UPDATE: SFP is pleased to hear that all 4 have now been released after being interrogated all night at Huwwara Military Camp.
At 1am on Monday morning a force of the Israeli Army invaded Madama and kidnapped 2 children and 2 young men: Abdullah Wajih Qout (23 years old); Ahmed Nihad Nassar (17 years old); Mohammed Nader Qout (17 years old); and Sari Tayab Faraj (23 years old). Sari Faraj is the younger brother of the martyr Yammin Faraj, murdered by the Israeli Army in 2004 during an invasion of the City of Nablus. He has also been held by the Army on a previous occasion. SFP has learnt that Sari was released this morning after being interrogated all night.
Ahmed and Sari are both volunteers with the Yammin Centre, a cultural centre in the village which provides various activities for the youth, including awareness raising of sexual harassment and social issues. Like is neighbouring village of Burin, cultural centres and their volunteers are often subjected to harassment and arbitrary arrest by the Army, which seeks to curtail any kind of self-improvement of well-being activities, in a bid o make life unbearable for Palestinians. These 3 kidnappings now bring the total to 9 young men and children held from Madama in Apartheid prisons by Israel.
The Israeli Army recently announced, following years of international pressure, that they would pilot ceasing to conduct late night terror raids on Palestinian children. However, Military Court Watch, a voluntary association established by a group of lawyers and other professionals who share a belief in the rule of law, recently noted:
Nearly two years after the recommendation to end night arrests was first raised, details about the proposed pilot scheme have yet to be published that would enable independent assessment of its likely success or otherwise. This is of concern given the recent statement made by Israel’s chief military prosecutor to the Jerusalem Post foreshadowing the possibility of the programme’s failure before it has even started.“If the program works, there will be “tremendous gains in saving people from operational dangers and minimizing future claims of abuse,” he explained. If it does not, “we will have shown conclusively that summonses do not work” and there is no alternative to the policy of night arrests.”