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Nasser nawagaa - The voice of a Palestinian activist

Updated: Apr 23, 2023


My name is Nasser nawagaa, I'm 40 years old, married and I have 4 children. Non-violent activities against the occupation since 2000. In 2000, the second intifada began. In 2001, settler Yair Har Sinai was murdered and I was taken to interrogations all night blindfolded, for the murder. 17-year-old boy. When I returned home, the whole village was destroyed. I was a teenage boy full of anger at the Jews who attacked the village all night. I wanted revenge. I left a built village and returned to ruins. I understood that early in the morning settlers came with the army and destroyed the houses. After a day, Jewish human rights activists (from Ta'ayush organisation) came and wanted to help us rebuild the houses. It was hard for me to understand how some Jews destroy and some build. I was afraid they were against us. I tried to understand and saw there's a non-violent way as well. I knew there will be price I would pay and am paying but that is the path I chose. Over the years I was arrested for short periods, five times it was for two weeks.



Until the end of 2006 I volunteered. I first volunteered at B"tselem (Information Center for Human Rights organisation) and then I worked as an researcher of the organisation in the south of Mount Hebron and at "Armed with Cameras". I distributed cameras to shepherds, to document settlers' violence. Manage this in the field. So I developed as a researcher, I helped the residents in filling out forms, against the demolition of houses, reporting on settler violence and anything else that indicated a need for help, in the entire area of ​​Hebron and Bethlehem and South Mount Hebron.


I am also in touch with Ta'ayush (working together to break the walls between Israelis and Palestinians). I went out and continue to go out with them for activities. 10 years ago the police started harassing me. They would call me several times a week to warn me: "don't be in contact with the Israeli activists, they are harmful to you and it is better not to be in contact with them". I continued my activity, they noticed that I was not cooperating with them, so after a year and a half the ISA (Israeli Security Agency) came into action. In 2016 I was arrested after the investigation on Ilana Dayan's show. I was arrested several times, the court said to release me, so they took me to extend my detention at a military court for two more days. The arrests were to scare me and they had no basis.


A year ago they started detaining me at checkpoints. The first time I was asked at the checkpoint to stop my car on the side. A man introduced himself as Captain Eid from the ISA and said that they were looking for me for questioning. He asked me to promise that I would come to the police the next morning. When I arrived he told me that he only wanted to talk to me. He claimed that I was disturbing the army. He finished and said: See you have been warned! But since then it has been written on the computer that I am wanted for arrest by the police. Since then, every time I show my ID at a checkpoint, there are many checkpoints and soldiers checking in our area, they ask me to stop on the side, they detain me for an hour or two and then they say you are free. Once I was detained blindfolded for two hours and then released. This is their way of making me quit my job as their investigator.


This continued until about a month ago on Saturday evening. I stayed in Tuwani because the settlers came to pray in the yard of one of the houses in the village. They called me from my home that the soldiers are setting up the house, searching the house and taking certificates. I returned home and was told that I was needed for an investigation by the General Security Agency.


They put me on a military vehicle, tied my hands behind my back and blindfolded my eyes. We drove half an hour, I think they took me to a military base. They gave me some water and put me on a chair. When I asked, they agreed to tie my hands in front so I could lean back. They moved me to the mattress. After an hour they changed shifts. Every few minutes I felt someone approaching and then hit me a bit so I wouldn't fall asleep. One soldier took a picture of me and another one took a video for his family and said to them " have you never seen a terrorist?" From time to time they threw small stones at me so that I wouldn't fall asleep. I stayed like this for 12 hours until 12 noon.


They took me with three more detainees and said that one was being brought to the ISA investigation and three to prison. We didn't know who was going where. When we arrived I asked him to untie the blindfold, it was very stressful and I felt that it was very itchy and I might lose my sight. After 10 minutes they untied me and it took a while until I could see.

They put me in a waiting room. Then the investigator Captain Yassin entered the room. I asked if I was under arrest and he said there were things that needed to be found out. I explained to him that as an investigator I get to document in many places and be in places that needed to be documented. He claimed that I am causing problems for the army. In addition, he claimed that I am a leader and the children see me causing trouble and are being affected. I explained to him that this is my job, in a human rights organization, and I don't cause problems. He said that Captain Eid had already spoken to me, he is also an investigator and that didn't help. I asked why kidnap me at night and no one knows where I am. He wanted me to promise to quit my job. He asked me about the war in Gaza and I did not agree to express an opinion. Tried to show me a video of demonstrations and photos of me to show that I was causing problems for the soldiers. From there they released me and my brother came to pick me up.


I am a human rights activist,that is my job and I'm not going to quit.

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