In the early morning hours of June 28, occupation forces’ arrest raids continued against Palestinians in the West Bank, with 18 arrested in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus areas.
Among those targeted for arrest was Nidal Abu Aker, 47, of Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem area. Abu Aker is a prominent leftist leader in the area, a former prisoner and administrative detainee, and a journalist with Sawt al-Wihda (Voice of Unity) radio, the only radio station that broadcasts directly from Dheisheh refugee camp. The home of Nidal’s colleague, Mohamed Salah, in the radio project was also raided. A 15-year-old boy was hit by a concussion grenade fired by occupation soldiers as they entered the refugee camp to abduct Nidal Abu Aker and Shadi Issa Ma’ali.
Two others were abducted in Bethlehem, Waleed Bostanji and Ahmed Qasem al-Sheikh. In Ramallah, Yahya Salah Atta, court clerk of the Ramallah municipal court, was abducted, while in Nablus, An-Najah university student Mohammed Jamal Nasser, 22 years old and a former prisoner, was abducted.
Abu Aker, a prominent leader in Dheisheh who is deeply rooted in the community, has been targeted repeatedly by occupation forces for arrest. He was first arrested at the age of 14, in 1982. Since that time he was arrested on numerous occasions and served 13 years in Israeli jails, including over 9 years in various periods of administrative detention, held without charge or trial.
In 1990, his brother, Mohammad Abu Aker, died at the age of 19 one year after being shot by occupation forces in the camp, as a result of his profound injuries.
Nidal Abu Aker’s arrest was filmed; his daughter can be heard crying for him:
Commenting on his own prior experiences in prison, Nidal Abu Aker spoke about the revolutionary education Palestinian political prisoners perform among themselves :
“Before being in prison, I was connected emotionally to the national struggle, but in jail I became connected to it intellectually and ideologically. It was in prison that I read the theory. Love of the homeland became more rooted, for two reasons: my discussions with other people and my reading pamphlets and books.” – Nidal Abu Aker on his first prolonged imprisonment, quoted in Maya Rosenfeld, Confronting the Occupation.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement on the arrest, saying that “the arrest of the leader Nidal Abu Aker and dozens of our people in the West Bank will not deter the Front from its obligation to continue the struggle and resist the occupation….the Zionist occupation arrests the best children of the Palestinian people, held in detention camps that cannot extinguish their flame of resistance. The Palestinian prisoners are a solid core of resistance to the occupation, as we have seen in the strike of the administrative detainees…as well as the continuing strike of Ayman Al-Tabeesh, which has exceeded three months.”
Free Nidal Abu Aker and all Palestinian prisoners!
Arrest of Nidal Abu Aker: