January 1, 2011
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital yesterday after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil'in, and died of poisoning this morning. Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah who was also killed during a peaceful protest in Bil'in on April 17th, 2010.
Doctors at the Ramallah hospital fought for Jawaher Abu Rahmah's life all night at the Ramallah Hospital, but were unable to save her life. Abu Rahmah suffered from severe asphyxiation caused by tear-gas inhalation yesterday in Bil'in, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital unconscious. She was diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear-gas, and did not respond to treatment.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bil'in activist, Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was shot dead with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during a demonstration in the village on April 17th, 2009. See here for a video of his shooting.
Media Contact: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736
Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil'in Popular Committee said this morning: "We are shocked and furious for Israel's brutality, which once again cost the life of a peaceful demonstrator. Israel's lethal and inhumane response to our struggle will not pass. In the dawn of a new decade, it is time for the world to ask Israel for accountability and to bring about an end to the occupation."
Adv. Michael Sfard, who represents the village in an appeal against the Wall added: "The son was killed by a directly aimed projectile, the daughter choked in gas. Two brave protesters against a regime that kills the innocent and doesn't investigate its criminals. We will not quiet, we will not give up, we will not spare any effort until those responsible will be punished. And they will."
25 August 2010
The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, strongly condemned the conviction of Bil'in resident Abdallah Abu Rahmah by a military court yesterday
In a peremptory statement released by Catherine Ashton yesterday following the conviction, the EU expressed a strong concern over the repression of protest against the wall and persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders. Ashton said, "The High Representative is deeply concerned that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner. "
Adv. Gaby Lasky, Abu Rahmah's lawyer said, "Soldiers have killed and injured dozens and hundreds of protesters in the attempt to stop the Palestinian popular struggle, but have failed. They are now trying to illegitimately use the courts and the legal system in the same way. The international community must take a tough stand on this issue, and I am happy that the political motivation of the indictment against a human rights defender was clear to the EU from attending the hearings."
"Israel believes that that it can do as it likes - the International Court of Justice in the Hague and even the Israeli Supreme Court have both ruled that the wall Israel builds on our land is illegal, and yet, it is still there. Somehow, despite the wall's illegality, we are the ones being persecuted and jailed for rightfully protesting. The recognition of our rights to protest in Ashton's statement is important, but it must also be translated into real and concrete pressure on Israel," said Mohammed Khatib, secretary of the Bil'in Village Council. "While everyone is talking about the resumption of negotiations, on the ground nothing has changed," he added.
Media contact: Jonathan Pollak 0546327736
This coming fall, members of Anarchists Against the Wall (AAtW) will be touring the US and possibly – thanks to your help – arriving at your closest university hall, info-shop, bookstore or festival.
AATW is a direct action group that was established in 2003 to resist the construction of the wall Israel is building on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank. The group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation. Since its formation, the group has participated in thousands of demonstrations and direct actions against the wall specifically, and the occupation generally, all over the West Bank.
This speaking and fund raising tour is meant to inform communities, activists, students and the wider public about the current situation in Israel/Palestine and raise funds to cover AATW's legal expenses which grow thanks to relentless state repression.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We are looking for activists in the XXXXXX (TB defined) area, to help organize, publicize and host the tours' events. The main purpose of the tour is to raise legal defense money but we are open to creative suggestions regarding the content and format of events. They could be huge hall lectures, house parties or workshops in activists centers/festivals.
We have a poster design which can be used to promote the event as well as a lot of video materials of various lengths and types which can be used in the fund raising event or a preceding event.
In addition we will have T Shirts and Zines in English and Spanish that could be sold to raise money,If you're willing to give a hand in this collective effort please contact:
We're looking forward to hearing from you!
ABOUT AATW IN BRIEF
In April 2003, three years into the Second Intifada, a small group of Israeli activists, already doing various political work in the Occupied Territories formed Anarchists Against the Wall. The group was established to organize and more efficiently support Palestinian civilian resistance to large scale confiscation of lands and denial of the freedom of movement, caused by the construction of Israel's wall in the West Bank specifically as well as the occupation in general.
Since 2004 AATW activists joined thousands of demonstrations in dozens of villages throughout the West Bank. Starting in Jayyous, which was the first village to rise up against the construction of the wall in September 2002 AATW continued on to many other villages. Those included Budrus, Biddu, Beit Liqqiya, and Bil'in, which became a symbol of the popular resistance to the wall for its relentless, already five year old and still ongoing, weekly demonstrations. Lately AATW has joined the struggle in Ni'ilin, Maasara, Nabi Saleh, and also Sheik Jarah in east Jerusalem.
Standing side by side with Palestinians, the group has also suffered from a sample of what Israeli repression in the occupied Palestinian territories looks like. Clearly, Palestinians are the ones that suffer most from repression, including 19 killed at demonstrations against the wall. but members of the AATW have also suffered several severe injuries and over a hundred indictments were filed against them. Dozens of others suffer slighter wounds such as brain hemorrhages, fractured limbs etc. Despite the physical danger and mental stress involved, AATW activists continue to put themselves on the line in support of the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
AATW cooperates with local popular committees established in villages resisting the wall. These are autonomous non-partisan committees that initiate and coordinate the demonstrations. In addition, the group works with Israeli and international organizations, Such as the International Solidarity Movement, the Coalition of Women for Peace, Gush Shalom and others. While financially AATW is amongst the poorest in the Israeli left, it does the majority of the mobilizing of Israelis to demonstrations in the Occupied Territories.
