Israeli Forces have been carrying out late-night raids into the village of Budrus and forcing people at gunpoint to undergo fingerprint checks. Soldiers have stormed several houses over the last week pursuing what they call a “statistical survey”, which involves forcibly documenting all of the men in the households.
The villagers of Budrus – known for their united nonviolent defiance of the Apartheid Wall being built on village land – say that the nocturnal raids are a harassment technique that reflect the desperate measures taken by the Occupation to subdue the popular resistance of the village.
Budrus plays a central role in the popular mobilization against the Wall. Villagers have repeatedly torn down parts of the Wall running through the village lands, and continually confronted Israeli forces in non-violent protests. Last Thursday, and for three subsequent days, Occupation soldiers made raids in the middle of the night. Several houses in the village were stormed. People were forced at gunpoint from their beds, and all men made to have their fingerprints recorded on papers. Those who resisted were attacked by soldiers and coerced into complying with the orders.
Names and ID card numbers were recorded on separate papers along with intricate details of family members. Photos were then taken of all men in the houses. Around 25 men have been forced to undergo this humiliating procedure. Most – if not all – the families that have been attacked possess lands in what has become the “no man’s land” by the Apartheid Wall. However, no one has been able to find explanations for this latest attack on the village, although many local residents feel it is a desperate attempt to intimidate them, and to break their unified non-violent resistance.
Similar assaults have occurred in Um Shara’it (Ramallah district), an area also located adjacent to the path of the Wall, and also engaged in non-violent resistance.
The Stop the Wall Campaign issued a statement saying, "Aimed at cracking the united resistance to the Wall and Occupation – present across numerous towns and villages – Palestinians have refuted the latest strategy of intimidation. Countering the strangle-hold of the Occupation over life and land, escalating defiance marks the ghettos of Palestinian communities in the West Bank."