Two Committee Members’ Homes Raided by Israeli Forces
At 3:30am on the morning of Saturday, October 23, 2010, five jeeps of Israeli Forces raided the residences of two National Committee and Palestine Solidarity Project activists in Beit Ommar. Mousa Abu Maria, one of the co-founders of PSP, and Ahmad Abu Hashem, awoke with soldiers surrounding their houses and banging on their doors. At both residences, the activists were ordered to bring their IDs and step outside to talk to a military officer. At Mousa Abu Maria’s house, several soldiers then proceeded to enter his residence and search it, overturning sofa cushions and scattering boxes and clothes across the floor. Soldiers also surrounded the house of Mousa’s neighbor, shinning lights from their guns into his windows.
Mousa and Ahmad were each told by the military officer that they were known organizers of the weekly demonstrations that take place in Beit Ommar every Saturday. The officer threatened them with arrest if they returned to the demonstration, and also warned them not to bring international solidarity activists to participate in events planned by the committee. Mousa was told that all of Beit Ommar is a military closed zone, yet the officer refused to produce the legal papers proving this to be so. After about twenty minutes of blatant intimidation, the soldiers left without arresting either of the activists nor taking anything from their homes.
When both homes were raided, the families of Mousa and Ahmad were harassed. Mousa’s wife, who has Israeli ID, was also told to leave the house with their small baby even though the weather outside was cold. She returned to find baby clothes strewn around the bedroom floor.
These house raids of committee members follows intensified repression of Beit Ommar demonstrations on the part of the Israeli military. Two weeks ago, on October 9th, undercover Israeli Forces in Palestinian clothes arrested three Palestinian youth from the rear of the protest, and several international solidarity activists were pepper sprayed directly in the face. In total, four Palestinians and four solidarity activists were arrested. Another member of the National Committee, which organizes the demonstrations, Eyad Jamil Al Alami, was recently arrested after Israeli soldiers raided his family’s residence. Eyad is in Ofer prison and has been placed in administrative detention for four months.