Saturday, September 26, 2009

Human rights defender arrested- please take action

Dear Friends
On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway and other European countries, where he was raising awareness about Palestine.

Mohammad, 33 is the youth coordinator for the Stop the Wall Campaign. He has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has lost most of its land to the Wall and the settlements. He has worked constantly to let the world know about the crimes against his people and has developed relations of international solidarity.

Please sign the petition to show your support and urge Norway, and the EU to seek his release:

In peace
PS Mohammad is one of around 8000 Palestinian political prisoners currently being held by Israel, around 550 of whom are held without charge or trial.

Stop the Wall campaign youth organizer detained at Allenby

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Coordinator of the youth programs for the Stop the Wall Campaign Mohammad Othman was arrested by Israeli soldiers as he returned to the West Bank following a tour in Norway on Tuesday, the Badil research center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights said in a statement.

He is reported to be in the Huwara prison, likely under administrative detention, and was detained e. Othman was had met with several Norwegian officials, particularly around the recent steps for the country and its large pension fund to divest from companies involved in the construction of the separation wall and Israeli settlements. During his visit he met with Norwegian Finance Minister Kristen Halvorsen.

This is the second time in recent memory that Palestinian activists have been detained at the Allenby bridge and held ostensably for their works. Earlier int the year eyewitness for the UN Fact Finding Mission Muhammad Srour, was detained on his way home from testifying in Geneva.

The 33-year-old Othman has worked in the field of Palestinian rights for the last ten years. His recent work focused on the nvolvement of Israeli and international business in the violations of Palestinian human rights.


Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration

Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration
Posted on: September 25, 2009 | ISM
Israeli forces storm Bil'in and arrest 3 demonstrators

Israeli forces storm Bil'in and arrest 3 demonstrators, photo courtesy of Hamde Abu Rahma

For Immediate Release

25 September 2009: Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration.

Around 1pm, Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli solidarity activists and a Palestinian cameraman, Haitham al-Khatib (33 years old) during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil’in.

Witnesses say that Israeli soldiers ran in and arrested the 3 demonstrators. Haitham al-Khatib was filming the demonstration near the Wall when he was taken.

Haitham has been filming the ongoing Israeli arrest campaign in Bil’in. One of his videos was recently used by several news sources, including the Israeli news, YNet (see:,7340,L-3778117,00.html), to showcase the violence and intimidation used by the army against Bil’in residents. Thousands of viewers worldwide have been following the night raids in Bil’in through Haitham’s videos on

Haitham was previously detained by Israeli forces on 24 July 2009 when he arrived at Ofer prison to wait for the release of another Bil’in resident. He was held for several hours and interrogated.

Coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, Abdedallah abu Rahme, stated, “Soldiers coming to arrest Palestinians from Bil’in in the night is only part of intimidation campaign, the Israeli authorities are also targeting our supporters and journalists. They want us to stop our non-violent demonstrations, but as long as our land is being stolen, we cannot stop.”


The recent raids began concurrently with the opening of a legal trial in Montreal. The village of Bil’in has taken two companies registered in Canada (Green Park International & Green Mount International) to court for participating in war crimes by building settlements on Bil’in’s land under the 2000 Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Statute (which incorporates both the articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute into Canadian federal law).

Since the trail began Israeli forces have arrested 30 people (most of which are under 18). Twenty-one residents of Bil’in remain in Israeli detention.

Through Israel’s interrogation and intimidation tactics, some of arrested youth have falsely ‘confessed’ that the Bil’in Popular Committee urges the demonstrators to throw stones. With such ‘confessions’, Israeli forces then proceed to raid the village at night invade homes and arrest leaders of the non-violent struggle in the community.

Two of the three popular committee members who traveled to Montreal to represent the villages case , Mohammad Khatib and Mohammad Abu Rahme were arrested and have since been released on bail. (see B’Tselem report:

Another leading Bil’in non-violent activist, Adeeb Abu Rahme, remains in detention since his arrest during a non-violent demonstration on 10 July 2009 (see report & video: Adib has been charged with “incitement to damage the security of the area.”

On 29 August 2009, two additional Bil’in houses were simultaneously raided by at least 40 soldiers, arresting Ashraf Al-Khatib (age 29) and Hamru Bornat (age 24). A local cameraman, Haitham Al-Khatib, brother of the arrested Ashraf, was repeatedly forcibly moved and hit, and threatened with arrest unless he stopped filming. Soldiers declared his home a “closed military zone” but could not produce any military order.

The Palestinian village of Bil’in has become an international symbol of the Palestinian popular struggle. For almost 5 years, its residents have been continuously struggling against the de facto annexation of more than 50% of their farmlands, confiscated for the construction of the Apartheid Wall.

In a celebrated decision, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled on the 4 September 2007 that the current route of the wall in Bil’in was illegal and needs to be dismantled; the ruling however has not been implemented. The struggle of the village to liberate its lands and stop the illegal settlements has been internationally recognized and has earned the popular committee in Bil’in the Carl von Ossietzky Meda award.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

PA police works with Israeli army at checkpoint for Ramadan/ La police palestinienne travaille avec l'armee israelienne aux checkpoints

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem checkpoint, 11.09.2009 and 18.09.2009.

