News: Repression and systematic attacks against popular nonviolent resistance in Palestine continue

On January 9th, Palestinian activist Sami Huraini #FreeSami was arrested during a pre-dawn raid on his house in the village of at-Tuwani – Masafer Yatta area (South Hebron Hills, West Bank) – after participating in a nonviolent protest in neighboring Al Rakeez. The march took place in protest of an incident that occurred a week earlier, in which 24-year-old Harun Abu Aram was shot in the neck while attempting to prevent Israeli soldiers from confiscating a neighbor’s generator .

S. Huraini was taken to a police station in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, where he was questioned at 4am for alleged suspicions of obstructing the peace and assault on an Israeli soldier, despite the nonviolent nature of the demonstration. Following his interrogation, his arrest was extended by 96 hours. His case is expected to be brought to court on Tuesday, 12 January.

Mr Huraini is a leading organizer and activist in the Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills) area. He is a founding member of the Youth of Sumud grassroots initiative, which defines itself as “a group of Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills that believes in and is committed to peaceful popular resistance as a strategic choice to end the Israeli occupation”, as well as a board member of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC).

The nonviolent nature of the demonstration on Friday, 8th January, combined with the fact the Mr. Huraini was the only one to be arrested in a targeted, after the fact, military operation, leads to believe he was personally targeted for his role as an effective activist and community organizer. His arrest should be viewed as part of the ongoing Israeli attempt to squelch any and allPalestinian dissent, including when carried out in nonviolent manner.

Al Rakeez and at-Tuwani are located in the Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills) area of the West Bank, which is subject to extensive violence at the hands of soldiers and settlers, home demolitions, confiscations as part of an openly admitted Israeli policy of dispossession geared towards ethnically cleansing the area’s Palestinian communities.

Novact continues to support nonviolence as a legitimate strategy of social action and political mobilization, as a practice of peaceful transformation of the structures of oppression and injustice and in defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The strategy that has contributed in  the most significant way to generate changes and improvements into the recognition of the human rights in Palestine,  promoting community social cohesion and increasing participation of different social sectors and groups into inclusive and diverse strategies of civil disobedience and social action against the oppressive structures and the abuses of human rights.