Take Action: Demand freedom for four Palestinian human rights defenders seized at Land Day protest

Four Palestinian human rights defenders were seized by Israeli occupation forces for participating in the #DismantleTheGhetto campaign against settlement, colonization and occupation in al-Khalil (Hebron.)

Badee Dwaik of Human Rights Defenders, Anan Dana of the Hebron Defense Committee, Younes Arar of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Committee of the PLO and local activist Ishaq al-Khateeb were all seized by Israeli occupation forces on Thursday, 30 March. They will be brought before an Israeli military court in Ofer on 2 April for participating in demonstrations challenging the Israeli occupation and its settlements in al-Khalil.

They were seized by occupation forces after they planted olive trees on 30 March, marking Palestinian Land Day. Commemorated since 1976, when six protesters – Palestinians from Palestine ’48 – were shot dead by Israeli forces as they protested against land confiscation and the ongoing Nakba, Land Day is a day to highlight the Palestinian struggle to liberate the land and end colonization, settlement, land confiscation and home demolitions.

Photo:Human Rights Defenders

At the olive tree action, the #DismantleTheGhetto organizers were attacked by settlers but continued, marching to the center of al-Khalil, which has largely been forcibly shut down by the Israeli occupation and its settlements. As the Palestinians demonstrated for the right to their land, Israeli occupation forces declared the area a closed military zone, attacking the demonstration and arresting Dwaik, Dana, Arar and Khatib, later charging them with participating in an “illegal demonstration” in a closed military zone.

Photo:Human Rights Defenders

Activists in the #DismantleTheGhetto campaign were previously threatened by Israeli occupation forces, and the homes of two of the activists, Dwaik and Dana, were invaded by occupation forces on 24 February.

Photo:Human Rights Defenders

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of these four human rights defenders. Their arrest is not only indicative of the constant oppression carried out by military rule against Palestinians under occupation but also of the ongoing attempt to suppress Palestinian struggle to defend their land from occupation and colonization for over 70 years. We express our full solidarity with the #DismantleTheGhetto campaign and urge real action to free these activists and stop the ongoing attacks of settlement, colonization and land confiscation in al-Khalil and throughout Palestine.

Take action!

1. Demand your country’s officials speak up and end the silence and complicity in the arrest and military trial of Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Anan Dana, Ishaq al-Khateeb and nearly 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Call your foreign affairs officials – and members of parliament – and urge action on this case.

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

Tell your government:

1. Four Palestinian human rights defenders are facing an Israeli military court on Sunday, 2 April for participating in a peaceful protest against illegal settlements and colonization. These four activists – Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Ishaq al-Khateeb and Anan Dana – must be released immediately.

2. Governments around the world have condemned Israeli settlements, yet Palestinians are facing military courts for protesting against them. Your government must demand the immediate release of Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Anan Dana and Ishaq al-Khateeb.

3. The government must do more than express concern, both about the arrest of these four human rights defenders but about Israeli settlements and land confiscation that are targeting Palestinian existence. Representatives of your government should attend the Ofer military court on Sunday and take action by suspending agreements with Israeli institutions and the Israeli state, including trade, association and other agreements.

2Hold a direct action, protest, picket, banner drop or demonstration, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like HP-that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for these four human rights defenders and all Palestinian prisoners. Please email samidoun@samidoun.net or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.