Israeli Occupying Forces Target Palestinian Human Rights Organization in Coordinated Night Raids

139336699725 February 2014, Occupied Ramallah – Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association condemns the continued targeting of Palestinian civil society by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF). In the early hours of this morning the offices and the homes of a number of employees of the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, based in Nablus, were targeted in a number of coordinated raids. In total five current employees and one former employee of the organization were detained by IOF and are currently being held in a number of Israeli detention centres.

At 1 am this morning approximately 35 IOF soldiers and attack dogs raided the home of Fares Abu Hasan, the director of the organization, by blowing open the door of his house with explosives. His family, including his wife and six children, the youngest of which is just three months old, were at home at the time. The IOF subsequently ransacked his house destroying personal property and stealing the families’ mobiles phone, laptop computers, iPad’s and personal papers. The raid lasted for two hours during which time Fares was separated from his family and interrogated. He was subsequently taken to Petah Tikva interrogation centre where he remains.
At the same time this morning the house of Osama Maqboul, a lawyer with the organization, was raided by IOF. A large number of IOF soldiers surrounded his house and approximately 15 soldiers entered his home. The IOF also ransacked his home, destroying much of his personal properly and stealing money, his mobile phone and computer. Osama was subsequently taken to an unknown location.
The secretary of the organization, Narim Salem, was also arrested from her home in the early hours of this morning and was subsequently taken to Petah Tikva interrogation centre. Narim’s computer was also stolen from her house by IOF.
Mohammed Abed, a lawyer and Ahmed Bitawi, a journalist, both working with the organization were also arrested this morning. A former employee and lawyer with the organization, Ahmed Sharif was also arrested.
In protest of today’s arrests Palestinian lawyers demanded the immediate release of their colleagues and all lawyers are boycotting the Israeli military courts of Ofer and Salem today and tomorrow.
In another development Abdel Razek Farraj, an employee with the Agricultural Workers Committee was arrested from his home in Ramallah at 2 am. Abdel has previously spent 11 years in Israeli jails, including five years under administrative detention, which is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on “secret information” without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Abdel was released from his last period of administrative detention in July 2012. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
Today’s arrests are clearly a continuation of the Israeli policy of targeting of Palestinian civil society organizations in an attempt to suppress their important work in exposing the brutalities of the occupation and defending Palestinian rights.
Addameer calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to hold Israel to account and protect civilians living under occupation according to Articles 4, 13, 27 and 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Addameer also stresses the importance of the immediate intervention of international human rights organizations to help bring about the release of all those arrested today and condemn the continued policy of targeting Palestinian civil society.
*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand the release of all those arrested today.
  • Brigadier General Danny Efroni
    Military Judge Advocate General
    6 David Elazar Street
    Harkiya, Tel Aviv
    Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
  • Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
    OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
    Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
    Fax: +972 2 530 5741
  • Minister of Defense Moshe Smilansky
    Ministry of Defense
    37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
    Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
    Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
  • Col. Eli Bar On
    Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
    Beth El 90631
    Fax: +972 2 9977326