Ramallah, 22 November 2012 - Addameer is deeply concerned by the significant spike of arrests by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) across the West Bank, especially among those engaging in demonstrations against the recent Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip which began on 14 November 2012. Addameer has documented over 200 cases of arrest and detention between 14 November 2012 and the morning of 22 November 2012, although the true figure is expected to be significantly higher.
Palestinians have been demonstrating across the West Bank to protest IOF attacks on Gaza which have left over 162 dead and over 1,200 more injured. Thus far, Addameer has documented arrests at Ofer Military base, the illegal settlement of Beit El, villages around Hebron and Qalqilia, Jerusalem and its suburbs, as well as Huwwara checkpoint in Nablus. Many of the youths who participated in these demonstrations have been attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets and in some cases, live ammunition. In one case, an unconscious man was arrested and detained. Hours after the ceasefire was announced, the IOF arrested over fifty Palestinians across the West Bank, including former prisoners and hunger strikers, human rights activists and a professor at Najah University in Nablus.
Below are some of the cases Addameer is currently following:
On 15 November 2012, a group of young women protested at the illegal settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah, to call for an end to the attacks on Gaza. Of the fifteen protesters, eight were arrested. The women were shackled and blindfolded, and subject to a barrage of harassment, including calling them dogs, bitches, other humiliating insults and taunting them. They were treated aggressively, with their blindfolds being tied so tightly as to cause pain to the skull, as well as being held in various painful positions. Each woman endured an interrogation by male IOF soldiers, who denied them water, screamed at them, threatened to physically beat them and attempted to provoke them by laughing and singing loudly in Hebrew
Three young boys, aged 13 and 14 years, were arrested in Silwan in Jerusalem. One was released on bail, but the others remain detained. Their charges remain unclear
On 17 November 2012, three males, aged 18-21 were arrested at Atara checkpoint near Bir Zeit, while they were riding in a taxi on their way home. Addameer is following the case of one of these young men, who is an American citizen of Palestinian origin. He has been held at Ofer Military Prison since Saturday and potentially faces deportation. Thus far, he has not been accused of any charges
These three cases only illustrate a small fraction of over 200 that Addameer has documented of aggression against West Bank communities, especially of young people, during the attacks on Gaza. Addameer calls on the IOF to cease their campaign of arbitrary arrests and demands the immediate release of these prisoners of conscience.
*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that those arrested be released immediately:
Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria
PO Box 5
Beit El 90631
*Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release all those recently arrested.