Published today (updated) 05/01/2011 14:11
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an)--
Israeli peace activists who participate in protests against their
government's illegal Land-Grab, Apartheid Wall came under state attack
on Wednesday, with special forces entering homes in Tel Aviv.
Israeli occupation government special police forces showed up outside
one home in central Tel Aviv, shared by a number of left-wing activists.
After spending some time outside the residence, forces attempted to
enter and conduct a search. Activists said that they were not shown a
search permit and refused to submit to the search.
At 11 a.m.,
three policemen knocked on the door of a second home, the residence of
an activist who had been detained at a protest against Israel's
Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The police “turned the house upside down,”
a witness reported, confiscating computers, pictures, clothing, and
other items from the premises.
A source with knowledge of the
raids who preferred to remain unidentified said police forces intend to
search at least eight more homes throughout the day.
comes amidst a general crackdown on left-wing activities. In recent
weeks, the Shabak, Israel’s internal security service, has been calling
protestors asking them to come in for “friendly chats.” All those who
have reported receiving the calls have refused, since by law they are
not required to comply with the requests unless they receive an official
summons from the police.
Last week, a Tel Aviv court sentenced
the prominent left-wing activist Johnathan Pollak to three months in
jail for his role in a small, non-violent protest held in Tel Aviv
against the Israeli siege on Gaza. Pollak was the only protester who was
arrested for the demonstration, which was held in 2008, leading many
observers to believe that Pollak is being singled out and punished for
his continuing activism, and role as the spokesman for the West Bank's
Popular Organizing Committee, which issues news and testimony from the
village of Bil'in.
Earlier in December 2010, Matan Cohen, an
Israeli who is active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement
and is studying in the United States, was detained for several hours in
Ben Gurion International Airport upon return to Israel. His luggage was
searched and officials told him he was suspected of being involved in
“hostile terrorist activities.”
Cohen reported that while he has
been questioned briefly upon leaving the country he has never been
detained upon arrival.
“This is definitely a step up in the
level of political repression against anti-apartheid activists in
general, and BDS activists in particular,” Cohen remarked.
Israeli Detainees Released After Protest Against Jawaher’s
Tuesday January 04, 2011 19:59 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies
The Israeli group "Anarchists Against the Wall" announced on Tuesday
evening that Israeli activists, who were detained late on Saturday
evening for protesting outside the US Ambassador’s home, were finally
"Anarchists Against the Wall" had announced that the
Israeli activists, who had been arrested in conjunction with Saturday’s
protest against the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, were all released.
Prior to the announced release, Israeli Web magazine +972 claimed
that last Saturday’s demonstration in front of the ambassador’s
residence in Tel Aviv had resulted in the arrest of 11 Israeli
activists, among them, two women over the age of 65. The demonstrators
were summoned on charges of "possession of illegal weapons,’" "resisting
arrest," "disturbing public order," and "tossing spent tear gas
canisters" over the fence of the US ambassador’s house. Among those
arrested were bystanders in the area who were not involved in any
protest. After being held in a Tel Aviv-based prison, the 11 activists
were reportedly brought before a judge on Tuesday morning.
Another arrest was made, on Monday night, in connection with Saturday’s
protest. The Israeli activist, identified only as A.H., was called to a
Tel Aviv police station for questioning regarding the protest, and was
immediately arrested on the charge of ‘conspiracy to cause criminal
damage.’ The activist was due to appear at Tel Aviv Magistrates’ court
on Tuesday morning along with the other 11 activists. The independent
commentary +972 specified that A.H. was not present at the protest in
front of the ambassador’s residence, but was kept captive in a Tel Aviv
jail after being arrested in the mass demonstration in front of the
Defense Ministry hours before the demonstration began.
Saturday night, about 25 Israelis were protesting the killing last
Friday of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, aged 36, was evacuated to Ramallah
hospital, last Friday but died after inhaling massive amounts of
tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil’in: she died Saturday morning.
Demonstrating in front of the residence of the American
Ambassador to Israel, the protesters ‘returned’ empty tear gas canisters
collected in the village of Bil’in and made noise throughout the
ambassador’s neighbourhood informing residents of continued US military
aid to Israel being used to kill unarmed and nonviolent demonstrators in
weekly protests in the West Bank.
The symbolic action held
outside the US Ambassador’s home is regarded as the first time that
Israeli activists have demanded accountability from a foreign government
instead of directing grievances to the Israeli public. The +972 source
anticipates that this type of action could mark the future of targeted
‘BDS-style actions by Israelis who witness the use of US military aid in
the West Bank.
The protest at the US ambassador’s house came
after a mass demonstration which took place opposite the Defense
Ministry in Tel Aviv that caused the main street to be blocked for over
one hour by hundreds of people. Eight demonstrators were arrested, but
were released after five hours with no charges.