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Action Alert: Please Distribute and Join in Action

Action Alert: Please Distribute and Join in Action

Non-Violence Threatens Israeli Army: Imprisons Non-Violent Community Leader

Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance Violently Repressed by Israeli Army and Government

"Instead of the fence, my friends and I managed to establish bridges of trust between us and the Jews," he said to Judge Agassi. "We let the world understand that there can be coexistence between us and the Jews." Ahmed Awad, imprisoned for non-violent activities.

The Israeli Army and Israeli government continues to attempt to crush Palestinian engagement in non-violent resistance that is supported by a growing number of international peace activists and Israelis. In the past few weeks violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in Budrus, Kufr Thulth, Beit Awwa, and other areas in the West Bank, by the Israeli Army has resulted in injuries and arrests.

Ahmad Awad, a 43-year-old high-school teacher and father of six, was arrested on October 21 in Budrus.

On October 27, The Shin Bet requested that Awad be put under administrative detention, which allows authorities to jail a suspect without trial. Although this action was cancelled in Israeli court, the military appeal managed to overturn the cancellation and Ahmad is back in prison.

We need to respond to the arrest and imprisonment of Ahmed Awad and defend the right to non-violent, civil resistance:

Ahmed Awad, 42, is one of the leaders of the Committee for the Popular Struggle against the Separation Fence and works closely with Abu Ahmad. The illegal Israeli wall is being constructed in the village of Budrus. The activity by the residents of that village a year ago signaled the start of a grass-roots, non-violent Palestinian struggle against the route of the fence and its accompanying bulldozers, guards, military jeeps and soldiers.

But Awad will sit in administrative detention until the end of the year for his actions. He has engaged in non-violence resistance and is being punished, along with others who attempt to resist the violence and control of the occupation. We need to raise our voices and demand his release and condemn the violence of the army and occupation.

ISM Action Alert: Demand his release!

Please call the Israeli army judge advocate and the minister of justice below and emphasize that Ahmad Hassan Khalil Awad is an active member of the community and involved in non-violent civil resistance and should not be detained.

Inquire about his treatment-demand that he be released now!

Demand an end to violent repression of non-violent resistance and peaceful demonstrations!

Let them know we are aware of the injustice against Ahmad Awad!

Phone, fax or e-mail the officials below:

Judge Advocate (highest legal authority for the Israeli army) AviChay Mandenblit Phone: 972-3-569-2911 Fax: 972-569-4370

Minister of Justice, Yosef Lapid Phone: 972-2-670-8511 Fax: 972-2-628-8618 e-mail: sar@justice.gov.il

If we all make one call, send one fax or one e-mail we can make a difference for Ahmad and all who engage in non-violent resistance to injustice!

For more information please call: ISM Media Office: 972-59-6767-82 Attorney Tamar Peleg: 972-3-642-1859

Read more:

Non-violence frightens the army By Amira Hass

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/499602.html

Ahmed Awad is dangerous for public security. That's what the Shin Bet thinks, that's what Col. Yossi Adiri thinks, that's what military prosecutor Itai Pollak thinks. The three are responsible for the issue of an administrative arrest order against him at the end of October, meaning an arrest without trial, without any way to respond to the accusations against him.

Military Judge Adrian Agassi, on the other hand, does not think Awad is dangerous to public security. He ordered a cancellation of the administrative arrest order. But the military judge in the military appeals court, Moshe Tirosh, agrees that Awad is dangerous to the public. On November 3, he ordered a cancellation of the cancellation of the administrative arrest order.

The Shin Bet thought the danger from Awad was worth three months in administrative detention. Adiri thought that he should be jailed for four months, and the order he signed designated the dates as from October 28 to February 27.

But Tirosh had the impression that two months' administrative detention is appropriate, considering the amount of information and its severity that he found in the request for the arrest. To the decision to cancel the cancelation of the administrative order but to shorten the time Awad spends under arrest, he added, "I hope that the respondent will note that the current arrest is a warning of what the future holds and turns away from the bad road with its unhappy ending. He should pay attention to where he comes from and where he is going, and that there is someone before whom he will have to give an accounting."

