Three Arrested During Night Raid in Beit Ommar
Last night, at 3am on Thursday, April 19, 2012, yet another night raid occurred in Beit Ommar. Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Ahmad Abu Hashem, a member of the Popular Committee of Beit Ommar. The soldiers have a way of breaking a door lock without making any noise, so that the residents can’t hear them coming. Ahmad’s small children woke up and saw the soldiers, and began crying in fear. Yousef Abu Hashem, Ahmad’s 19-year-old son who was released from prison two weeks ago, began to argue with the soldiers, telling them to leave. They took him outside and pushed on the ground onto some broken glass. They broke his thumb and he needed seven stitches in his right hand. Another of Ahmad’s sons, Emad, was arrested just two days later. The purpose of the raid on Ahmad’s house was not to make any arrests, but simply to terrorize the family because of their activism against the occupation.
The soldiers did, however, make arrests from other families last night. The soldiers also went to the home of Ahmad Khadr Abu Maria. They broke in, broke several items in the house, and stole 140 Jordanian Dinar. They attempted to arrest his 16-year-old son, Qassam, but he managed to escape. In similar raids at other houses last night, soldiers arrested Tayseer Za’aqiq (25 years old) and Jihad Alqam (18 years old).
[Edit: April 19, 2012, 7:35pm]: Ismail Ghalib Ismail Awad, age 25, was also arrested during last night’s raid.
Night raids are almost a nightly occurrence in Beit Ommar, to create fear in the community and to discourage people from resisting the occupation. Residents of Beit Ommar are frequently arrested with no charges held against them, and usually have to pay fines between 1000 and 4000 shekels in order to be released. For more information, see our Palestinian Youth Bail Fund and this urgent request from PSP co-founder Bekah Wolf.