A call to action from Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network:

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Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 17 years old, the son of Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, an active leader of the Nonviolent Resistance Movement in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, was kidnapped, beaten and detained on the night of December 10, 2017 while getting pizza along with his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi.

Their whereabouts were unknown until Abdul-Khalik’s mother and father recently learned that he and his friends are in Ofer Prison near the city of Ramallah.

Abdul-Khalik’s village of Bil’in is heavily targeted by Zionist colonizing forces for arrests, repression and persecution, especially because the people of the village continually and consistently organize well-coordinated weekly peaceful demonstrations which include visits and support from international activists to defend their land from illegal Israeli settlements and the infamous apartheid Wall.

Abdul-Khalik is a senior in high school. He was focused on completing his finals before his kidnapping. He is planning on going to college abroad after graduating high school.

This is not the first time that Abdul Khalik has been targeted by Israeli colonizing forces. The last time was in January of 2017, when he was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. They also detained him in another night-time raid in March 2017, while he was under treatment for his injuries.

Iyad Burnat’s family has been repeatedly targeted and injured by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Burnat states, “All this violence that they use against me and my family is trying to stop us from what we’re doing [Nonviolent resistance].”

Abdul Khalik’s court date is this upcoming Thursday December 14, 2017. This arbitrary hearing is crucial and likely to determine whether to extend their detention (for interrogation), impose an administrative detention order or put charges in the military courts.

The family of Abdul-Khalik Burnat have urged international action and publicity to help them obtain justice for their son and his immediate release.

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Unfortunately, Abdul-Khalik’s story is all too common. Every year, over 700 Palestinian children face military trials and military imprisonment at the hand of Israeli occupation soldiers. Palestinian children are subject to torture and abuse under interrogation, arbitrary military trials, denial of their right to education, physical and psychological violence and imprisonment without charge or trial on a regular basis.

Israel’s impunity and gross violations of the rights of Palestinian children continue with the silence and complicity of governments around the world, including the U.S. government that not only provides $3 billion in military funding each year to the Israeli occupation state but also recently declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, putting its stamp of approval on ethnic cleansing, settlement construction, land confiscation and blatant violation of international law.

Canada and Europe continue to maintain free trade pacts and association agreements with the Israeli occupation. It’s time for real international pressure to defend Palestinian children like Abdul-Khalik Burnat – and all Palestinians – from apartheid, war crimes and brutal, racist injustice.

TAKE ACTION TO FREE ABDUL-KHALIK BURNAT!

  1. For supporters in the US: Call your member of Congress to support H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. Tell them specifically about Abdul-Khalik’s case, and urge them to act for his release. Click here to tell your member of Congress to support the bill.
  2. For international supporters: Call your government officials and demand action for Abdul-Khalik Burnat and other Palestinian child prisoners.

Call your country’s officials urgently:
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111

  1. Join one of the many protests for Jerusalem and distribute this information about Abdul-Khalik. Get others involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom! Build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and complicit corporations like HP and G4S.
  2. Write to Israeli officials to demand the release of Abdul-Khalik Burnat and fellow Palestinian child prisoners.Write a message and email or fax it to the officials below. Contact information and sample letter follow:

Contact information:

Minister of Defence
Avigdor Liberman
Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street
Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 73 323 3300
Email: minister@mod.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 640 8402
Email: sar@justice.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Attorney General
Avichai Mendelbilt
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 3367
Email: ClassActionFiling@justice.gov.il

Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Sharon Afek
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Email: Mag@idf.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General

Commander of the IOF – West Bank
Major-General Roni Numa
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149, Battalion 877
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5741, +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Roni Numa

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan
Kiryat Hamemshala
PO Box 18182
Jerusalem 91181, Israel
Fax: +972 2 584 7872
Email: gerdan@knesset.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Sample Letter:

Dear Ministers,

I write today to demand the immediate release of Palestinian child prisoner Abdul-Khalik Burnat, the son of Iyad Burnat, nonviolent popular movement leader in the Palestinian village of Bil’in.

Abdul-Khalik and two of his friends were beaten and abducted by Israeli soldiers as they ate pizza on the evening of December 10. A dedicated high school student, Abdul-Khalik was in the middle of studying for his final exams when he was ripped away from his home and his studies.

Abdul-Khalik is 17 years old, and in his short life he has been detained and interrogated by armed Israeli soldiers, shot with a metal-coated rubber bullet, and suffered from severe traumas due to ongoing Israeli violence targeting his home village and his family.

Abdul-Khalik and his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi are being held in Ofer military prison. They are not alone but are among approximately 300 Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention. Military detention and imprisonment of children violates their rights and creates lifelong trauma.

These boys have been targeted for nothing more than being Palestinian. I demand their immediate release.

 

Sincerely,