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21 Year Old Palestinian tortured in IOF jail

1. Twenty-one Year Old Palestinian tortured in IOF jail

2. Tubas Area Residents to Hold Anti-Checkpoint Demonstration on Tuesday

3. Mohammed Mansour’s Court Case to Restart Tuesday

4. Successful First Anti-wall Demo in Abud Village

5. Bil’in: Independence in a Prison

6. CPT Hebron: At-Tuwani: Palestinian landowner forbidden to cultivate his land

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1. Twenty-one Year Old Palestinian tortured in IOF jail

By Johan

On Friday the 18th of November at 15:00, the IOF released 21 year old Hamza Samara from custody on a 10,000 NIS bail. ISM would like to thank all of you who donated money to the ISM Palestine Legal Fund, making Hamza’s release possible. During 25 days in jail, Hamza was subjected to torture and insults on several occasions.

Hamza was arrested at 02:00 in the morning on the 24th of October 2005. The IOF had entered Bil’in, a small village in the West Bank, to abduct him and another Palestinian man. The soldiers tied his hands and blindfolded him, and brought him to Ofer Military Base near Beituniya.

When they reached the military base, the soldiers put him on a small chair, where he was kept until the morning, still blindfolded with his hands tied. When Hamza asked the soldiers if he could move to sit on the floor, the soldiers kicked him and insulted him.

The abuse continued. Hamza was not allowed to go to the bathroom when he needed to. After a long while he started crying and kept asking the soldiers to let him use the toilet. At that point the soldiers finally gave their permission, but on the way to the bathroom the soldiers pushed Hamza and hit him, and refused to untie his hands, saying: “Do it as you like, we are not going to take the chains off.” Other Palestinians serving long term sentences at the military base supported Hamza by welcoming him and giving him clothes and cigarettes.

Hamza was accused of having destroyed a part of the illegal Israeli apartheid wall. But not until one week after his arrest did the IOF bring him in front of a military court. After postponing the court hearing three times, the judge decided to release Hamza on a 10,000 NIS bail.

The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind.” The State of Israel has not signed this convention, the reasons for which seem obvious in the light of the abuse Hamza had to endure in jail.

Unfortunately, Hamza’s arrest and subsequent torture is not an isolated event. In Bil’in alone, 18 young Palestinian men and children have been arrested in nightly raids in the last month. 16 of these people remain in Israeli Military Law. Bil’in is severely affected by the apartheid wall, which has stolen 60% of the agricultural land of the village, and transferred it to the nearby settlement Modi’in Elite.

“It’s our right to destroy the wall”, a friend of Hamza said, “but they think if you destroy it you are a terrorist or something”. The International Court of Justice in the Hague concluded in 2004 that "the construction of the wall and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”.

Related Links:

* UN Convention Against Torture

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

* International Court of Justice ruling on the Apartheid Wall

http://stopthewall.org/internationallaw/639.shtml

* More ISM dispatches from Bil’in

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/category/bilin/

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2. Tubas Area Residents to Hold Anti-Checkpoint Demonstration on Tuesday November 20th, 2005

At 10am residents of the Tubas area together with Israeli and international supporters will protest against Tyaseer checkpoint. The checkpoint has isolated four Palestinian villages and agricultural land belonging to four further villages.

The villages of Bardala, Ein Al Beda, Cardala and Wadi Al Malech are in an enclave in the Jordan Valley, the only entry and exit point to which is the Tyaseer checkpoint. Anyone who is not registered ontheir I.D. card as from these villages or has a time limited permit is forbidden to enter by the Israeli military. In order to be allowed to move freely many residents of this village have registered there addresses in Tubas itself. Now, if they leave their villages they are forbidden to return.

Hundreds of villagers from Tubas, Aqaba, Tayaseer and Tamun villages who own fertile agricultural land, on which they depend as there only source of income, have been denied permits by the Israeli authorities and can no longer access their land.

Tayaseer and Aqaba are in an area considered a “Military Zone”.

Occupation officials have made no secret of their opinion that Aqaba “just should not be there”. Recently the military confiscated villagers sheep and burnt there grazing grounds. According to Ha’aretz (26th March 1999), 8 villagers from the village were killed and 43 wounded by the Israeli military between 1967 when they “adopted” it as a training facility and September 2000 when they were forced to pull after the village brought a successful case against the them to the Israeli high court. More recently, the military declared all the village homes to be “illegally built” and threatened to demolish the whole village, issuing demolition orders in the village. These efforts were defeated by international protests.

On the website of the Rebuilding Alliance you find a film by Amir

Terkel about Aqaba

http://4blacksheep.com/clients/rebuilding_alliance/Aqabeh_April_2005.mov

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3. Mohammed Mansour’s Court Case to Restart Tuesday

Palestinian non-violent organiser Mohammed Mansour from Biddu will appear in court again on Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear before an

Israeli judge at the “Peace Court” in occupied east Jerusalem at 9:30 am. Mohammed is being charged with assaulting a police officer and throwing stones following his arrest by undercover police during a non-violent demonstration against the apartheid wall in Al Ram on June 26th 2004.

At Mohammed’s last hearing, the prosecution offered Mohammed’s lawyer a deal. Mohammed would have to had accepted a 3500 shekel fine and the condition that he not participate in any demonstrations for the next two years. Mohammed rejected the deal.

When Mohammed was initially arrested in June 2004 he was severely beaten, hospitalised and then held for a week before his release on bail together with another three Palestinians, including two minors, who were arrested at the Al Ram demonstration. Five Israeli peace activists, also arrested at the demonstration, were released a few hours following their arrest.

