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News ::
ISRAEL ARRESTS LEADERSHIP OF PALESTINIAN POLITICAL GROUP (english)
01 Aug 2003
Modified: 03 Aug 2003
The apartheid regime of Israel arrested five leaders of Abnaa el Ballad (Sons of the Land) group, a legal political organization struggling against discrimination and for the right to return. PLEASE POST A MESSAGE DEMANDING THEIR FREEDOM ON ISRAEL INDYMEDIA! www.indymedia.org.il >> Message from Socialist Workers League of Palestine Below.
intifada_300.gif
The apartheid regime of Israel arrested five leaders of Abnaa el Ballad (Sons of the Land) group, a legal political organization struggling against discrimination and for the right to return. PLEASE POST A MESSAGE DEMANDING THEIR FREEDOM ON ISRAEL INDYMEDIA! www.indymedia.org.il >> Message from Socialist Workers League of Palestine Below.
ISRAEL ARRESTS LEADERSHIP OF PALESTINIAN POLITICAL GROUP
by Workers Action Thursday July 31, 2003
sf_adam (at) rocketmail.com San Francisco and Detroit USA

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Free the Comrades of Abnaa el Ballad!
Drop the Charges!
-----------------------------------------------------

We support the immediate release of the arrested members of Abnaa el Ballad. Far from the "terrorists" Israel’s Channel 10 and Ha’avertz portrayed them has, we know them to be advocates of Palestinian self-determination and both Palestinian and Jewish working class liberation. The fact that they struggle for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and for a democratic secular Palestine where Palestinians and Jews can live as equals, is their real crime in the eyes of Sharon and company. There could be no better testament to the power of their program then the campaign of lies and arrests that have been undertaken against Abnaa el Ballad. It will not only fail, but strengthen the resolve of all those who fight for a justice.

Futhermore we commit publicizing this case in the United States.

Workers’ Action (US)
http://www.workersaction.org

*****************************************************
Message from the Socialist Workers League/Palestine

URGENT APPEAL:
ABNAA EL BALLAD LEADERS ARRESTED!
*****************************************************
Five leading members of the Abnaa el Ballad ("Sons of the Country") movement, including its general secretary Muhamad Kanaane and Yoav Bar, were arrested today in the morning in the summer camp the movement has in the town of Kabul. [Note: in Israel/Palestine—not Afghanistan.]

Abnaa el Ballad has conducted a summer camp for years; this year it was held in the northern town of Kabul, in the Galilee, where more than 300 hundred children and youth assisted. Coincidentally with the summer camp, a political meeting was held yesterday, where Jewish and Arab members of the movement and other left activists, including members of the SWL, participated in order to promote common activities between the Palestinian and Jewish masses within Israel against the national and social oppression of the Zionist regime.

Yesterday, the Israeli television Channel 10 released a blood libel about the summer camp, arguing that the organizers teach the children to be suicide bombers and act as apologists for Hamas. Today’s edition of the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz also presented a similarly vicious slander. Later in the day the police arrested some of the leading comrades of Abnaa el Ballad.

The police and the security services have been carrying on a campaign against Abnaa elBallad for years, especially after the demonstrations held in October 2000, when 13 Arab demonstrators were killed by the police. This is another step in the persecution of the Arab population in Israel and its political parties. Let us just recall that the leaders of the Islamic movement, a legal political organization, have been imprisoned for several weeks already, and that today the Knesset is debating a racist law denying the Israeli citizenship to the sons of couples where one of the partners is an Israeli Arab and the other a Palestinian from the Occupied Territories.

We demand the immediate release of the arrested comrades and the end of the political persecution against Abnaa elBallad, and ask all our comrades and sympathizers to conduct a campaign of solidarity. A note to this effect posted immediately in Indymedia Israel (http://www.indymedia.org.il) would be very helpful.

Socialist Workers League (Palestine)

***********************************
Abnaa elBallad
http://www.abnaa-elbalad.org/
See also:
www.workersaction.org
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8/1/03 Updates to Arrests in Galillee (english)
01 Aug 2003
///////////////////////////////////////////
The facts of the arrest of the Abnaa el Balla leadership, updated 8/1/03.

There were four are being held until Monday. The arrests were made in front of hudreds of Arab children at a summer camp, an act designed to frighten and terrorize them, and to drive a wedge against any political solidarity between Jews and Arab workers against the Zionist Apartheid state of Israel.

1. Muhamad Kanaane, General Secretary
2. Jameel Safouri
3. Yusuf Abu Ali
4. Yoav Bar

Monday is the day of the court date for these comrades.

Adam Richmond
Workers Action
www.workersaction.org
////////////////////////////////////////////


Report on the Arrests of Abnaa el Ballad leaders in Israel 8/1/03

Four leading members of the Abnaa el Ballad ("Sons of the Country") movement, including its general secretary Muhamad Kanaane, Jameel Safouri, Yusuf Abu Ali and Yoav Bar, were arrested today in the morning in the summer camp the movement has in the town of Kaool. They were accused in "incitement for terrorist actions & revolt and identification with a terrorist organization - the Hezbollah (??!)". The court of Akka has prolonged their detention until Monday, August 8, 2003.

Abnaa el Ballad has conducted a summer camp for 16 years; this year it was held in the northern town of Kabul, in the Galilee, where more than 300 hundred children and youth assisted. Coincidentally with the summer camp, a political meeting was held yesterday, where Jewish and Arab members of the movement and other left activists, participated in order to promote common activities between the Palestinians and Jews against the national and social oppression of the Zionist Apartheid regime.

