Update: Mousa Abu Maria Released from Palestinian Police Custody

5 April 2010

Update: at approximately 1:30 pm Monday, after calls from several people in the Palestinian Government, Mousa Abu Maria was kissed on the head by the head of the police in Hebron, apologized to, and released from custody. The police claimed they didn’t know who he was when they illegally arrested him the night before. They would not explain why he and Younis Arrar from the National Committee of Beit Ommar were on their list of people to arrest and claimed they were looking for car thieves during their operation in Beit Ommar overnight.

While Salam Fayyad and other PA minsters march in Bil’in declaring their support of the Popular Resistance, the Palestinian police have continued to repress any such resistance that is organized outside of their control. Because of this, Mousa Abu Maria was arrested at 1:40 this morning by Palestinian police, reportedly in coordination with the Israeli military. Residents reported more than a dozen Palestinian police vehicles were involved in the operation in Beit Ommar, where they also attempted to arrest National Committee member Younes Arrar, who was not home. His family said the police had no warrant and frightened his family.

Yesterday, a peaceful demonstration was held for the third time this month on the highway outside Beit Ommar, organized by the National Committee of Beit Ommar against continued settlement expansion on Beit Ommar land by the settlements Bat ‘Ayn and Karmei Tsur. Israeli, International and Palestinian activists sat in the road, a primary highway through the southern West Bank for settlers and Palestinians.

The Palestinian police also violently broke up a demonstration last wek in support of the 10 Palestinians arrested during a Palm Sunday demonstration in Bethlehem. PA officials who had publicly backed non-violent resistance said they would “investigate” why their own police forces would attack such demonstrations.