Partner in court - again

Sami Hureini (Youth of Sumud) Begleitung Schüler*innen
Providing protective accompaniment, Sami Hureini (center) waits with students on their way to school. The potential of Israeli settler violence threatens their way to school on a daily basis.

Palestinian human rights defender Sami Hureini of our partner organization Youth of Sumud (YOS) was arrested by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night on January 9, 2021. He had participated in a non-violent demonstration in the village of A-Rakeez south of Hebron the day before.

The peaceful demonstration was directed against the shooting of human rights defender Harun Abu Aram. Harun was shot in the neck by an Israeli soldier on January 1. Since then he has been in critical condition in Hebron hospital and paralyzed from the neck down.

After his arrest, Sami Hureini was detained for four days but has since been released on bail. In connection with the nonviolent demonstration he has been unjustly charged with assault, obstruction and unauthorized access to a military zone. In the course of the trial, Sami was arrested again in April and released a short time later. The trial against him in the Israeli military court in Ofer is ongoing, the next hearing is on May 31.

Sami is an activist and member of the Youth of Sumud group in South Hebron Hills. His arrest exemplifies how Israeli authorities try to suppress the non-violent resistance of a new generation of human rights defenders in Palestine by criminalizing them.

We are therefore raising awareness in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel as well as in Germany about the situation of human rights defenders like Sami and are campaigning for his acquittal from all charges.

Youth of Sumud (YOS) is a Palestinian activist group from the South Hebron Hills region that uses nonviolent means to campaign for an end to the Israeli occupation. Youth of Sumud, translated as Youth of Steadfastness, was founded in 2017 out of the Sumud Freedom Camp. The group consists of about 15 human rights defenders from the region who volunteer in the many scattered and isolated communities. There they accompany and support school children and shepherds who are constantly exposed to settler violence and the everyday structural violence of the military occupation. As a sign of their steadfastness in the region, YOS inhabits an old cave in Sarura, in the immediate vicinity of an illegal Israeli outpost Havat Maaon, which is protected by the group 24 hours a day. For Youth of Sumud, existence is resistance and a peaceful, effective and meaningful form of protest against human rights violations by the Israeli occupation.

The approximately 4,000 Palestinian residents in South Hebron Hills, Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta), live dispersed and are frequently subjected to house demolitions, confiscation of materials and land as well as constant attacks by violent Israeli settlers and the Israeli army.