Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Update on Musab Musa Raba'i, Palestinian shepherd attacked by Israeli military

Last week we passed along a report of an attack on Palestinian shepherds and representatives of US Campaign member group Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the West Bank village of At-Tuwani. Here is an update from CPT, and some ideas for action: "On 7 January 2009, soldiers detained Musab Musa Raba’i after attacking him and members of his family as they were complying with the soldiers' order to move their flocks off their family-owned land.(See 8 January 2010 release, AT-TUWANI: Israeli soldiers attack and injure Palestinian shepherds and CPTers; arrest Musa Raba’i) The same eight soldiers who arrested Raba’i and attacked his family took him to a military base at the nearby Suseya settlement. For four hours, soldiers struck him in the back, in the face, and slammed him into walls. The soldiers questioned him about his brothers. Raba’i refused to give any information and refused to speak Hebrew with the soldiers, which infuriated them. The soldiers told him that they would come to his house in the following days and beat or kill him and his brothers. They tried to force him to say that they were the best soldiers in the IDF and beat him when he would not. Raba’i told CPTers the soldiers tied his hands and feet, blindfolded him, and sat him on a chair. Raba’i put his head in his lap, in an attempt to protect his head and his genitals, and refused to lift it. He said that at one point, a soldier cocked his rifle and told him to lift his head or he would shoot him. Raba’i refused. When another soldier tried to bring him food and water, as the military is legally obligated to do in such situations, the soldiers who were torturing him swore at the soldier and told him to leave. The soldiers also refused to allow Raba’i to pray. After four hours of this interrogation and torture, they took Raba’i to Israeli police station in Kiryat Arba settlement. The Israeli police told him that they usually offer detainees food and water, but were giving him nothing because they wanted to punish him. They said that if they ever saw his face again, they would kill him. After thirty minutes, the police tied his hands and feet, blindfolded him, drove him to a location unknown to him and threw him out of the jeep. Fearing that soldiers, police or settlers might see him, he hid in a bush until he saw his family's car. Raba'i was able to call his family, who, accompanied by CPTers, found him and brought him home."
TAKE ACTION:
1) This attack on At-Tuwani appears to be part of a recent increase in repression of Palestinian grassroots nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid. Click here to read more about some of the Palestinian grassroots leaders who have been targeted by this campaign. You can also click here to send an email to the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem demanding the release of Palestinians who are imprisoned for their dissent. You can edit the letter to include information about the attack on At-Tuwani and to ask Daniel Rubinstein, the U.S. Consul General in East Jerusalem, to demand that those involved in this crime be brought to justice. Click here to send an email.
2) U.S. tax dollars aid and abet the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli army, including this most recent attack on At-Tuwani. Organize to oppose U.S. military aid to Israel in your Congressional district by clicking here, and join us in Washington D.C. in March for a Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day.
3) Motorola produces communications and surveillance equipment for the Israeli military as well as for settlements like the ones that are encroaching on At-Tuwani's land. Sign a boycott pledge, send an email to Moto's management, and order a Motorola organizing kit.