Israel arrests three leading Palestinian activists in West Bank

Israeli forces arrest Manal Tamimi, Jamil Barghouti, and Mundar Amira, three prominent activists in the nonviolent struggle against the occupation.

By Yael Marom

Israeli forces arrest Mundar Amira during a demonstration in support of the Tamimi women, Bethlehem, West Bank, December 27, 2017.

Israeli forces arrest Mundar Amira during a demonstration in support of the Tamimi women, Bethlehem, West Bank, December 27, 2017.

The Israeli army arrested a number of prominent activists in the Palestinian popular struggle over the past few days, during protests against President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and the arrests of members of the Tamimi family.

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On Thursday, an Israeli military court decided to extend Ahed and her mother Nariman Tamimi’s detention by five more days. The court also called to release their family member, Nur, on condition, though it then called to delay the release by 48 hours. Ahed was arrested in a night raid after a video of her slapping and striking an Israeli soldier outside her home in Nabi Saleh was published. Her mother was arrested for “incitement” for publishing the video.

Throughout the hearing at Ofer Military Court on Thursday, the military prosecutor demanded that Ahed, Nur, and Nariman’s remand be extended by a week. The court partially accepted the demand, after first extending their detention on Monday. The three are suspected of disturbing the peace, assault, and insulting a civil servant.

On Thursday Israeli forces arrested Manal Tamimi, a central figure in Nabi Saleh’s popular struggle, during a solidarity protest outside Ofer. Manal is suspected of disturbing the peace and will be kept in detention until Sunday, when she is expected to be brought before a judge. Israeli forces also arrested Jamil Barghouti, another prominent activist of the popular committees, at the same demonstration.

WATCH: Manal Tamimi’s arrest outside Ofer Military Court

On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces also arrested Mundar Amira during a demonstration in Bethlehem. He will be brought before a judge on Sunday. The IDF Spokesperson claims that Amira “was arrested after taking part in a violent riot that included stone throwing at security forces in the area.”

Meanwhile, Ahed Tamimi’s Twitter account has allegedly disappeared; the company is not responding to inquiries on the matter. Amira’s Facebook account also reportedly vanished. When previously asked whether Israel is involved in blocking websites, former IDF Censor Sima Vaknin-Gil, who today serves as the director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, responded: “The ways of God are wonderful. Some things happen by chance, some things do not.”

Israeli soldiers arrest Jamil Barghouti while protesting outside Ofer Military Court in support of the Tamimi women, December 28, 2017. (Courtesy of PSCC)

Israeli soldiers arrest Jamil Barghouti while protesting outside Ofer Military Court in support of the Tamimi women, December 28, 2017. (Courtesy of PSCC)

Members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee say that Israel has harshened its measures toward Palestinians since Trump’s declaration, with 15 Palestinians killed and thousands wounded in clashes with security forces. At least 610 Palestinians have been arrested during protests, ambushes, and night raids. Over 170 of those arrested have been children, along with 10 women.

The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee published a message calling to strengthen the protesters across the West Bank, Gaza, and inside Israel, as well as to continue organizing and broadening the struggle against the occupation. In addition, the Committee is calling on the international community and civil society organizations across the world to intervene to protect the rights of the Palestinian people, and support the BDS movement.

We requested a response from the Border Police Spokesperson vis-a-vis the arrest of Manal Tamimi and Jamil Barghouti. Their response will be published here as soon as it is received.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.