This year there was a coordination to handle the crowds between the Israeli army and the Palestinian police and P.A police members (unarmed) were seen at the checkpoint in Bethlehem working side by side with the Israeli army, a scene judged by many as very disturbing to say the least.

Cette annee, il y avait une coordination organisee entre l'armee israelienne et la police palestinienne pour gerer les foules aux checkpoints les vendredi du Ramadan. A Bethleem, la coordination etait evidente puisques les soldats israeliens et les policiers palestiniens (non armes) travaillaient vraiment cote a cote, ce qui a ete juge pour beaucoup comme tres perturbant et problematique.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Protester from Nil'in managed to damage the Wall

Nil'in anti-wall protest damages wall, marchers pass into stolen land
Yesterday Time 23:01

Bethlehem - Ma'an -

More than 100 of farmers, youth, international and Israeli peace activists marched against the Israeli separation wall Friday, and armed with car tires and home made ladder to climb the high wall they managed to burn one section and pull down three others.

According to participants one of the youth passed over the wall and set fire to car tires, damaging the fence and the sensors attached to it. A second group of youth burned a stack of 10 tires at one of the gates in the concrete wall, with black smoke billowing toward the nearby settlement.

"This is the first message sent from N'lin's people that the wall will not prevent them from going to their lands that was taken from them," a statement from the local popular committee said.

The committee reported that groups of demonstrators were met by 70 soldiers and 15 jeeps. Dozens of tear gas canisters were launched at the ralliers and many suffered from temporary respiratory problems due to the noxious fumes.

Youth, who had been collecting full tear gas canisters that failed to detonate over the past several weeks of protests, began shooting these back to the soldiers. "This was a strong message from the village: 'shoot us, and we will shoot back'," the statement said.

Another youth climbed the concrete wall and tied rope to the hand-sized holes in the top of each slab. Together protesters pulled on the rope and reportedly managed to take down three concrete blocks of the Wall. "This is the first time something like this has ever been happened, and the people were happy to have such a success," the committee said. "This was the third message: one day the wall will fall and Ni'lin will be the start."


Friday, September 18, 2009

Last Friday of Ramadan / Dernier Vendredi du Ramadan, Bethlehem checkpoint, 18.09.200

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem checkpoint, Friday 18.09.2009.

Last Friday of Ramadan / Dernier Vendredi du Ramadan, Bethlehem checkpoint, 18.09.2009

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem checkpoint, Friday 18.09.2009.

Thousands of Palestinians try to reach Jerusalem through Bethlehem checkpoint, on 18.09.2009. Harsh restrictions and confusion about the rules stopped many Palestinians to even go to the checkpoints, while many who attempted to pass were turned down. This week end, the West Bank will be under total closure because of Jewish Rosh Hashana.

Des milliers de Palestiniens ont tente une nouvelle fois de se rendre a Jerusalem pour le dernier vendredi du Ramadan. Des restrictions drastiques, ainsi qu'une certaine confusion dans les procedures ont empeche beaucoup de Palestiniens de se rendre meme aux checkpoints, et parmi ceux qui ont tente leurs chances beaucoup ont ete refoules.
Ce week end, la Cisjordanie sera completement bouclee a cause de la fete juive Rosh Hashana.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Young photographers without borders workshop in Aida / ateliers photos a Aida

(c) Anne Paq/, 12.09.2009.

Continuation of the photo workshops in Aida. Youth choose their second set of pictures.

Continuation des ateliers de photos a Aida, les jeunes decouvrent et choisissent leur deuxieme set de photos

Third Friday of Ramadan / Troisieme vendredi du Ramadan

(c) Anne Paq/, 10.09.2009, Bethlehem checkpoint

Third Friday of Ramadan / Troisieme vendredi du Ramadan

(c) Anne Paq/, 10.09.2009, Bethlehem checkpoint

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beginning of the young photographers without borders workshop in Silwan / Debut des ateliers photos a Silwan


(c) Anne Paq/, Silwan, Jerusalem, 08.09.2009

Beginning of the young photographers without borders workshop in Aida / Debut des ateliers photos a Aida

(c) Anne Paq/, Aida refugee camp, Al Rowwad Center 06.09.2009.

Beginning of the workshop Young Photographers without borders.. The concept of the workshop is quite simple: 3 groups of young people, one in Aida refugee camp, one in Silwan in Jerusalem and one in Luxembourg will held the same workshop about their way to school or university. They will exchange their pictures and comment each other's work in order to build a common vision. The result will be a common photo exhibition, with all the pictures will be mixed.
We started our workshops in Aida and in Silwan, where 20 kids turned up!

This project is supported by Anna Lindh foundation.

