RAMALLAH, January 21 (JMCC) - Arrests of children and political activists in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan are one tool that Israeli authorities are using to quell dissent against their policies there, reports
the Palestine Monitor
Arrests appear to be focused on grassroots organizing centers and their leaders.
On January 4, Jawad Siyam, co-founder and Director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center and Maada Community Center, was arrested by the Jerusalem police at the Maada Center. Siyam was arrested after being accused by another man of physical assault.
According to Hasan, the Israeli authorities have wanted to shut down the Center since it opened. Two days after the Wadi Hilweh Center opened its doors in July 2009, the Jerusalem Municipality issued a demolition order for the usual reason: the makeshift office was built without a permit.
“It is very good for them to now have this charge against him, it gives them an excuse to lock him up,” Hasan stated.
Siyam reported that during his interrogation the police asked him very little about the accusation of physical assault and focused primarily on his political activity.
After Siyam’s arrest, his family was interrogated and his 15-year-old nephew, Yasan, was taken in for questioning
At present, Siyam, the integral community leader, is under house arrest, making him unable to participate in protests and monitor clashes that are a nightly occurrence in Silwan.