Interview: Living under constant fear of arrest

Mohammed Ahmed Issa Yassen, 20, lives in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where he works in his family’s car garage business as a mechanic. He is also a student at the al-Quds Open University, but since he has joined the Israeli intelligence’s “wanted” list from the village, studying has been difficult. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre interviewed Mohammed about living under the constant threat of arrest. 

Believing in the nonviolent struggle

The tactics of Israel seem to promote armed resistance. They refuse to release just one of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently rotting away in Israeli jails, but when an Israeli soldier is taken hostage, they are willing to negotiate. How can I convince the mothers of those martyred and those imprisoned that nonviolent resistance is the way forward? But in my heart, I know that nonviolent resistance is the path to freedom for our nation. From my small village of Bilin, I hope our actions can set an example for others to follow. Ahmed A. Khatib’s story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre. 

The Elders' visit to Bilin

Thursday, 27 August was a special day in Bilin. Dozens of blacked-out SUVs approached the village, disturbing the quiet of a usually peaceful morning. However, unlike the Israeli occupation forces who come at night to arrest boys from the village, this arrival was extremely welcome. The SUV passengers were a truly respected group of international diplomats, known as the Elders. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Bilin's next generation

Every Friday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Bilin march to Israel’s apartheid wall, which has stolen more than half their land. But this day was a Wednesday, and the kids’ turn to demonstrate. While the Israeli army kidnaps their fathers, their brothers and their cousins, the resistance lives on through the next generation. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Bilin village fights for its land

Being sprayed with tear gas is a humbling experience, though not at all uncommon here in Palestine, particularly in the village of Bilin in the occupied West Bank. A symbol of popular resistance against Israel’s apartheid policies, during the past several years Bilin has been a constant site for protesting the encroachment of Israel’s wall on village lands. Brian Pickett writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Bilin's unwavering spirit of resistance

The Ofer military base is not an easy place to get into. But after most of my friends and the father of the family I was living with, Mohammed Khatib (also a leading member of the Bilin Popular Committee) were arrested in a brutal night raid on the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, I was determined to go to their court hearing. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin. 

A night in Bilin

Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. Jody McIntyre tells what happened one recent night when Bilin’s residents turned the tables on their occupiers. 

Puerto Rican activist arrested at Second Bil'in International Conference on Nonviolence

21 April 2007: “Thanks to the media here for telling the truth … Bring this truth to whatever country you come from!” These were Mairead Maguire’s words, a Nobel Peace Prize winner from Northern Ireland, just one hour before she was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli Occupation Forces. At a press conference next to the Apartheid Wall in Bil’in, she stood beside Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian Information Minister. “Nonviolence will solve the problems here in Israel and Palestine,” Ms. Macguire continued. 

Photostory: Each Friday in Bil'in

I travel from Ramallah in a group taxi with several activists affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement to the agricultural village of Bil’in. We are here with Israeli activists as well. All of the major Israeli peace and justice groups are with us today, along with prominent members of their leadership. Peace Now (Gush Shalom), Rabbis for Human Rights, Israeli Anarchists against the Wall, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Ta’ayush and There is a Law (Yesh-Din). This latter group was formed to document violence that settlers commit against Palestinians so that they can be prosecuted. 

One year on: Protest against the Wall in Bil'in

Yesterday I woke up early and headed for a small village in the West Bank, outside of Ramallah, called Bil’in. I arrived earlier than I had expected so I wandered around trying to see where the new portion of the Apartheid Wall will be built to encircle this town and imprison its inhabitants. The people in the community created an enormous justice scale with a coffin beneath stating “Rest in Peace.” When we arrived at the bottom of this hill we were met by the Israeli army who were in full riot gear in a line in front of us. They had their weapons pointed at us and there were also quite a few filming us and photographing us. This protest in Bil’in is a weekly occurrence.