Update: Israeli forces today arrested Imad Abu Shamsiyya, the brave photographer who documented the killing of an incapacitated Palestinian in Hebron last year, leading to global outrage. Shamsiyya’s latest offense was filming the harassment of a young man at a checkpoint, and participating in a “pray-in” at a nearby village to protest the occupation.
The news release from Human Rights Defenders:
Activist Imad Abu Shamsiyya Arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces After Participation in Peaceful Demonstration
Israeli soldiers have arrested and detained the well-known Palestinian activist and citizen-journalist Imad Abu Shamsiyya.
The arrest took place this afternoon, Friday 4th August, at Gilbert checkpoint, where Imad had been taken for questioning after soldiers led by an Israeli military commander arrived at the Abu Shamsiyya family home.
Imad’s 12 year old son, Saleh – the only other member of the family present at the time – was able to film his father’s arrest and the events immediately leading up to it. We have not yet been able to upload this film due to limited bandwidth but will circulate it as soon as possible.
Moments prior to the arrival of soldiers at his home, Imad had filmed the harassment of a local youth, Zidane Sharbati, at “Gilbert” Checkpoint in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood.
The arrest also follows from Imad’s participation the previous day at a peaceful ‘pray in’ carried out by residents of the village of Khursa, near Dura, to protest against the recent appropriation by the Israeli army of four houses as observation posts.
Imad and fellow activist Badee Dwaik had participated in their capacity as members of the campaign “Dismantle the Ghetto” by invitation of Khursa community members.
We have strong reason to believe that Imad’s arrest is a direct result of his participation in this event, and is deliberately intended to intimidate and deter peaceful protest
The evening prior to the event in Khursa, soldiers also came to the home of Badee Dwaik, coordinator of “Dismantle the Ghetto”, directly threatening him with arrest, should he participate in the protest.
Furthermore, while questioning Imad shortly before his arrest, the military commander who would go on to arrest him can be seen in our footage showing Imad a video. We believe that this is footage that was taken of Imad during his participation at the Khursa protest.
The arrest is part of what appears to be a pattern of “intensifying pressure” upon activists in Hebron. In another recent incident, on 30th March, Badee Dwaik was presented with a secret file kept on his activities after he was arrested for participating in olive planting close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiriyat Arba’.
We urge our supporters to share this story and campaign for Imad’s prompt release as, if he is not released today, we are concerned that he will remain in detention over the weekend, and will likely stand trial on Sunday or Monday.
This story was originally headlined with the news that Israeli soldiers raided the home of Badee Dwaik, a leading activist in Hebron. Original post follows.
Badee Dwaik is a prominent Palestinian activist in the occupied territories. He leads nonviolent protests against the Jewish colonization of Hebron. He has set a courageous example for international visitors under the most extreme provocations.
Last night heavily armed Israeli forces raided his home and attacked Dwaik, because Dwaik was planning to go to nonviolent protests today in the villages of Khurssa and Dura outside Hebron. The commander threatened him and warned him against taking part in those actions.
American media regularly condemn such police actions in Turkey, China and Russia. Where is the outrage over the treatment of a human rights activist inside his home by occupation forces of America’s closest ally in the world? Dwaik has been arrested and jailed several times before.
Here is the latest update on the story. Badee Dwaik is not alone.
And here is the original press release from Human Rights Defenders on Badee Dwaik’s treatment:
The founder of Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron, Badee Dwaik, has just had his home raided by Israeli occupation forces. The commander in charge threatened that if Badee took part in the non-violent actions planned tomorrow in Khurssa for Dura, he will be arrested.
They beat him and the same commander warned him that they will keep coming to raid his home and intimidate him and his family as long as Badee continues his work in Human Rights Defenders, exposing Israeli and settler crimes against Palestinians in occupied Hebron.
This is not the first time that Badee and indeed other members of Human Rights Defenders,have been intimidated, beaten and their family homes invaded due to the nature of their work.