Massive Bil’in raids aimed at breaking protest
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Massive Bil’in raids aimed at breaking protest

Over the past several weeks, the village of Bil’in has been targeted by near-nightly raids. Occupation forces have abducted children and threatened activists in the most systematic campaign of arrests against the village in some time. A total of eight people, most of them youth, have been kidnapped since these raids began.

The most recent night raid occurred this morning, when soldiers stormed the village at 4:00 AM on foot. Their target was 16-year-old Sulieman Sif, who they dragged from his home and have taken to an unknown location.

A larger raid occurred on Monday morning, when two large groups of soldiers, 70 in total, descended on the village. Two 16-year-olds Mohsen Kateb and Hamoda Yaseen were abducted from their homes. Soldiers also raided the home of Iyad Burant, the head of the popular committee, and threatened his 9 year-old-son with physical harm in an attempt to coerce him into surrendering a camera he was holding. A number of people intervened, and the soldiers eventually left the home.

These back to back raids follow on the heels of similar ones that occurred on last Tuesday and Thursday during which a number of people were also kidnapped.

While raids and incursions are not uncommon, this current campaign of arrests is the most systematic witnessed by the village in recent memory. It comes as Bil’in is again making international headlines for hosting writer Naomi Klein and entering into a court battle in Canada against settlement builders.