Once again, a political leader of the village of Bil'in has been arrested without any decent reason but the one to prestes for the rights of it's people. Mohammed Al Khatib is one of the main leaders of the pacifist movement in the West Bank and now he's in some Israeli filthy jail.
With information from the Bil'in Popular Committee:
Mohammed Al Khatib Bilin Popular Committee Member Arrested28.1.10Mohammed Al Khatib from the Bil'in Popular Committee was arrested in his home early Thursday morning around 1.30 am. Soldiers entered his home and confiscated papers, check receipts, cell phones and things related to popular demonstration. After his arrest, soldiers returned to the house to continue their search, his wife and four children as well as other family members were also at home. The search lasted for approximately one hour. International activists and independent media were present outside the house, but soldiers agressively kept them at a distance and attempted to prevent them from documenting the events. One immigration officer as well as a police officer were also present and threatened the international observers with arrest. No other arrests were made. This is part of the late 2009 - early 2010 wave of intensified Israeli miltary violence against non-violent popular demonstrations. There have been weekly arrests and constant harassment of activists and organizers of the demonstrations against Israel 's Apartheid wall and illegal settlements.
For more information contact:D. Rateb Abu Rahmeh - Member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlement \ Bil'in 0597117673 saborahmeh42@
More comprehensive information:
Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator of West Bank Coordination Committee Arrested28/01/2010Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
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.
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.
For more details: +972546327736 | firstname.lastname@example.org
And also from Ynet:
Bilin councilman arrested after predicting another intifada28/01/2010
by Ali Waked
Leader of protests against West Bank security barrier arrested hours after telling Ynet, ‘We’re positive 2010 will see us beat the occupation’
Muhammad Khatib, considered by many the leader of the Palestinian protests against the construction of the West Bank security barrier, was arrested overnight Thursday by the IDF just hours after telling Ynet, "We are on the eve of an intifada."
During Wednesday’s interview Khatib, a senior Bilin village councilman, said, "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)," he told Ynet.
Khatib’s family members said soldiers arrived at their Bilin home at 1:45 am and arrested him following a search of the residence. They said the soldiers did not present a search warrant, and confiscated a cell phone and documents the troops claimed were possibly inciting.
Khatib was arrested a few months ago and was released by a military judge two weeks later. The prosecution claimed he was photographed throwing stones at security forces, by Defense Attorney Gabi Lasky proved Khatib was abroad when the rally in question was staged.
Members of the anti-separation fence committee allege that Israel has hardened its policies against rioters arrested in the West Bank in order to "break the resistance".
Left-wing activist Yonatan Pollak said he believed Khatib was arrested due to the interview with Ynet.