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Coordinator of Popular Struggle Committees Denied Exit

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On August 4, 2010 about 1 PM, Mohammed Khatib from Bil’in was denied exit to
Jordan via King Hussein Bridge. Khatib was on his way to Spain via Amman
when Israeli border officials prevented him from crossing the border to
Jordan. Denying the leaders of the non-violent Popular Struggle to go abroad
is clearly an attempt to silence Palestinians who speak about human rights
violations committed by Israel.

This is not the first time Israel prevents leaders of the Popular Struggle
to go abroad. Earlier this year Iyad Burnat, the leader of the Popular
Committee in Bil’in was denied exit via King Hussein’s Bridge when on his
way to Europe via Amman. Burnat and his 5 year old daughter were detained at
the border, and after hours of waiting they were sent back to Bil’in. Later
Burnat was given a permission to travel abroad, unless he intended to speak
about the situation in Bil’in. He is now threatened with arrest if he
chooses to do so. Both Khatib and Burnat had valid visas for their
destinations, and had been planning their departure months in advance. Since
Israel consequently denies Palestinian entry to Jerusalem and the
consulates, achieving a visa is a time consuming process.

It is well known that crossing the border back to Israel after staying
abroad also is a complicated and potentially dangerous process. In 2009
Mohammed Othman was arrested on the Jordan border when coming from a
speaking tour in Norway. Othman was held under administrative detention for
months, without trial and considered a “security threat”.

Mohammed Khatib and other activists for the Popular Struggle can tell about
frequent violations on Human Rights, arrests and night raids carried out by
the army, and theft of Palestinian land that makes life extremely difficult
in their villages. As more and more people get aware of the situation in
Palestine, Israel needs to find new strategies to silence their voices, and
denying Palestinians the freedom of speech is one of them.

At 10 pm this evening Mohammed Khatib returned to Bil’in. He reports that
the Israeli border police refused to let him pass to Jordan. The reason they
gave was that the Israeli intelligence, Shebak, had given these
instructions. After 3 hours at the border, Khatib had to return back to
Bil’in. He reports that he has a valid court decision from the Israeli
Court, issued yesterday, allowing him to go abroad. This was ignored by the
border officials and this proves once again that Israel is not following 

 even its own law system.    

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