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Palestine: Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator of West Bank Coordination Committee arrested

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | community struggles | non-anarchist press author Thursday January 28, 2010 19:09author by commentatorauthor address Tel Aviv Report this post to the editors

The third, but non-violent, Indifada is rolling...

After years of non-violent joint struggle of Palestinian local popular committees with Israeli leftists (with the prominence of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative among them) a new stage is developing. Lately, the persistent struggles have expanded well beyond the struggle against the separation fence - Sheikh Jarrah and Nabi Saleh, and a general West Bank Coordination Committee was founded, with an AAtW member as internet spokesperson for it.


Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator of West Bank Coordination Committee Arrested


The third, but non-violent, Indifada is rolling...

After years of non-violent joint struggle of Palestinian local popular committees with Israeli leftists (with the prominence of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative among them) a new stage is developing.

It took two years of activities of short or medium duration in various villages for the persistent struggle to start in Bil'in. It took nearly another two years till in addition to the increase in short or medium duration struggles, the Ni'ilin and Ma'sara persistent struggles joined Bil'in, with significant interaction of these with Bil'in and the AAtW.

Lately, the persistent struggles have expanded well beyond the struggle against the separation fence - Sheikh Jarrah and Nabi Saleh, and a general West Bank Coordination Committee was founded, with an AAtW member as internet spokesperson for it.

The media is starting to wonder if this is the beginning of the third Intifada. The authorities, who are aware of the development, started intense efforts a few months ago to suppress the demonstrations in Bil'in. Last month they began with mass arrests of Israelis (90+ already, though only for 36 hours each time). The official announcement of the general West Bank Coordination Committee may be one of the reasons the suppression has intensified.

Here is the latest news:

Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator of West Bank Coordination Committee Arrested


Press Release - 28 January, 2010
From: Popular Resistance

PLEASE FORWARD AND POST

28.1.10

Israeli arrests aimed at quashing popular resistance continue:
Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator of West Bank Coordination Committee Arrested

In the highest profile arrest of the recent wave of repression against West Bank popular struggle, Israeli soldiers arrested Mohammed Khatib today before dawn. Khatib is a member of Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement in the West Bank village of Bil'in and the coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

For more details:* +972546327736 | media@popularstruggle.org

At a quarter to two AM tonight, Mohammed Khatib, his wife Lamia and their four young children were woken up by Israeli soldiers storming their home, which was surrounded by a large military force. Once inside the house, the soldiers arrested Khatib, conducted a quick search and left the house.

Roughly half an hour after leaving the house, five military jeeps surrounded the house again, and six soldiers forced their way into the house again, where Khatib's children sat in terror, and conducted another, very thorough search of the premises, without showing a search warrant. During the search, Khatib's phone and many documents were seized, including papers from Bil'in's legal procedures in the Israel High Court.

The soldiers exited an hour and a half later, leaving a note saying that documents suspected as "incitement materials" were seized. International activists who tried to enter the house to be with the family during the search were aggressively denied entry.

Mohammed Khatib was previously arrested during the ongoing wave of arrests and repression on Augst 3rd, 2009 with charges of incitement and stone throwing. After two weeks of detention, a military judge ruled that evidence against him was falsified and ordered his release, after it was proven that Khatib was abroad at the time the army alleged he was photographed throwing stones during a demonstration.

Khatib's arrest today is the most severe escalation in a recent wave of repression again the Palestinian popular struggle and its leadership. Khatib is the 35th resident of Bil'in to be arrested on suspicions related to anti-Wall protest since June 23rd, 2009.

The recent wave of arrests is largely an assault on the members of the Popular Committees – the leadership of the popular struggle – who are then charged with incitement when arrested. The charge of incitement, defined under Israeli military law as "an attempt, whether verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order," is a cynical attempt to punish grassroots organizing with a hefty charge and lengthy imprisonments. Such indictments are part of the army's strategy of using legal persecution as a means to quash the popular movement.

