in Bil’in
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A scuola ci hanno sempre insegnato che erano le Schutzstaffeln a fare le retate nelle case degl'innocenti in piena notte o nelle primissime ore del mattino... e come ci ordina il nostro Venerabile Presidente della Repubblica, noi siamo sempre allerta quando si tratta di scovare e denunciare l'alba di nuovi nazismi...

Haitham Al-Khatib is a journalist and resident of the Palestinian village of Bil’in, a village divided by the Separation Wall and home to the famous weekly non-violent protests. At 2 a.m this morning he was woken by the screams of his neighbour’s young girls. Along with friend and fellow journalist Hamde Abu Rahmah he came running out of his home to investigate.

Written by Clive Granger.

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Israeli soldiers had entered Bil’in late last night, intending to arrest Mohammed Abu Rahmah, son of Adeeb, one of the prominent organisers of demonstrations against the Wall. Adeeb has served the past 17 months in prison on charges of ‘incitement’. Mohammed, 15, lives with his mother and six sisters, the youngest aged four. All had been asleep when the soldiers barged in. On resisting arrest Mohammed was beaten and dragged off by soldiers.

Haitham hurriedly made his way over to the house with his camera, only to be stopped by the soldiers, keen to keep their antics off camera. Haitham describes the soldier’s anger when they saw he was filming. “Sometimes a camera can stop violence” he told us, “but not that time”. Sensing violence he told them he worked for the Israeli Human rights groups B’Tselem, hoping they’d show some restraint. However after shouting at him to leave they hit him in the chest, which is still bruised, and struck his camera, damaging it severely.

These night raids are nothing new to Haitham. Just two weeks ago soldiers barged into his home, the last of seven recent invasions all in an attempt to find his brother Ashraf. The constant harassment of his family eventually caused his brother to turn himself in.

“The children of Bil’in are scared” Haitham says sadly. Children have trouble sleeping, always fearing that soldiers will turn up at any time to arrest their fathers or brothers. Those families that escape are still left traumatised by the sound bombs and cries of their neighbours.

I ask Haitham if the years of nightly raids will ever end the people of Bil’in’s efforts to keep going with their peaceful resistance, when the response it brings is all but peaceful. “We must go on” he tells me defiantly, “the people have the power to resist”.

Source >  Palestine Monitor

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