Yesterday evening, Israeli forces kidnapped two activists from local rights group, Youth Against Settlement (YAS), in Hebron. Illegal settlers, under the protection of soldiers, closed the YAS center, the Soumud house, trapping everyone inside.According to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the IOF stormed the house in the evening around 7 pm, and arrested 16-year old Ahmad al-Azzeh, accusing him of ‘having a knife’.
Israeli soldiers also abducted Issa Amro, the YAS coordinator, under the accusation of ‘disturbing the soldiers’ and ‘hiding a terrorist in his house’. Issa Amro was detained in a bathroom for more than four hours, with his hands cuffed behind his back and blindfolded. He was interrogated for long periods of time, as stated by ISM.
Whereas Issa Amro was released after more than 5 and a half hours, Ahmad al-Azzeh’s arrest was extended for another 4 days, according to the PNN. He has been detained merely on a soldier’s accusation of ‘seeing him with a knife’. “This ridiculous allegation is clearly a means to intimidate the whole group and on the long run force them to leave the area”, ISM reported on their website.
Following these detentions, settlers from the nearby illegal settlement approached the Soumud house, protesting and demanding Israeli occupation forces to close it immediately, as stated by ISM. Groups of settlers have been outside the center the whole evening, and even brought mattresses to sleep in front of the house’s door the whole night.
Everyone there, thus, was trapped inside without a possibility to leave. The whole time, Israeli soldiers present in large numbers allowed the settlers to do as they pleased, without ever intervening. A group of about 30 settlers camped outside the Soumud house, thus laying a siege to it and forcing everyone inside to spent the night there. As of Saturday, 28th November 10:30am, settlers are still outside the center, according to ISM.
The local activist group, Youth Against Settlements, has constantly been targeted by the Israeli military for their non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Only a month ago, Israeli occupation forces took over the center for military use, destroying their media equipment. Settlers have repeatedly attacked the group members and wrongfully accused them of crimes.