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Israel Arrests 11 Nonviolent Activists In Biddu

Israeli Military Arrests 11 Nonviolent Activists In Biddu

[Biddu, West Bank] On Thursday, April 15th, in the Palestinian village of Biddu, eleven people, including a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, were arrested by the Israeli military when Palestinian, international, and Israeli activists made an effort to stop the work on the Wall that will isolate the village from its land.

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and concussion grenades directly at the line of the nonviolent protesters, which dispersed the demonstration as it approached an Israeli military barricade at the edge of the village preventing the activists from reaching the site where the work on the Wall is currently under way.

Israeli soldiers and border police charged the crowd and targeted the remaining Israelis and internationals who had stayed to continue negotiating for the soldiers to leave and to stop using violence against the peaceful demonstration. The Israeli border police used unnecessary violence during the arrest of the 11 people, beating and dragging many of the arrested men and women, ripping their clothes and bruising their bodies. They fired excessive amounts of tear gas including at an ambulance assisting an unconscious woman suffering from tear gas exposure. One of the men who was arrested was beaten in the head with a gun, and a number of other demonstrators were injured.

Mohammed Said Beduan, a 12 year-old-boy from Biddu, was released and has returned to his family in Biddu. American activist Neal Aherm, Jewish American activist Rebekah Wolf, Israeli activist Esti Recht, and another Israeli activist were released on the condition that they will not return to Biddu for 15 days. Arafat Abu Ras, a Palestinian from Sawiya, was detained in the Givat Zeev police station and was released late this evening. Abel Hussein Saada, a 33 year old Biddu resident, has been taken to Ofer military prison in the West Bank. Swedish activist Nils Andersson and Rabbi Arik Ascherman are still being detained in an unknown location.

Earlier this evening Palestinian American activist Huwaida Arraf and Israeli activist Shelly Nativ were taken to the Peace Court in Jerusalem and were released after their hearing. The Israeli police have asked that both women be banned from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) for three months. The decision by Judge Irit Cohen will be given at 14:00 on Sunday, April 18th at the Peace Court in Jerusalem.

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