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Occupation magazine - Life under occupation

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Palestinian peace activist brutally arrested - testimony
By: Nurit Peled-Elhanan
23 January 2010

Mohanad Abu Awad, 20, son of Khaled Abu Awad - the general manager of Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Parents for Peace - and a peace activist himself, was brutally arrested Friday night at his home in Beit Umar, as part of Israeli policy to arrest Palestinian Fatah members and young peace activists so there will be no one to talk to, ever. Mohanad is now being detained in the police lock-up at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.

Mohaned`s uncle was killed by an Israeli soldier in a checkpoint because he left his car to stop an argument between soldiers and children. Another uncle was murdered at 13 years of age when he crossed the street, no one was ever charged for this murder. Mohanad`s brother was gravely wounded by Israeli soldiers who patrolled the village against orders on the day Arafat died. Both brothers, like their father and uncle Ali (star of the film Encounter Point) are constantly active in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups and non-violent resistance. Below is the testimony of his sister regarding the arrest.

`The soldiers came at 3:00 AM and they started to throw bombs on the door of our home,to scream and to say bad words to us but we didn`t realize that they were talking to us and then we realized that they were talking to us after they said open the door or we will blow up the house while you are inside and the car. We opened the door and we saw a lot of soldiers surrounded the house and with weapons pointed at us. They said put your hands on your heads and they asked about our names then they asked Mohanad to go to them and to step away from them and to bring down his pants and to raise up his blouse then they told him to roll back on them then tow soldiers came violently and took him and tied his hands and put something on his eyes ,they did the same to Shadi and Moayyad. Then I told them there are small kids inside the home I need to be with them they told me you go inside and bring all the ID cards and wake the kids from their sleep I went inside and my mother wanted to come too but they didn`t allow her to come with me I went and then they told my mom and my sister and my aunt to go inside the home and I went out to give them the ID cards then they told me go back to them and tell them in one minute they need to leave the home or we will blow it up I told them but the kids are sleeping they screamed and said you have one minute to leave the home and we took the kids while they were sleeping and we went out then they told us to go to the neighbor`s house and lock the door. They went inside our home and turned everything upside down with their dog. After 30 minutes my brother Shadi came to us and asked they send Mohanad here we told him no and then we went out of the home and we didn`t find him they took him with them without to tell us. I want him back .`

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