AATW is structured as a non-hierarchical group, composed of several dozens of dedicated activists and a larger support circle of a few hundreds. AATW does not receive funding from any state or government. For this reason, expenses such as transportation, phone bills, first aid etc. are mainly covered by the activists themselves.
For more information about the ongoing activities of AATW please see their website
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
31 March 2010
Hundreds of people gathered at the Bitunya checkpoint near Ofer Military prison to demand the release of ten demonstrators arrested in Bethlehem last Sunday, among them Abbas Zaki of the PLO Executive Committee. Two demonstrators were arrested.
Hundreds of demonstrators, among them Jubril Rajoub, Jamal Muhsein and Mahmoud alAloul of Fatah's Central Committee, gathered today in front of the Bituntya military checkpoint leading to Ofer Prison, where the ten demonstrators who were arrested in Bethlehem last Sunday are held. The demonstrators demanded the immediate release of those arrested in Bethlehem and of all the prisoners of the popular struggle. They also denounced the racial discrimination the ten were subjected to in their arrest, as the Israeli activists arrested with them were released with a slap on the wrist that very same day.
After a few short speeches, the demonstrators intended to continue to the Ofer military court, where the ten's hearings were scheduled to be heard. Once refused passage, protesters tried to topple the fence near the checkpoint in order to get to the court. Border Police officers responded with concussion grenades, tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets. Clashes between officers and local youth continued for about two hours before the demonstration was dispersed.
Two Palestinian protesters were arrested during the demonstration. One of them, a 16 year old, was nabbed from within his father's car, through the window, after Border Police officers broke it using a rifle butt.
The Bethlehem Ten's remand hearing, which was supposed to be held today, did not take place, and was postponed to tomorrow.
Today's demonstration, which was organized jointly by West Bank popular committees and the Fatah movement, follows a press conference held yesterday in Ramallah, in which Fatah announced an escalation in the movement's use of popular struggle strategies.
For more details:
Jonathan Pollak: +972546327736
Fifteen demonstrators were arrested by Israeli forces during a peaceful demonstration near Rachel's Tomb last Sunday, protesting Israeli violations of Palestinian freedom of religion and lack of access to Jerusalem. The demonstrators marked Palm Sunday and demanded to exercise the centuries old Christian tradition of pilgrimage to Jerusalem on that day. In a clear act of racial discrimination, the Israelis and international were released with a slap on the wrist that same night, while the police extended the arrest of all ten Palestinians by 96 hours.
After soldiers tried to stop the procession at a checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem near Rachel's Tomb, demonstrators overwhelmed the few soldiers positioned there with their numbers, and peacefully continued to march towards Jerusalem. They were, however, stopped by a large contingent of Israeli Police officers a few hundred meters into Jerusalem. When the crowed could not advance farther, a number of Palestinian dignitaries held speeches, after which the protesters began retreating back towards Bethlehem.
It was at that point, that the police began its unprovoked assault at the demonstrators, making fifteen arrests, including those of Abbas Zaki of the PLO Executive Committee, four members of local popular committees and an AP photographer. Abbas Zaki is one of the most prominent Palestinian leaders to have been arrested in grassroots demonstrations in recent years. His arrest has stirred vocal protest by PA officials in this already tense period.
All demonstrators were arrested under the exact same circumstances, and on the same suspicions. The four Israelis and one international detained during the incident, were released that same evening. The Palestinians, however, were subjected to much harsher treatment. The police extended the arrest of all ten of them by 96 hours, which are likely to be extended by another 96 hours even before they will be brought before a judge.
While Israelis and internationals are, as a matter of policy, subject to Israeli law, which only allows for a 24 hours detention by the police, Palestinians are subject to Israeli Military Law, which allows for their detention for a period of eight days before being brought in front of a judge. This blunt policy of racial discrimination is applied even in cases where Palestinians and Israelis are arrested together and under the same circumstances, and despite the fact that both Palestinians and Israelis are, in theory, subject to the Israeli Military Law when in the Occupied Territories.
25 March 2010
But Partisan Divide Deepens on U.S. Policy
Utica, N.Y. - More than four-in-five Americans (81%) agree the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a negative impact on U.S. interests, including a majority of both Democrats (88%) and Republicans (77%), a new Zogby Interactive survey finds.
While Americans agree the conflict has a negative impact, they are split about how to deal with the situation. Fifty percent of Americans agree the Obama Administration should steer a middle course in pursing peace in the Middle East. There is a strong divide on this question with 73% of Democrats agreeing that the President should steer a middle course while only 24% of Republicans hold the same opinion. These numbers are largely unchanged from a similar survey conducted in April of 2009.
"Americans have made clear that ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict is important and negatively impacts U.S. interests, but the growing partisan divide over policy is worrisome" said Arab American Institute President James Zogby.
Fifty-one percent of Americans also believe that the inability to stop Israeli settlements makes the U.S. less respected in the world. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (62%), more than half of political Independents (53%) and a third of Republicans (34%) agree.
The full poll results will be released at the New America Foundation on Thursday March 25th at 1:30pm. For more details: Full Poll Release Information
Zogby International was commissioned by the Arab American institute to conduct an interactive survey of 2,471 American adults between March 17th and March 19th. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the US, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.0 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.