Palestinian popular resistance activists subjected to arrests, raids, persecution

Palestinian popular resistance activists and human rights defenders continue to come under attack by Israeli occupation forces. In a pre-dawn raid on Thursday, 26 January, Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Abdullah Abu Rahma, the coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Jenin.

In an interview with Wattan TV, Abu Rahma said that 40 soldiers surrounded the village and raided the home, ransacking the house and confiscating the computers and mobile phones of the family. Abu Rahma himself had been released only one day prior; he was held for two days after he was seized by Israeli forces while attending the Ofer military court hearing of six other popular resistance activists.  His home was last raided in September 2016, when once again mobile phones and computers were confiscated.

The six Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) activists were seized by Israeli occupation forces as they erected a protest tent in the name of Bab al-Shams outside the Ma’ale Adumim illegal settlement, protesting Israeli threats to annex it to Jerusalem and defending Palestinian indigenous land. Four – Jamil Barghouthi, Ahmed Odeh, Khaled Quteishat and Lema Nazeeh – were ordered released on Sunday, 22 January under the conditions of paying a 30,000 NIS bail (over $7,000 USD) and three days of house arrest. Mohammed Khatib and Akram Khatib were released on bail on 24 January after two more days of interrogation, following the hearing at which Abu Rahma was arrested.

One of those arrested, Lema Nazeeh, is the deputy chair of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and has been arrested five times in three years for participating in public protests against settlements, land confiscation and the imprisonment of Palestinians. Mohammed Khatib is also a board member of PSCC.