Similar raids have also been conducted in the village of alMaasara, south of Bethlehem, and in the village of Ni'ilin – where 110 residents have been arrested over the last year and half, as well as in the cities of Nablus, Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Among those arrested in the recent campaign are three members of the Ni'ilin Popular Committee, Sa'id Yakin of the Palestinian National Committee Against the Wall, and five members of the Bil'in Popular Committee – all suspected of incitement.

Prominent grassroots activists Jamal Jum'a (East Jerusalem) and Mohammed Othman (Jayyous) of the Stop the Wall NGO, involved in anti-Wall and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigning, have recently been released from detention after being incarcerated for long periods based on secret evidence and with no charges brought against them.

Background links:

[1] LA Times: Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-nonviolence4-2009nov04,0,6772369,full.story

[2] Ynet: 2010 will see us beat the occupation:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3840698,00.html

author by commentatorpublication date Thu Jan 28, 2010 22:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'2010 will see us beat the occupation'

Organizer of protests in Naalin, Bilin and Nabi Saleh warns that recent West Bank clashes are prelim to nearing intifada

The recent clashes in the Ramallah-adjacent village of Nabi Saleh, which is the newest addition to the list of confrontation locales between Palestinians and IDF forces in the West Bank, are bolstering the position of those fighting against the separation fence.

Tuesday saw the Ofer Military Court arraign the 14 protestors arrested in the latest clash – including a 14-year-old teen, two women and a member of the Naalin village committee.

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The village of Naalin, also near Ramallah, is the stage of near-weekly clashes between military forces, local residents and left-wing activists supporting them.

All detainees but one were released on their own recognizance. Another group of detainees will be arraigned on Thursday.

But while the clashed in Naalin and the West Bank village of Bilin focus on the route of the constructed fence, the riots in Nabi Saleh are of a different nature and the protests' initiators claim that as a result of their effort, security forces are now truly concerned that the violent protests may find their way to other locations in the West Bank.

The fight, said Muhammad Khatib – who is considered by many the protests' leader – "has proven itself in Bilin and Naalin and has become a model that goes beyond the boundaries of the West Bank. Thousands arrive (at the villages) to take part in our demonstrations."

Khatib, a senior Bilin councilman, added that much of the effort "is geared towards turning international pressure on Israel. Our activists have beaten Israeli propaganda with photos of them beaten and injured while being arrested during demonstrations."

Nabi Saleh clashes. Beating 'Israeli propaganda' (Photo: Reuters)

Khatib believes that "the fight will soon spread further, partially because of frustration over the political standstill, but mostly because of the settlers' badgering and the fact that the IDF does nothing to stop it."

'IDF is nervous'

Pleased with the impact the riots seem to create, Khatib told Ynet he believes that his people will be able to stir the entire area by the end of the year. "We are on the eve of an intifada," he predicted. "The resistance will spread, like it did in the (1987) Intifada, but this one will be much more creative.

"We're positive 2010 will see us beat the occupation. We see it in the fact that the Israeli military is nervous about the fact that it can't curb (the protest)."

Khatib and the anti-separation fence committee, with the help of some international groups, are also trying to promote various worldwide bans against Israel. "International groups that support us help fund detainees' legal fees. It's a prominent tool in the fight against the occupation," he said.

Israel, he continued, has hardened its policies against rioters arrested in the West Bank, and Israeli troops have become more violent. "There are nightly raids and arrests," he claimed, saying that 34 people have been arrested since last June and that since December, the IDF has carried out 16 nightly raids in Naalin alone.

Israeli Left-wing activists Yonatan Pollack, one of the struggle's leaders, who was injured in a Nabi Saleh protest, added that Israel has expanded its efforts to suppress the struggle using legal means.

"The charges against the activists are also reminiscent of what went on during the first intifada," he said.

"Instead of terror, they charge turns into incitement – and instead of membership in illegal organizations, they are now charged with illegal gatherings."

Related Link: http://awalls.org
 
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