At 1.30am this morning ten armoured jeeps of the Israeli occupation forces and intelligence surrounded and raided the offices of Stop the Wall in Ramallah. Israeli military stole 2 laptops, 3 hard drives and 10 memory cards containing files and photos as well as archive material relating to the work that the organisation does in opposition to Israel's apartheid wall and the attack on Palestinian human rights that the wall and the settlement represent. This is a renewed attack upon Palestinian civil society and their struggle against the physical and psychological oppression, land confiscation and ethnic cleansing policies of the Israel.
It is no coincidence that the Israeli authorities have chosen this moment to escalate their repression against the Stop the Wall grassroots network of civil resistance against the Wall and the settlements, choosing to act on the same day that the Israeli High Court rejected the appeals of Palestinian hunger strikers Bilal Diab and Tha’’ir Halahleh, imprisoned without charge and without trial, effectively condemning them to death. Israel is fearing popular resistance and at the same time prepares for confrontation and more repression, clearly showing that it is not ready to relinquish any of the international sanctioned rights the Palestinian people are struggling for.
This is a stark reminder of the 2010 office raid and the 2009/10 wave of arrests of Stop the Wall staff and grassroots leaders. At that time we could count on the solidarity of all our supporters across the globe. Thanks to the steadfastness of Stop the Wall activists and your support internationally, we have been able to staff off the attack and emerge stronger than before.
We once again call upon you to support us by:
- Spreading the news and publicly express your support to Stop the Wall and our work in the media available to you (and please let us know you did so!)
- Encouraging your representatives and governments to condemn and report this further repression of civil resistance and human rights defenders organizations.
- Let Israel know that their walls cannot isolate anybody!
Stop the Wall is one of the most vibrant organizations of human rights defenders in Palestine, and has been promoting, for almost ten years, civil resistance and advocacy campaigns against the Wall and in defense of Palestinian rights to self determination. Human Rights Defenders are internationally recognized as an essential element in political processes and their repression further underlines Israeli unwillingness to achieve a just peace.
This raid on the Stop the Wall offices is a clear message that the Israeli authorities are fearing widespread nonviolent action will challenge their policies effectively.
The courageous steadfastness of the more than 2000 hunger strikers in Israeli jails is underlining once more the power of civil resistance as part of the Palestinian struggle. Almost daily people are out in the streets to protest in solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners, and the discontent with the fruitless and completely stalled diplomatic processes is growing stronger. At the same time, the Israeli authorities announced in 2011 to UN agencies that throughout 2012 year they will systematically displace the Palestinian population in area C. While the displacement drive is underway in the Jordan Valley, home demolitions are rising and the settlement construction is accelerated, the people across the West Bank are always more constraint behind the cantons of the wall. Israel is preparing for confrontation and more repression, clearly showing that it is not ready to relinquish any of the international sanctioned rights the Palestinian people are struggling for.
This is not the first time Stop the Wall has been the target of Israeli repression. In September 2009 Stop the Wall youth coordinator was arrested and the Stop the Wall coordinator, Jamal Juma’, was arrested a few months later, in December 2009. The Israeli authorities were not able to formulate any accusations against either of them and after a sustained international campaign, that saw the active involvement of the diplomatic missions in Palestine and European foreign ministries as well as countless human rights organizations around the world, both had to be freed in January 2010. This attack was followed only a few months later by an extensive office raid by the Israeli military on February 8 2010 and mass arrests of grassroots human rights defenders in the villages most actively protesting against the Wall.