Mohammed Khatib's face is one some readers will recognize because he visited the USA in the winter of 2007-2008. On September 11, 2009, Israeli Occupation Forces broke into his home, frightening his four children and his wife and arresting him.
[see op.ed http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090928/khatib]
His arrest is part of an Israeli effort to crush the growing Palestinian nonviolent movement opposing Israel's construction of illegal settlements and the illegal apartheid wall. In the small village of Bil'in more than 29 villagers have been arrested in the past three months. Some of these are children.
Mohammed was given an order by the Israeli military not to be in Bil'in his village on Fridays. The village of Bil'in has demonstrated every Friday for the past five years against the illegal apartheid wall which cut the village off from 65% of their farm land. This land was confiscated to build illegal Israeli settlements inside the Green Line.
Throughout the West Bank there is increased suppression of demonstrations and efforts to break the spirits of protest leaders because Israel realizes that the nonviolent struggle is spreading.
In the middle of the night, September 14-15, masked Israeli soldiers burst into the home of Abdulla Abu Rahme, a Bil'in nonviolence resistance leader, and ransacked his home. [See above blog.] Internationals, including MPTers, were outside the gate and door unable to gain entry, however, in a quick moment Mohammed was able to slip in the door. Inside Israeli soldiers beat him in the upper body and head, blackening his eyes. His cries could be heard outside the house. After the home invasion, when Mohammed left Abdulla's house there was fear of internal injuries, but ex-rays at a hospital in Ramallah showed no internal injuries.
Mohammed may have been physically beaten, but his spirit is not beaten down. He will continue his nonviolent efforts against the occupation.