Israeli military forces conducted an early morning raid of the Ramallah office of Stop the Wall, a civil society coalition organizing in opposition to the construction of the Separation Wall that Israel continues to build in the West Bank, and a Grassroots International partner.
The 1:30am raid on Tuesday, May 8th was not the first time their office has been raided. During Grassroots’ staff visit at their office last month, Stop the Wall staff described a similar raid in 2010. Then, like now, Stop the Wall staff arrived in their office only to discover damaged property along with missing hard drives, laptops, memory cards, and materials. While commenting on Tuesday’s raid, Stop the Wall staff expressed concern that “the real problem are not the few computers. It’s that this is likely the start of something more serious, if we don’t act more strongly now!”
Despite increasing attacks against demonstrators opposing the Separation Wall across the West Bank, Palestinian activists and organizations remain resolute in their defense of their rights to land, water, food and the right to live in dignity. As a leader of the anti-Separation Wall movement, including coordinator of weekly demonstrations, Stop the Wall pledges to continue its work. The roots of this movement are firmly planted in Palestinian hearts as well as in the hearts of those of us in the international community who walk in solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers.
In response to this raid, Stop the Wall has issued the following Action Alert:
…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. [Click here to send a call to the US Embassy in Israel.]
· Let Israel know that their walls cannot isolate anybody!
Photo courtesy of Stop the Wall