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Aug-15-2011 23:45printcomments

Gaza Youth Group (GYBO) Leader Arrested by Hamas on Return from France

"You used to look around to see if someone is listening, so we used to stay silent, not even to think" - Abu Yazan

Abu Yazan
Abu Yazan

(GAZA CITY) - One of the founders of Gaza Youth Break Out (GYBO), known as “Abu Yazan” has reportedly been arrested by the Hamas authorities in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip after returning from a speaking tour in France, the group reported in a press release and via its Twitter account.

GYBO came to prominence earlier this year when it published a manifesto condemning Palestinian political factions. 25-year old Abu Yazan is a founding member of Gaza Youth Breaks Out, which grabbed headlines in December 2010 by issuing a manifesto condemning Hamas, Fatah and Israel, and calling for freedom, "a normal life," and peace.

Abu Ghassan of GYBO told AFP Abu Yazan had been missing since he went to try to retrieve his laptop and mobile phone from the headquarters of Gaza internal security services.

In March, US-based group Human Rights Watch accused Hamas of suppressing peaceful protests in Gaza and called on the group to investigate claims that its security officers tortured an activist involved with the March 15 movement.

GYBO first reported the arrest early on Monday morning, Gaza time:

Gaza Youth Break Out’s Twitter

#Gybo member, human rights activist, and blogger, Abu Yazan,
arrested by the authorities in #Gaza
Aug 15 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The GYBO press release states:


On August 14th 2011 Abu Yazan, a young political activist from Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) has been arrested by the Hamas authority. After returning from a trip to France, where he was invited to hold talks about the current situation of the besieged Gaza Strip, he has been called in two times for questioning, until he was finally arrested today. GYBO is a peaceful Palestinian youth movement in Gaza, which gained international attention after publishing a Manifesto in January.

Abu Yazan is a leading voice in the movement that is representing a growing number of Gazan youth. The group raises, mainly through new social media like facebook, awareness about the situation under siege for young people in Gaza, and recently called for unity among the Palestinian factions with the aim to target the illegal Israeli occupation. Abu Yazan regularly takes part in demonstrations against the illegal Israeli occupation in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza.

No reasons for his arrestment was given up to this time. He also was denied visits by his family and a lawyer.  We call on the authorities to abide by the law.

The Electronic Intifada interviewed Abu Yazan and other members of GYBO in January. Members of GYBO were also active in the “March 15” protests calling for “unity” among divided Palestinian factions.

More recently, GYBO produced a rap video honoring the recent Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

This article was submitted to Electronic Intifada by Ali Abunimah

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Saychel August 16, 2011 11:16 am (Pacific time)

"arrested by the Hamas authorities in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip"

Editor: You can get this out of an encyclopedia.  Hamas is the elected political body in Gaza.  There are other Palestinian leadership organizations but Hamas runs Gaza.  They are walled in and attacked routinely, but Hamas keeps the peace.  Now, within the structure of Hamas you have different personalities and, in a very predictable way, it is the people who are more religious who cause problems for young, open-minded types.  Hamas is hard on people who are caught with pot, etc.  They are government, they are cops, and we always want to clarify this.  Hamas isn't much worse than any other cops either, about the same, but powered by religious and perceived moral obligations.  I hope this broadens your understanding/

If Hamas is the authority, how is the Gaza Strip "Israeli occupied"?

 Editor: View occupation as you will, the other two remaining places officially called Palestine are West Bank and Golan Heights.  This is where the Palestinian Authority is based.  There are times when it is hard to tell who you are looking at because the PA is ruthless in many ways and trained by a U.S. retired military officer.  And to clarify Gaza, Israel crosses over the border illegally daily, so it is occupied in that sense.

Does Israel tell Hamas whom to arrest?

 Editor: No way.

Does Israel have a history of arresting peaceful dissidents?

 Editor: It is nearly all Israel does.  Yes, there are thousands and thousands of political prisoners held by Israel and one or two Israeli prisoners in Gaza.

Israel can't even stop Hamas from firing 100 rockets a month in to Israel. Why are the Israelis still blamed for all this?

Editor: The rockets are a feeble attempt at resistance to a superior force, that is Israel.  The rockets in all history have killed 28 Israeli people, not very many for all the fuss.

COLLI August 16, 2011 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Do any freedoms still exist in Gaza? It certainly seems that any effort for peace is squashed by both sides of the equation . . . but then, there is no money to be made for international banking in peace is there? War is a huge money maker for international banking and the corporations and countries they own.

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