At Wednesday, the Israeli television Channel 10 released a blood libel about the summer camp, arguing that the organizers teach the children to be suicide bombers and act as apologists for Hamas. Thursday and Friday editions of all Hebrew daily papers and other mass media means also presented a similarly vicious slander. Later in the day the police arrested some of the leading comrades of Abnaa el Ballad.

On Thursday afternoon (around 18:00) police forces including the special anti- riot forces surrounded the summer camp, and began to detain all the adults, including visitors. They detained as 20 people, including the brother of the Channel 10 TV reporter, who came to the summer camp with his brother!. They took all those detainees to the nearby police station (including 2 volunteers that were dragged from between the children chained into the police car) and accused all them, too, in incitement for terrorist actions & revolt(??!!!). But at midnight, after 4 hours of interrogation, all those "dangerous" detainees were released without any bill! because all those accusations are faked & lies.

Meanwhile, in the summer camp were not more than 3 adults who tried to fix buses for sending the children home & to deal with hundreds of panicked children (3 of them fainted, and other cried and shivered with all their bodies when they sow the anti- riot unit hanging around their tents...). So most of the work with the children was done by 15 - 16 youth who should care for the smaller children. (When I went back to the camp after I was "released from detention" and was shocked to see the camp like after an occupation - plates half full with food on the tables, everything inside messed & ruined.)

Anyway, the 4 that were arrested earlier stayed in detention, and the court today prolonged their arrest in more 4 days. The police and the security services have been carrying on a campaign against Abnaa elBallad for years, especially after the demonstrations held in October 2000, when 13 Arab demonstrators were killed by the police. This is another step in the persecution of the Arab population in Israel and its political parties. Let us just recall that the leaders of the Islamic movement, a legal political organization, have been imprisoned for several weeks already, and that today the Knesset is debating a racist law denying the Israeli citizenship to the sons of couples where one of the partners is an Israeli Arab and the other a Palestinian from the Occupied Territories.

Statement by Ittijah (english)
03 Aug 2003
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From Indymedia Israel
http://indymedia.org.il/imc/webcast/62849.html
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Statement by Ittijah - Union of Arab Community Based Associations

Press Release

1 August 2003

Police Raid Palestinian Cultural Summer Camp after Accusations of Incitement

Israeli police stormed a summer camp for Palestinian youth yesterday, and arrested fourteen of the organizers, after the camp had been accused of incitement against Israel in a TV report on Wednesday. The camp was organized by the Al Balad Cultural Association in the Arab village of Kabul in northern Israel, and was due to end this Sunday. At a court hearing today, the police could present no evidence of incitement. The presiding judge declared that four of the arrested should remain in court until Monday, to allow police to find evidence for the case.

According to Ibrahim Makkawi, an activist at the summer camp who witnessed the raid, the case started with a television report by Israeli Channel 10 on Wednesday. Channel 10 had filmed the camp and interviewed children on Wednesday, with cooperation from the organizers, who assumed that the TV station would prepare a regular report about the camp. In the report, however, the TV station accused the organizers of the camp of spreading hatred and anti-Israeli propaganda, and promoting anti-Israeli violence and suicide attacks. The story, a cut-and-paste job in which the filmed materials were taken completely out of context, was repeated the following day in the Israeli newspapers “Haaretz” and “Yedioth”. The media attention apparently forced the Israeli government to react, and led to the police action yesterday, when some 30 to 40 police officers raided the camp. Faced with the choice either to shut down the camp voluntarily or to see it forcefully shut down by the police, the organizers decided for the first option.

Al Balad strongly rejects the accusation of incitement, and claims that no illegal action was undertaken at the camp. Al Balad has been organizing summer camps of this kind for fifteen years and has never had a problem with police or other officials. The aim of the summer camp is to educate Palestinian children about their cultural heritage and identity, an education that Palestinian children do not receive in the government school system. The summer camps deal with issues such as the violent foundation of the Israeli state, the destruction of Palestinian villages and Palestinian refugees. While disliked by Israeli officials, none of the actions undertaken at the camp are illegal, including the flying of the Palestinian flag (legalized in 1993).

Al Balad and Ittijah strongly protest the raid of the camp and the arrest of organizers. We urge the state to halt the investigation and release the remaining four detainees. Al Balad and Ittijah protest the hostile and intentionally misleading coverage by Channel 10, “Haaretz” and “Yedioth”. We demand that these media retract their statement that “the children in the camp are taught about Palestinian terrorists (“martyrs”)... sing songs that praise suicide attacks and express their hope for returning to Jaffa, Ashdod and Haifa and building a Palestinian state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.”

Ittijah has strong confidence in the morality of its member Al Balad Cultural Association, and stands behind the association without reservation. Ittijah sees the actions of the police and Israeli media as more incitement against Palestinian civil society inside Israel, similar to the arrest and detention of the leaders of the Islamic Movement. Ittijah demands that the Israeli government, the police and the media stop their smear campaign against the representatives of the Palestinian people in Israel.



Ittijah - Union of Arab Community Based Associations

P.O. Box 9577, Haifa 31095, Israel

ittijah (at) ittijah.org

www.ittijah.org
See also:
www.workersaction.org