In the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 23rd January 2013, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Hassan Yasser Karajeh, a 29 years old youth activist in the Stop the Wall Campaign, violently breaking into his home in the West Bank village of Safa, west of Ramallah.
This new arrest of Stop the Wall staff comes as Palestinian popular resistance against the increasing Israeli settlement construction and forcible expulsion of Palestinian communities is gathering pace.
Armed soldiers of the IOF stormed the home of Hassan Karajeh at 2:30am, and, gathering the family together in one room, separated the men and women from each other. The soldiers started to search the family members and ordered them to strip naked for a strip search, however the men and women refused and defied this order.
Muhannad Karajeh, Hassan's brother and a lawyer, reported that special units of the Israeli army stormed the house and carried out an extensive search, in the process breaking furniture, scattering the contents of the house, and taking three personal computers, three mobile phones, and five bags of private documents belonging to the family.
Muhannad Karajeh further described how the Israeli soldiers attacked his brother Hassan, handcuffed and blindfolded him, and, arresting him, took him to an undisclosed location and refused to tell the family where.
The Karajeh family denounces Hassan's arrest and the way in which it was carried out by the Israeli occupation forces, and condemns the theft of their property and the destruction and smashing of the contents of their house. The family calls upon international human rights organisations to demand that the Israeli occupation forces immediately release Hassan and all others detained by the occupation forces.
Hassan Karajeh is the youth coordinator of Stop the Wall. He is a young human rights defender, well known at the local level and across the Arab world. He was youth ambassador for Palestine at the Arab Thought Forum and has represented various Palestinian organizations in many international conferences and seminars.
His arrest comes as part of the continued Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights defenders involved in popular action against Israeli occupation, including the illegal construction of the Wall and the settlements. Stop the Wall has repeatedly been the target of arrest campaigns and office raids in order to stop its activism aimed at implementing Palestinian rights and international law.
Governments across the globe have overwhelmingly condemned the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise and in particular the latest expansion of the E1 settlement bloc. If governments don´t want to accept Israel ridiculing their condemnations and international law, the least the international community should do is to stand up for the right to protest Israeli settlement construction.
The latest Israeli elections have yet again confirmed that Israel will only respect Palestinian rights and international law and start considering a just peace once heavy international pressure takes effect. Until then, Israel will continue to expand settlements and to implement their August 2011 announcement to the UN agencies that they plan to forcibly expel Palestinian communities in Area C (over 60 percent of the West Bank).
The new generation of active, creative and determined youth activists and their movement galvanizing popular resistance are clearly a threat to these actions and human rights defenders will pay a heavy toll of repression. Hassan is only one of them – a symbol of a new generation of Palestinian resistance. Stop the Wall therefore calls on all human rights organizations, Arab and international solidarity movements and human rights defenders to support us in mounting a powerful and effective campaign for the release of Hassan Karajah.
We are preparing an activist kit for you to join in the campaign to free Hassan. Please check back soon.
Free Hassan Karajah!
More on Hassan Karajah:
More actions to free Hassan Karajah: