Sunday, 3 January: Tel Aviv
Within the last hour, one more Israeli activist has been arrested over last Saturday’s protest at the Tel Aviv area home of the US Ambassador to Israel. The activist, identified only as A.H., was called to a Tel Aviv police station for interrogation relating to the protest and immediately arrested on the charge of conspiracy to cause criminal damage. He will be arraigned at the Tel Aviv magistrates’ court tomorrow morning, along with eleven other activists who were arrested during the action late Saturday night.
Roughly 25 Israeli activists ‘returned’ empty tear gas canisters to the home of the US ambassador to Israel late Saturday night in protest over continued US military aid to Israel. American-made tear gas canisters were used by the Israeli military to crush the weekly unarmed demonstration in Bil’n last Friday, causing the death of 36 year-old village resident Jawaher Abu Rahmah.
The Saturday evening demonstration in front of the ambassador’s residence resulted in the arrest of 11 Israeli activists, including two woman over the age of 65. The activists have been charged with illegal weapons possession, resisting arrest, and disturbing public order – among other charges. They have been held in a Tel Aviv jail since their arrest and will be brought before a judge tomorrow morning. The demonstration at the US ambassador’s house came on the heels of a mass demonstration in Tel Aviv, which saw the main street in front of the ministry of defense blocked for over one hour and the arrest of eight demonstrators. They were released after five hours with no charges.
UPDATE 20:00: The activist arrested this evening was not present at the demonstration in front the Ambassador’s house. He was sitting in a Tel Aviv jail because he was arrested in the mass demonstration in front of the defense ministry hours before the demonstration began. Police summoned him to the Tel Aviv station this afternoon to pick up his car, which was left over night. Police officers informed him that he needed to sign some papers to release the car and quickly arrested him upon entry to the station. He is being charged for conspiracy to plan the protest and will see a judge tomorrow morning.