A Palestinian photographer working for the Israeli news paper Yediot

Ahreonot was also assaulted and severely beaten by undercover police

during the demonstration.

Mohammed’s trail is taking place while 16 non violent activists from the village of Bil’in are still in jail in an attempt to crush the non-violent resistance in the village.

The International Solidarity Movement condemns the Israeli legal

System’s defense of war crimes committed by the Israeli military and settlers, as well as its criminalization of non-violent protest against the Occupation.

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4. Successful First Anti-wall Demo in Abud Village

This Friday morning villagers from Abud, a village in the West Bank, held their first non-violent demonstration against the construction of the illegal Israeli annexation wall. The wall is threatening to steal agricultural land and water resources from the small Muslim/Christian village of 2500 citizens.

At 10:30 the villagers, accompanied by Israeli and international activists, gathered in front of the local council building and started walking to the construction site of the illegal apartheid wall. At the site, a prayer was conducted by Sheikh Tayeer Tammimi, the imam of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and a speech was held by Atalah Hana, Bishop of Jerusalem and the head of and the Greek Orthodox Church in Palestine. These two events constituted a message of unity among the villagers across religious boundaries.

After the speech, the demonstrators started to entered the construction area by crossing roadblocks, passing Israeli soldiers and almost getting run down by military jeeps driving right into the mass of people. The soldiers continuously threw sound bombs into the crowd and attempted to beat the demonstrators away. Around 12.00 the Israeli military started throwing teargas grenades directly at the demonstrators. A lot of people got tear gased and two Palestinians were hit by the shrapnel from the grenades, but no one was seriously injured.

The demonstration gathered around 300 protesters, among them approximately 40 Israeli and international Human Rights Observers. No one was arrested. Present at the demonstration was Qadurra Fares, member of the Legislative Council and Head of the Office Against the Wall.

For pictures:

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2005/11/18/successful-first-anti-wall-demo-in-abud-village/

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5. Bil’in: Independence in a Prison

On Friday November 17th, the villagers of Bil’in and their supporters carried balloons with the Palestinian colors and small flags, marching under banners proclaiming “Your wall kills ours independence” in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The colorful group of some two hundred and fifty people chanted and sang their way to the site of the wall construction, where they were stopped by Israeli soldiers. The nonviolent resistance in Bil’in, against the construction of the wall and the theft of more than half of village land, has become a symbol of cooperation between Palestinians, internationals and Israelis. Encouragingly, the latter group made up almost half of the crowd.

The demonstrators attempted for over an hour to reach the site of the wall construction and attach the balloons. The soldiers aggressively pushed the crowd back. There where several confrontations when demonstrators sat down and blocked the encroachment of the soldiers.

Several of the soldiers chased after some young boys on the hillside and provoked clashes between the army and stone-throwing youth that continued after the demonstration was over. When the demonstration had decided to disperse back into the village one of the Israeli activists turned to the soldiers and said, “see you next week”.

For pictures:

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2005/11/20/independence-in-a-prison/

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6. CPT Hebron: At-Tuwani: Palestinian landowner forbidden to cultivate his land

The tiny hamlets of the South Hebron hills are doggedly trying to eke out their sustenance for the fields they have always cultivated in this beautiful rugged terrain to their misfortune, they are situated practically in the throat of the newcomers to the area - settlements and outposts of Maon -and the incident described is one in a long systematic chain.

On Thursday, November 17, 2005, Israeli settlers, soldiers and police prevented a Palestinian landowner from the village of Mufakara (a kilometer from At-Tuwani) from cultivating his land. Shortly before 10 AM, three Israeli settlers in trucks and four Israeli soldiers in a hummer arrived on the land and announced the Palestinian landowner must leave. The settlers, who were from the illegal settlement outpost of Avi Hai(1.5km away), claimed the land did not belong to the Palestinian, but to the outpost of Avi Hai.

CPTers went to investigate when they received a call alerting them of the situation. When the CPTers arrived, they found the Israeli soldiers and settlers, and also police gathered on land above the halted tractor. The police were looking at maps drawn by the settlers and discussing ownership of the land, mostly with the settlers. The Palestinian landowner repeatedly told the police that his family had owned the land for generations. The police insisted that unless the Palestinian had documents on hand to prove ownership, they would enforce the boundaries outlined on the settlers' map.

As the discussions continued, the Israeli police threatened to arrest CPTers for taking photographs, videotaping, and not leaving the area. Eventually the police advised the Palestinian man to go with them to the Israeli police station in Kiryat Arba for further discussion. The Palestinian left with the Israeli police and later told CPTers what happened.

As soon as the police and the Palestinian arrived at the police station, the police met alone with the settlers (who drove to the station in their own vehicles). The police then informed the Palestinian that the land in question does belong to the outpost of Avi Hai. The Palestinian restated that his family owns the land and that he does have documents proving ownership, including a recent Israeli High Court decision differentiating his land from Israeli State Land. The police responded by ordering him not to return to his land. The man insisted he would return, as it is his family's land. When the Palestinian landowner told the police he was leaving the police station, they told him he must pay a 500 shekel fine, saying, "This is the rule." When he refused, the police said that instead of paying the fine he could go to jail. He refused again, and the police said they would let him go if he signed a document agreeing not to return to the land for two weeks. Although he refused to sign, the police allowed him to leave without either paying a fine or signing any documents.

The Palestinian landowners from Mufakara have cultivated their land on this hillside for years without interference from Israeli settlers, military, or police.

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