But Awad doesn't have a clue what he must beware of and what is the bad road to which Judge Tirosh was referring. Tirosh, after all, was basing his decision on secret material on which the Shin Bet grounded the request for an administrative detention: the exact same secret material in which Agassi found no evidentiary basis for an arrest.

Awad's lawyer, Tamar Peleg, from Moked, the Center for the Defense of the Individual, also has no way to advise him how to "turn away from the bad road with its unhappy ending." She also is not allowed to see the classified material against her client

Awad, 42, is a high school teacher, father of six and one of the leaders of the Committee for the Popular Struggle against the Separation Fence, which went up in the village of Burdus. The activity by the residents of that village a year ago signaled the start of a grass-roots, non-violent Palestinian struggle against the route of the fence and its accompanying bulldozers, guards, military jeeps and soldiers.

Tear gas, beatings and shootings did not deter them. Quite a few Israelis joined their struggle, and ties of friendship and trust have been formed between them and the residents of the village.

The struggle bore fruit. A spectacular olive grove that sprawls over a few hundred dunam was saved. The defense establishment decided to move the route of the fence westward, so as not to harm the trees. About 100 dunam of farmland remained that the fence was going to swallow up. The village decided to show self-restraint, to concede. They understood their victory was impressive. But then it turned out that the bulldozers deviated from the route that was agreed upon in the compromise between the army and the court. So the villagers resumed their demonstrations.

To prevent their demonstrations, the army and Border Police have been operating in the last three months with considerable aggression and violence against all the residents of the village. The demonstrations have been dispersed with more violence than usual. For 15 days the army imposed a de facto curfew on the village. The minute the children reached their schools, the troops fanned out in the village, took up positions, and did not allow people to leave their homes. The children were too frightened to leave school on their own.

That's when Awad was arrested. As opposed to the other members of the committee who belong to Fatah, Awad, as he admits, spent a year in prison in 1997 for belonging to Hamas. Last year he was actively involved in developing the non-violent approach to the struggle.

"Instead of the fence, my friends and I managed to establish bridges of trust between us and the Jews," he said to Judge Agassi. "We let the world understand that there can be coexistence between us and the Jews."

According to the Shin Bet, military prosecution and Judge Tirosh, the danger referred to in the classified material does not refer to his activity against the fence but to "other activity." Peleg was only allowed to cast doubt upon the severity of the secret, "other activity." The open activity, the grass roots activity, she said, contributes to security and public order; it persuades young Palestinians that there is another way to fight for their rights, without going to the Carmel Market to blow up.

But now the despair has been reinforced. Awad will sit in administrative detention until the end of the year. It is difficult not to think that the "good way" he and his colleagues chose in the popular committee is what bothers some elements in the army so much: fraternization with the Israelis, the recognition of a joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle against the occupation, the popular struggle's success at changing the military decisions, the refusal to be dragged into violence compared to the violence of the army and occupation.

Background information:

Court annuls administrative detention of anti-fence activist

By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/496766.html

A military judge annulled Tuesday an order for the administrative detention of a Palestinian resident of the village of Budrus near Ramallah, saying that the order was instated as a result of the man? s record of anti-separation fence activities. The military prosecution appealed the judge's ruling.

Judge Adrian Agassi said the main motive for the administrative detention "is the widespread activity in the village against the separation fence... the detainee... even encourages people - including minors - to protest against the construction [of the fence]... I find that such activity does not warrant holding a man under administrative detention."

The trial marks the third time a judge has annulled the administrative detention of a resident of Budrus who was arrested for anti-fence activity since the start of the year.

The village of Budrus, near the Green Line and west of Ramallah, is spearheading an ongoing struggle of civilians who are protesting the route of the separation fence, which has caused damage to local residents? olive orchards.

As a result of the demonstrations, the route has been moved west of the orchard, but the fence south of the village will still causing a loss of a significant amount of land.

Ahmad Awad, a 43-year-old high-school teacher and father of six, was arrested on October 21 in Budrus.

On October 27, The Shin Bet requested that Awad be put under administrative detention, which allows authorities to jail a suspect without trial.

END

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