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Please help us to dismantle the siege of Hebron

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When I filmed the video of the assassination of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in March 2016, it caused a worldwide sensation to the extent that the Israeli defense minister submitted his resignation from the government after the case caused great controversy.

This documentation of a crime was part of the program for photography by the Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron. The program was named “capturing the occupation camera project.” Some of our volunteers document the violations of the occupation army and the settlers. We are also known to our people as activists in the popular resistance in Palestine and the city of Hebron in particular. We are the only ones who have trained school students to use cameras as a means of self defense, to document violations. We teach courses in law and self-protection at the time of filming, as well as helping, visiting and supporting families to strengthen their steadfastness and the continuation of their lives.

I expected that a result of this documentation of the execution of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif would be that we would get an opportunity to talk to the international community, who would call on the Human Rights Defenders group to speak about our work and tell our story. We know those who are invited more than five times a year. My eldest son and myself were prevented from traveling by the occupation 3 years ago after we were invited to Lebanon by the station MBC. But the failure to invite any one of the activists of the Human Rights assembly does not help to break the siege on the city of Hebron. We need our voice to reach the world.

My home is a few meters away from the Tel Rumeida settlement in Hebron. My home is also a home for the Human Rights Defenders group, but it is being attacked almost daily, and we have been threatened more than once by settlers, threatening to kill us. Several members of the Human Rights group were arrested in April and put in prison and threatened with administrative detention after a confidential file was filed in court against them. One of them was my partner and friend, the human rights activist Badee Dwaik.

My message is an expression of my personal frustration as well as the joint frustration as a group, caused by a combination of lack of justice, lack of international interest to invite us to come and speak, and continually ignoring us and the siege on Hebron. Sometimes I feel that what we are doing is not respected, especially since we do a lot of work here and are respected by our people in Palestine. Continually ignoring us helps the Zionists to continue the siege.
Therefore we call on all international organizations for Palestine as well as individuals to help us, to enable us to talk about Palestine, about the suffering of the families in Hebron and our experiences in the resistance, and especially about our documentation project “Capturing the occupation by camera,” teaching school students to use the camera as a means of self defense. We also talk about ourselves and about documenting the crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation, and how the camera turned into an important weapon in this conflict, so that the occupation will not succeed in silencing us, and so that we can publish it everywhere.
About Imad Abu Shamsiya

Imad Abu Shamsiya is a human rights activist who lives with his family in occupied Hebron.

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2 Responses

  1. echinococcus
    July 6, 2017, 6:14 pm

    We need a lot more of this kind of stuff, thank you.

    What we don’t need is the pigheaded insistence in calling the place “Hebron”.

  2. JosephA
    July 6, 2017, 6:46 pm

    Wow, this is depressing. But then again, reality isn’t always perfect. Thank you for sharing this story.

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