On the night of International Human Right Day, Thursday December 10th, at 2am, Abdallah Abu Rahmah was arrested from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Seven military jeeps surrounded his house, and Israeli soldiers broke the door, extracted Abdallah from his bed, and, after briefly allowing him to say goodbye to his wife Majida and their three children — seven year-old Luma, five year-old Lian and eight month-old baby Laith, they blindfolded him and took him into custody.
Abu Rahmah did not find himself behind bars because he is a dangerous man. Abdallah, who is amongst the leaders of the Palestinian village of Bil’in, is viewed as a threat for his work in the five-year unarmed struggle to save the village’s land from Israel’s wall and expanding settlements.
Last summer Abdallah was standing shoulder to shoulder in his village with Nobel Peace laureates and internationally renowned human rights activists. Now, as you read these words, Abdallah Abu Rahmah is incarcerated in an Israeli jail.
As a member of the Popular Committee since its conception in 2004 and its coordinator, he has represented the village around the world. In June 2009, he attended the village’s precedent-setting legal case in Montreal against two Canadian companies illegally building settlements on Bil’in’s land. In December of 2008, he participated in a speaking tour in France, and on 10 December 2008, exactly a year before his arrest, Abdallah traveled to Germany on behalf of Bil’in, to accept the Carl Von Ossietzky Medal for outstanding service in the realization of basic and human rights, awarded by the International League for Human Rights.
Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s arrest is part of an escalation in Israeli attempts to break the spirit of the people of Bil’in, their popular leadership, and the popular struggle as a whole. In the past six months, 31 of Bil’in’s residents have been arrested for protesting the Wall. Recently, Adv. Gaby Lasky, who represents many of Bil’in’s detainees, was informed by the military prosecution that the army intends to use legal measures as a means of ending the demonstrations.
What can you do?
1. Contact your representatives
Ask your ambassador in Israel to send an official inquiry to the Israeli government about Abdallah. Demand that they apply pressure on Israeli officials to release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and stop targeting the non-violent popular resistance.
To write the American ambassador to Israel, click here
The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee is in need of funds in order to pay for legal fees, the support of prisoners and their families, and the expenses of grassroots organizing. Please consider making a donation
3. Send Abdallah a letter of support
Show Abdallah that people from all over the world care about him and his cause by sending him a letter. Your support will strengthen Abdallah’s morale and be presented to his judge, proving that the international community is watching.
4. Endorse the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
The Coordination Committee was created by key activists from popular committees across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Committee supports and organizes non-violent, direct actions against the Israeli military occupation. Calling on Palestinians to strengthen the grassroots organizing, the Committee has been engaging Palestinian residents and activists, Israeli and international supporters. Please consider lending your name to the struggle by endorsing the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.
Organize demonstrations in front of Israeli embassies or other events in your community condemning Israel’s ongoing arrest campaign and stand in solidarity with those who remain in Israel’s prisons. Please let us know of any planned event.