June 29, 2009
At around 2:30am two groups of around 35 soldiers (70 total) descended on the village of Bi'lin. They raided several houses, detained their inhabitants, and searched the inside of the houses. When members of the ISM (including yours truely) and the Popular Committee of Bi'lin confronted the soldiers, they called all of Bi'lin a closed military zone and threatened to arrest anyone out of their house or anyone on top of a house taking pictures. In the course of these house raids, they kidnapped two 16 year old boys (Mohsen Kateb and Hamoda Yaseen) from their houses and took them away into the night. Haitham al-Katib, a respected Palestinian activist in Bi'lin was video taping the raids when soldiers aggressively pushed him against a wall and threatened him with arrest. We intervened on his behalf and were able to wrest him out of the grasp of the soldiers(which was really fortunate and only happened cause the rest of the soldiers hadn't arrived yet).
They then raided the house of Iyad Burant, the head of the popular committee. He unlocked the door when he saw them walking towards around the house. (I figured out that he didn't want them to destroy his door). I stood in the entrance and when the soldiers showed up they said "where is the upstairs?" I said, "upstairs" and pointed up. Apparently my sarcastic answer wasn't the one they were looking for and the soldier body checked me with his rifle and pushed his way into the house. Other soldiers followed suit but we were being very defensive in our stances and impeded their path. First we demanded to see proof of their closed military zone, then we kept blocking their access to the rest of the house.
One of the soldiers saw Iyad's 9 year old son (Abdal kalik) taking pictures and threatened him with physical harm if he didn't produce a camera he was holding. After myself and another international intervened by blocking the soldiers path, they threatened us arrest and pushed us around. After repeated efforts, the soldiers gave up and left that particular house.