Anas Abu Srour, Executive Director of the Aida Youth Center in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, was arrested by Israeli authorities on Tuesday, 28th November. He is yet another one of our Palestinian friends and colleagues who is experiencing the intensified brutality and injustice that has been unleashed on the Palestinians in the West Bank since 7th October.
Anas, 35, travelled in his vehicle from his home in Aida Camp to Ramallah on Tuesday morning to take an English-language exam. When completed, he sent a text message to his wife Maysan around 11:45 am, telling her that he was on his way home, but he did not arrive. Twelve hours later, the Palestinian Authority Liaison Office informed the Youth Center that Anas had been abducted by Israeli army forces. The Israeli military did not inform the Palestinian Authority of any details about Anas’ arrest, including where he was arrested from, on what charges, and where he was taken to.
In a statement from the Aida Youth Center, it wrote, “We are extremely worried about Anas’ wellbeing. The current climate in the occupied West Bank is a terrifying one for Palestinians, particularly for Palestinian men like Anas, who are being rounded up and arbitrarily detained by Israeli forces. Since October 7th, detainees and prisoners have reported an increase in the systematic torture by Israeli forces against them, including beatings, verbal and physical harassment and assault, and being stripped naked during the arrest and interrogation process. Israel has also been enforcing the mass arbitrary imprisonment of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children under its policy of administrative detention, which Israel uses to detain Palestinians for months on end without charge or trial.
We are confident that Anas has not committed any crime, and that he was arrested for one reason and one reason only: that he is Palestinian. We demand the immediate release of Anas from Israeli custody, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners being wrongfully imprisoned by the Israeli occupation.
We have been working with local Palestinian human rights groups and lawyers to try and secure more information about Anas’ whereabouts, but getting any information about prisoners and detainees is an extremely difficult task these days.
This is common practice for the Israeli occupation, who frequently detain Palestinians in the West Bank and interrogate them for hours and days before their families ever know where they are. This practice has only gotten worse since October 7th, as Israeli soldiers have continued to violate all human rights norms and engaged in the systematic torture and abuse of prisoners and detainees during all stages of arrest, interrogation & imprisonment.
Anas is one of more than fifty Palestinians from Aida Camp detained over the past few weeks. We demand the immediate release of Anas and all of our prisoners from Aida Camp, and across all of Palestine.” #FreeAnasAbuSrour
On Tuesday, 5th December, Anas Abu Srour was sentenced to six months of administrative detention. This is a common practice in Israeli military courts, which allows Israel to keep Palestinians in prison, without charges or a trial. Administrative detention can be extended indefinitely. The petition demanding Anas' release will be shared with relevant institutions and media outlets.
Anas is one of thousands of Palestinians who have been abducted and detained since 7 October. These men, women and children have committed no crimes, they are simply used as pawns in a cruel political game. Not only Anas, but all these innocent Palestinians should be released immediately so they can return to their families.
A petition has been organised calling for Anas' release - please sign this petition as soon as possible.via this link