Yesterday evening, following Jamalâs release, Mohammed Othman was also released after more than three months of imprisonment, isolation and interrogation.
During his time in prison, and despite the hours of questioning and interrogation, no charges were ever pressed. Instead, threatened by the anti-Wall movement, Occupation authorities seemed to be determined to hold him without charge for as long as possible. As was the case with Jamal, an impressive international campaign gradually made holding Mohammed a liability.
Mohammed was arrested solely for his work with the Stop the Wall Campaign, part of a wider campaign targeting the Campaign and the popular committees. A key activist in the BDS movement, he was involved with ensuring that the Norwegian Pension Fund divested from Elbit. As is well known, he was returning from Norway when he was arrested crossing into the West Bank from Jordan.
While the release of the prisoners is a victory for the anti-Wall movement and international solidarity, it should not overshadow the arrest campaign that aims to destroy the grassroots movement. Dozens of activists from the villages of Niâlin, Bilâin and Jayyus remained jailed, including Abdallah Abu Rahamh, a prominent leader from the village of Bilâin. Well over a hundred people have been arrested this year also for anti-Wall action; in fact, the day prior to the release of Jumaâ and Othman, Israeli forces arrested three from Niâlin, among them anti-Wall activists.
We therefore need to ensure that the campaign for the freedom of all anti-wall activists and Palestinian political prisoners continues to grow. We have to combine our energies to ensure that the root cause â the Wall â will be torn down and the occupation will be brought to an end.