The Israeli military raided the West Bank village of Bi’lin, on Tuesday, and detained a 16 year old boy, Mohammed Abu Rahme.The raid occured at 2:30am, when Israeli military jeeps and personnel carriers entered the village. The military force entered the home of Adeeb Abu Rahme, Mohammed’s father, and detained the boy, taking him to an unknown location, local sources reported.
Adeeb Abu Rahme, a non-violent peace activist from the village, was detained on July 10, 2009, at Bi’lin’s weekly protest against the settlement construction and the annexation wall that prevents residents of the village from working on their legally owned lands.
Adeeb Abu Rahme was charged with ‘incitement,’ ‘activity against public order,’ and ‘being present in a closed military zone’ on unspecified dates, and was convicted by an Israeli Military Court on August 24, 2010. Questions have been raised as to the legitimacy of the conviction, with the international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, declaring the trial “unfair”.
The basis for the conviction came from testimony given by four children, which has been condemned as coerced. When interrogated, the children were not accompanied by parents or guardians, were not permitted access to a lawyer until after their interogation ended, and signed statements written in Hebrew, a language that they could not read.
All children claimed that they were abused during their detention, stating that they were beaten and recieved threats that the beatings would continue unless they signed the statements.
Following Abu Rahme’s conviction, E.U. High Representative, Catherine Ashton, stated that the E.U. condemned the conviction, stating that Abu Rahme is ‘a Human Rights Defender committed to nonviolent protest.’
Haithm al-Khatib, a journalist from Bi’lin, who works for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, attempted to capture footage of the arrest but was prevented by Israeli soldiers. This footage can be viewed at the following link.