Night raid in Bil’in

on 10 Comments
IMG 9301
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

Today, November 9 at about 3:00 in the morning, the Israeli army entered the village of Bil’in. About 50 soldiers entered the village by jeep and foot. When they arrived at the two targeted houses, they ran and took positions outside while a number of soldiers entered the house.

IMG 9308
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

At first the soldiers were hammering on the door of one house, demanding to see 30-year old Ashraf al-Khatib. It turned out they went to the wrong house. They then went to another house – forcing one of Ashraf’s brothers to show them where Ashraf lives. Soldiers then entered that house, and his brother’s family’s house, and again they woke up the family, asking for Ashraf al-Khatib. His brother, Haytham al-Khatib, is a journalist from the human right’s group B’tselem and was of the ones woken up by the army. Even though they entered a house where their target didn’t  live, they stayed there for about one and a half hours, searching all the rooms.

Haytham al-Khatib told me about his 6-year-old son’s reaction to waking up to see dozens of soldiers in his house, “he asked me to close the door, because he didn’t want to see them.” Haytham himself was prevented when he wanted to record the raid in his family’s houses – the soldiers simply locked him in a room for more than an hour, away from his children and wife. The children in the houses are ages 1,5 and 8 years old, and this is not the first time they have seen their homes raided at night.

However, after 1.5 hours of searching for the target in three houses, two of which he doesn’t reside in, Ashraf al-Khatib was not found. Five weeks ago Ashraf was shot in his leg with live ammunition by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in Bil’in. The bullet went through his leg, breaking the bone. Even though he was heavily injured and in major pain, the soldiers tried to arrest him. Luckily he was brought to safety, and then taken to a hospital for surgery by fellow protesters. Tonight the army decided to come and take him in front of his wife and 1.5 year old daughter instead.

The soldiers finally retreated from the targeted houses by foot, walking toward the military road that follows the illegal segregation fence in Bil’in, at about 4.30 AM. The village of Bil’in has suffered from frequent night raids over the last few years, and a number of villagers have been taken for interrogation and imprisoned for their non-violent resistance to the occupation and segregation wall on Bil’in’s land.

IMG 9324
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)


10 Responses

  1. MRW
    November 9, 2010, 12:20 am

    Look at those uniforms. Camouflage paint. Overpriced combat gear outfitted for a jungle war. Night goggles. Night scopes. For an occupation of civilians in their backyard?

    These stud ducks haven’t fought anything more complicated than a bad gang war at sea level. They wouldn’t last one day with 125 lbs of gear on their backs running 10,000+ ft up the Zagros mountains to invade Iran. No wonder they want the Americans to do it for them.

    They’re playing cops and robbers. Look at them. It’s a joke. They go home to warm beds at night.

    • annie
      November 9, 2010, 7:22 am

      my sentiments exactly. wimps and cowards, the whole lot of them. it’s gross.

    • Citizen
      November 9, 2010, 7:46 am

      Their fellow groupthinkers are busy playing guns in the woods of America; they also go home at night to warm beds. They say they plan to keep it that way, hence that’s why they are busy playing guns. Check out this video and imagine what would happen if Muslim Americans were filmed doing the same thing. A joke, but the joke is on America–in the introductory remarks it’s noted that some of these guys have had actual military experience–in the IDF, not the US Army or Marines. If the video clip depicted “rednecks” playing guns in the woods, their military experience would have been serving in the US armed forces. Is it anti-semitic to point that out?

      • Citizen
        November 9, 2010, 7:47 am

        Oops, here’s the referenced video clip: link to

      • MRW
        November 9, 2010, 1:45 pm

        OMIGOD, everyone should see this video, Citizen! Danny (Schecter, whom I knew in Manhattan) is dead on in this video.

        Is this legal? This is appalling, no different than Brown Shirts with assault rifles. A bunch of anti-semites practicing in the woods. That reporter whitewashing at the end what we just saw as specific anti-Muslim rhetoric should be ashamed of herself.

        Can you imagine the uproar if these were Christian Zionists out in the woods practicing to shoot Muslims?

        There is no excuse for this, and there is no justification.

        These people do it right, if you want that kind of combat training: link to
        link to

  2. Avi
    November 9, 2010, 12:24 am

    Ashraf al-Khatib deserved to be shot in the leg. What kind of terrorist and anti-Semite goes on a peaceful non-violent march to stop the theft of his land?

    He’s lucky he was allowed to live. And you know WHY he was allowed to live? Because Israel is a democracy. It’s not just any old democracy, it’s a western democracy, an oasis of civility in a sea of anti-Semitic dictatorships.

    So yeah, next time Ashraf goes waving a Palestinian flag or a sign that reads, “Stop the injustice”, the Israeli army should arrest him, drag him in front of a military court and throw him in prison for a few years. WHY? Because Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East.

    I hate people who wave flags. They’re so destabilizing, especially when those flags are waved on their own land. I tell ya, the chutzpah of these Palestinians knows no bounds.

  3. justicewillprevail
    November 9, 2010, 6:18 am

    As MRW points out, it is pathetic and comical to see these clowns dressed up as if they were going out in a wargame, instead of just knocking on people’s doors and harrassing innocent people. Such brave boys, eh, they could be humiliated at any moment by a poor civilian pointing out their total stupidity and craven idiocy. But it’s not so funny for the distress and destruction they routinely practice. But anti-Semitism is always ugly, and it is particularly ugly when practiced against Palestinians, the indigenous Semites of the region, by a ragtag bunch of Brooklynite settler soldiers who have no ties to the area and understand nothing of the history of the place or the dignity of the people they despise.

  4. tommy
    November 9, 2010, 10:05 am

    A Sirhan Sirhan is born every second because of US financed totalitarianism.

  5. potsherd
    November 9, 2010, 10:25 am

    I saw a report yesterday that there are no more names on Israel’s wanted list of Palestine. They are all presumably dead or in prison.

    So what is their excuse for these raids now?

  6. Taxi
    November 9, 2010, 9:14 pm

    What incredible photographs!

Leave a Reply