Debut des ateliers du projet Young photographers without borders.
Le concept est assez simple: trois groupes de jeunes (un dans le camp de refugies de Aida, un group a Silwan a Jerusalem, et un groupe au Luxembourg) vont participer aux memes ateliers ou on va leur demander de documenter leur chemin vers l'ecole ou vers l'universite. Ils echangeront ensuite leurs photos via un site internet et commenterons les photos des uns et des autres afin de construire une vision commune qui sera traduite dans une exposition photo ou toutes les photos seront melangees. Nous avons commence nos ateliers a Aida et a Silwan, ou 20 jeunes sont venus!

Ce projet est soutenu par la Fondation Anna Lindh.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Bitter Sweet Ramadan- Second Friday of Ramadan, Bethlehem checkpoint, 04.09.2009

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem checkpoint, 04.09.2009.

Thousands of Palestinian worshipers try to reach Jerusalem for the second Friday of Ramadan, on 04.09.2009. Most of the worshipers were elderly men and women, since Israeli restrictions prohibit men under the age of 50 and women under 45 from entering the city and praying at the mosque.

Des milliers de fidèles palestiniens tentent d'aller à Jérusalem pour le deuxième vendredi du Ramadan, le 04.09.2009. La plupart des fidèles étaient des hommes et des femmes âgées, car les restrictions israéliennes empêchent les hommes de moins de 50 ans et les femmes de moins de 45 d'entrer dans la ville et de prier à la mosquée.

Bitter Sweet Ramadan- Second Friday of Ramadan, Bethlehem checkpoint, 04.09.2009

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem checkpoint, 04.09.2009.

Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israel deployed a heavy police presence around the Old City of Jerusalem as tens of thousands of Palestinians headed to the city for noon prayers on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Armed police and border guards were seen in each street leading to the gates of the Old City.

Most of the worshipers were elderly men and women, since Israeli restrictions prohibit men under the age of 50 and women under 45 from entering the city and praying at the mosque.

Nonetheless the surge of Muslim worshippers trying to access the holy city from West Bank access points caused havoc at the few points where West Bank residents can enter Jerusalem.

At dawn Palestinians from across the southern West Bank jammed into the concrete and barbed wire terminals at Bethlehem and Qalandiya, tangling traffic in area. Passage into Jerusalem slowed to a crawl as Israeli soldiers intensively checked each person’s ID card and passed their possessions through metal detectors.

Last Friday the Waqf, the Islamic endowment, estimated that 170,000 people prayed at the Al-Aqsa compound. Israeli police put the figure at 90,000.

Muslims worldwide are ending the second week of Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayer.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rights group: Soldiers left wounded teen bleeding for an hour

Rights group: Soldiers left wounded teen bleeding for an hour

Published today (updated) 01/09/2009 20:32

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a strong condemnation of the Israeli army’s killing of a Palestinian child on Monday night.

PCHR’s said that its investigation, which included eyewitness testimony, revealed that the children who came under fire were unarmed and did not attack nearby Israeli soldiers. The investigation also found that Israeli soldiers left the child, 15-year-old Muhammad Nayif, bleeding for an hour before he was treated.

The rights group’s report is at odds with the version of events reported by the Israeli military, which claimed that three Palestinian “gunmen” hurled “firebombs” at Israeli forces, who opened fire on their alleged attackers.

A military spokesperson also told Ma’an that soldiers administered medical treatment to the wounded Palestinian on the scene before evacuating him.

According to PCHR’s investigation, Israeli soldiers stationed at a watchtower outside the settlement of Beit El “opened fire at five Palestinian children who were near al-Jalazon UNRWA School, located near the southeastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp.”

Muhammad Nayif, was wounded by three bullets to the chest, PCHR said. “An ambulance from Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah attempted to reach the area. However, the ambulance was stopped by at least 30 soldiers who prevented the medical crew from attending to the wounded child.” This confirmed what Ma'an was told by Palestinian medical officials on Monday night, who also said ambulance crews were barred from the area.

Meanwhile, “dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered on the spot and attempted to help the wounded child, but Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the crowd." Confirming Ma'an's earlier report, PCHR said an ambulance driver, Usama Hassan Ibrahim An-Najjar, 37, was hit by a tear gas canister in the left leg. Another medical worker, Ali Ahmed Mohammed Nakhla, 29, sustained similar injuries.

Muhammad “was left bleeding for approximately an hour,” PCHR said, before the Israeli army transferred the child into the Beit El settlement and then by helicopter to Hadassah Hospital in West Jerusalem. In the early morning he was declared dead.

The Israeli army has “continued to hold the child's body,” the rights group said. Israeli forces arrested the four children who were with Nayif and kept them detained in Beit El settlement until 3:00am on Tuesday.

One of the released children informed PCHR that the children were “walking normally in the street where the attack took place and that they suddenly found themselves under Israeli gunfire. The boy said that when Israeli soldiers saw the wounded child falling onto the ground, they rushed to the scene and arrested his companions. The soldiers left the boy bleeding without offering him any medical aid.”