This is how Israel marked Human Rights Day. Please call the following (ask for the foreign policy aide) to intervene on behalf of Abdul Khalik Burnat with the U.S. State Department:
Sen. Baldwin, Madison: 608-264-5338
Sen. Baldwin, DC: 202-224-5653
Rep. Pocan, Madison: 608-258-9800
Rep. Pocan, DC: 202-225-2906
(Pocan is a signer of HR 4391 on Palestinian children)
Sen. Johnson, Madison: 608-240-9629
Sen. Johnson, DC: 202-224-5323
A call to action from Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, 12 December 2017
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Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 17 years old, the son of Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, an active leader of the Nonviolent Resistance Movement in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, was kidnapped, beaten and detained on the night of December 10, 2017 while getting pizza along with his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi.
Their whereabouts were unknown until Abdul-Khalik’s mother and father recently learned that he and his friends are in Ofer Prison near the city of Ramallah.
Abdul-Khalik’s village of Bil’in is heavily targeted by Zionist colonizing forces for arrests, repression and persecution, especially because the people of the village continually and consistently organize well-coordinated weekly peaceful demonstrations which include visits and support from international activists to defend their land from illegal Israeli settlements and the infamous apartheid Wall.
Abdul-Khalik is a senior in high school. He was focused on completing his finals before his kidnapping. He is planning on going to college abroad after graduating high school.
This is not the first time that Abdul Khalik has been targeted by Israeli colonizing forces. The last time was in January of 2017, when he was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. They also detained him in another night-time raid in March 2017, while he was under treatment for his injuries.
Iyad Burnat’s family has been repeatedly targeted and injured by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Burnat states, “All this violence that they use against me and my family is trying to stop us from what we’re doing [Nonviolent resistance].”
Abdul Khalik’s court date is this upcoming Thursday December 14, 2017. This arbitrary hearing is crucial and likely to determine whether to extend their detention (for interrogation), impose an administrative detention order or put charges in the military courts.
The family of Abdul-Khalik Burnat have urged international action and publicity to help them obtain justice for their son and his immediate release.
Unfortunately, Abdul-Khalik’s story is all too common. Every year, over 700 Palestinian children face military trials and military imprisonment at the hand of Israeli occupation soldiers. Palestinian children are subject to torture and abuse under interrogation, arbitrary military trials, denial of their right to education, physical and psychological violence and imprisonment without charge or trial on a regular basis.
Israel’s impunity and gross violations of the rights of Palestinian children continue with the silence and complicity of governments around the world, including the U.S. government that not only provides $3 billion in military funding each year to the Israeli occupation state but also recently declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, putting its stamp of approval on ethnic cleansing, settlement construction, land confiscation and blatant violation of international law.
Canada and Europe continue to maintain free trade pacts and association agreements with the Israeli occupation. It’s time for real international pressure to defend Palestinian children like Abdul-Khalik Burnat – and all Palestinians – from apartheid, war crimes and brutal, racist injustice.