Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal
Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal

Israeli occupation forces have launched a campaign of collective punishment and mass arrests against the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir in Jerusalem, arresting the family members of Palestinian fighters, cousins Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, who were killed by occupation police forces after they engaged in an armed operation in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis. This attack followed multiple attacks on Palestinians by settlers in the Jerusalem area, including the killing and hanging of Palestinian bus driver Yousef Al-Ramouni on Monday, allegedly at the hands of Israeli settlers.

Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal were shot dead on the scene by occupation military forces, who then immediately blockaded their entire neighborhood and targeted their families for arrest.  Addameer reports that the father, mother and wife of Ghassan Abu Jamal; the mother, uncle and brother of Oday Abu Jamal; and other relatives Furat Abu Jamal, Munther Abu Jamal, Muawiyeh Abu Jamal and Jamal Abu Jamal. Take action to call for the freedom of the Abu Jamal family members and an end to collective punishment.

“Moreover, at least 17 Palestinians suffered tear gas inhalation and five were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes following the arrests. Israeli forces sealed the entrance to the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood with cement blocks,” reported Al-Akhbar.

Munther Abu Jamal, after being beaten by occupation forces. Photo by Addameer.
Munther Abu Jamal, after being beaten by occupation forces. Photo by Addameer.

Munther Abu Jamal, as documented in these photos by Addameer, was brutally beaten by occupation forces before he, along with his relatives, were taken to the infamous Moskobiyeh detention center for interrogation. Another member of the Abu Jamal family, Jamal Abu Jamal, was re-arrested by occupation forces on November 6, 10 months after his release; his family home was violently raided by undercover occupation forces dressed to appear as Palestinians who sprayed the home with tear gas after beating him. He served 19 years in occupation prisons of a term of 22 years and was released in the third installment of long-time prisoners at the end of December 2013.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the mass arrests and collective punishment of the Abu Jamal family, and the Israeli policy of assassinations, targeting of families, and home demolitions aimed at all Palestinians who resist the ongoing Israeli assaults on Jerusalem and its Palestinian people. These home demolitions and arrests target entire extended families, imposing yet more siege, impoverishment and oppression on the colonized indigenous Palestinian people, while the Israeli state officially works to extend its colonization ever more into Jerusalem and throughout Palestine, erasing the Palestinian character of the city and of the land.

It must also be noted that the Jerusalem area, called Har Nof, where Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal engaged in their armed attack, was built by the Israeli settler state over the destroyed Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, the site of the infamous Deir Yassin Massacre that not only left hundreds of Palestinians dead at the hands of Zionist forces in 1948, but that was meant to serve as an example of ethnic cleansing to force the indigenous Palestinian people from their homes and lands. Samidoun notes that the issues of settlement, mass imprisonment, ethnic cleansing, and cultural and social genocide, in Jerusalem and all of Palestine, date back to the Nakba and the Zionist colonization of Palestine; one of the most heavily targeted areas in the recent attacks and mass arrest raids on Jerusalem has been Shuafat refugee camp, whose residents have been struggling to return home since 1948.

Take Action! 

The Abu Jamal family is under arrest, held in an interrogation center notorious for torture and abuse. In just the past weeks, we have witnessed multiple home demolitions of the homes of entire Palestinian families following resistance actions or armed operations undertaken by any individual Palestinian, particularly in Jerusalem.

The attack on Jabal al-Mukkabir is not separate from the ongoing mass arrests, settler raids and home demolitions targeting Jerusalem, or the Israeli plans to extend colonial settlement building or divide Al-Aqsa Mosque. Take action to demand the release of the Abu Jamal family, an end to the home demolitions policy, and to defend Jerusalem and Palestine:

1. Send a letter demanding the release of the Abu Jamal family members, including the wives and parents of Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal. Demand an end to the policy of home demolitions against Palestinian families. The targeting of Palestinian homes and families is unacceptable, collective punishment, and part and parcel of the Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing. Addameer is working to free the Abu Jamal family members – international pressure can help to support their ongoing work on the ground.

2. Join an action or start an action in your city to defend Jerusalem. Protests are taking place in cities around the world for Jerusalem and Palestine – many on November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. Protests also took place yesterday to honor Yousef al-Ramouni, the lynched Palestinian bus driver, and demand justice. Join a protest at an Israeli consulate or embassy, or hold an educational event.

3. Join the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Isolate Israel for its mass political imprisonment of Palestinians. Boycott products like HP and SodaStream, and demand an end to security contracts with G4S, which operates in Israeli prisons. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.