Statement against police repression of the Palestine movement in the Netherlands

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the arrest of Palestinian activists at the The Hague Central Station sit-in on 1 February 2023 by the Dutch police. With the excuse that it is “forbidden to use a megaphone,” an activist leading chants during the sit-in was arrested by force. Multiple protestors were punched and attacked by the police and then another activist was arrested. One activist is in the hospital with serious injuries to their arm. As Samidoun, we denounce this attack as part of the Dutch state support for the Israeli occupation and demand our collective right to protest.

The arrestees were brought to Scheveningen police station for interrogation. One of the activists recalls the police asking why they chanted “Nederland schande, bloed aan je handen” (“Shame on the Netherlands, you have blood on your hands”), even though all people of conscious understand the meaning of this slogan when the Netherlands is sending weapons to Israel that its commiting a genocide with. 

Fatima, one of the arrested activists said afterwards: “We will not lower our voice when our people are dying. Silence is not an option for us. Protests are one of our only options to fight for Palestine and to raise awareness. It’s a shame that the Dutch government is still complicit and is trying to silence Palestinian voices. But we will not stop, this only makes us stronger.”’

This is not the first time Dutch police attack Palestine protests in the Netherlands. Since the Al-Aqsa Flood operation began on 7 October, dozens of protestors have been arrested on arbitrary and unfounded accusations. Protestors have been attacked more recently in Groningen and again in the Hague. Dutch police is intensifying its repression of the Palestine movement, which is directly aiding the Israeli occupation. While the Dutch state provides Israel with F-35 parts to bomb Palestinians, Dutch police beats up Palestinian and solidarity protestors.

Furthermore, since 22 June 2023, Dutch police have imprisoned Palestinian community leader Amin Abu Rashed. Amin provides humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, such as in Gaza. This includes food, healthcare and school supplies for children and orphans. Because of this, the public prosecutor accuses Amin of “supporting terrorism.” We fully reject this allegation against Amin and demand his immediate release from Dutch prison. His imprisonment is part of the Israeli genocide in Gaza because it blocks vital humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people.

The Dutch police itself also has relations with Israel, as it uses a tap-system from Elbit, the largest Israeli weapon manufacturer. At the same time, a police spokesperson said in 2022 that Dutch police does not participate in propaganda trips organized by CIDI, “because CIDI is a lobby organization.” A painful blow for the Zionist movement in the Netherlands.

As Samidoun, we denounce all police repression of the Palestine movement in the Netherlands. This is part of the police repression of the Palestine movement in Germany and France, and serves the Israeli occupation. It is also part of the larger police repression in the Netherlands faced by activists, refugees, undocumented people, Muslims, black people, homeless people and all oppressed and marginalized communities.

We understand that the Dutch police is a repressive state apparatus of the Dutch state that protects the capitalist and Zionist interests. They are part of the enemy camp. And even though a lot of Palestine manifestations go without police violence, we are in constant struggle with them. Constant new made-up rules for demonstrations are laid out, such as in the Hague were it is supposedly “forbidden to use megaphones.” These are violations of our collective right to protest. We call upon all protestors that bravely stood up to police violence to document and expose this repression as part of the struggle for Palestine.

Together with the Palestinian people in Gaza, all of Palestine and in diaspora, we keep struggling for an end to the genocide and a free Palestine. Together we will end Dutch complicity, together we will end the occupation, and together we will return to a free Palestine from the river to the sea.

End police violence!

End Dutch complicity!

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

Update: All arrested activists from The Hague have been released. 

Following the events on Thursday evening in The Hague and recent instances of police repression against peaceful protesters, we call on everyone to unite in our protest and sit-in at The Hague Central Station on Friday at 6 PM. Join us in demanding justice and standing against such actions. 

In a disturbing incident a young Palestinian woman was forcefully arrested, and another Palestinian man faced violence resulting in a serious arm injury, now under medical care.