Palestinian Astrophysicist Arrested
Imad Barghouthi Arrested Without Charge — Again
As Israeli bombs and missiles rain down on Gaza, over in Israel’s other occupied territory, assault rifle butts pound on doors and the occasional shoulder-fired rocket round blasts them to splinters.
Since the awful events of October 7, hundreds of West Bank Palestinian homes have been invaded, thousands of Palestinians dragged away by heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police and hundreds killed, no questions asked.
Aside from those unfortunate African-Americans who ended up dead in the wee hours of the morning, killed by some honest but mistaken cop just doing his duty, it’s not something North Americans or Europeans are familiar with.
Palestinians know this story well — en carne propia. Imad Barghouthi and his family do. Listen up:
On October 23, around 3 a.m., the renowned Palestinian astrophysicist and his family were roused by that terrifyingly familiar pounding — and the pounding of their own hearts. Show us where your guns are, demanded the soldiers standing at their door, seven of them barging in, Imad Barghouthi’s daughter told the GPM. A hundred more stomped in the street outside, with attack dogs.
No weapons here, the 62-year-old professor of theoretical space plasma physics told the soldiers. Go look yourselves, he told them, before getting dragged away, blindfolded, without any of his clothes, but diabetes medication in his pocket.
Some while later, one of those soldiers posted an image on social media of Barghouthi and three other men arrested in the same raid, two of them relatives of Imad, sitting on a bed in a nearby home. Imad Barghouthi’s daughter, Duha, provided the GPM with the photo, that the GPM will not publish.
“Cleaning of Hamas-ISIS started from Beit Rima,” the post caption read, referring to Barghouthi’s home village.
One of the men in the photo is the owner of that home. The Israeli forces were looking for his son, Duha Barghouthi told the GPM. He wasn’t there, so the soldiers arrested this man instead.
The man’s home was then demolished.
This wasn’t Imad Barghouthi’s first encounter with Israeli occupation forces. He’s been arrested on several occasions, and was held under administrative detention — without charge or trial — between July 2020 and early 2021.
Barghouthi has never been charged, much less tried or convicted for a crime.
Imad Barghouthi’s arrest and administrative detention comes in the midst of a reign of terror sweeping up and down Apartheid Palestine, from the south Hebron Hills to Jenin. Among other well known figures, 22-year-old Ahed Tamimi has been re-arrested for supposedly posting violent incitement on Instagram. The Instagram account was not hers, and Ahed isn’t even able to open up a social media account, her mother is reported to have said.
Israeli police/security forces are well known for fabricating bogus evidence — and lying.
Listen to the GPM‘s conversation with Imad Barghouthi’s daughter, Duha, and with Mario Martone, a colleague and friend of Imad’s. Mario is the President of US-based Scientists 4 Palestine.
Details on Israel’s military/police crackdown in the West Bank.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since October 7, Israeli forces have gunned down 141 Palestinians up and down the West Bank, including 43 children, bringing the total number of Palestinians killed since the start of this year to 388.
Over half of these deaths occurred in the course of home invasions. A third of those killed were demonstrating for Gaza.
Armed Jewish settlers have killed eight West Bank Palestinians, including a child. Some of these settlers were soldiers out of uniform, and, in most cases, uniformed soldiers were nearby, ‘defending’ them or helping them out.
Israeli police and soldiers have injured another 2,322 Palestinians, including 244 children. Settlers have injured 64, a quarter of these with live ammunition, in the course of over two hundred attacks.
And, over 2000 Palestinians have been arrested, bringing the total number of imprisoned Palestinians to over 7000.
Israel is in multiple grave breach of the this canonical legal instrument — a situation the Western powers refuse to hold Israel accountable for.
Indeed, Western leaders have long insisted that a solution to the Israel-Palestine ‘conflict’ can only come through direct negotiation between the ‘parties’, untethered from international law.