A PALESTINIAN photo-journalist on a tour of Scotland has expressed his disgust after his home was raided by Israeli army soldiers as he was getting ready to giving a talk in Edinburgh.

Acclaimed 28-year-old photographer Hamde Abu Rahma has been in in Scotland for nearly two weeks ending a two year battle to enter the UK after being twice refused for a visa.

He is on a Scottish tour featuring exhibitions of his work with supplementary talks titled Shooting the Occupation - about his life documenting his life a a journalist on the West Bank. He is an outspoken critic of what he describes as the "oppression and brutality" he has witnessed in what he describes as occupied Palestinian territories.

Read more: Watch - Banned Palestinian journalist Hamde Abu Rahma finally sets foot on Scottish soil after two year battle

Haitham Khatib, another Palestine-based freelance journalist and film-maker took video of what he described as a night raid on three houses in Mr Abu Rahma's home village of Bil'in in the West Bank said to have taken place at around 1am UK time on Tuesday.


Mr Khatib, who also lives in Bil'in said soldiers searched the homes of Mr Abu Rahma and other family members which are in the same block and took photographs of those living there.

It is understood that Mr Abu Rahma's brother Mostafa his wife and two children was in his home when the raid took place.

Read more: Watch - Banned Palestinian journalist Hamde Abu Rahma finally sets foot on Scottish soil after two year battle

He said: "They have invaded my village, waking up everyone and made a raid on three houses. "I was filming but the forbade me to approach. What diabolical plans does the occupation have for my village."

Mr Abu Rahma, who was finally granted a visa in the wake of protest over his treatment, after he provided fresh financial details to UK officials, has said he had spoken to his family about the raid.


He said: "Whilst I was talking about the life of the Palestinians under the Israeli Occupation in Edinburgh the Israeli army was raiding my family house in Palestine. This is just another example of the intimidation and harrassment that my people have to suffer every day.

"This morning when I woke up my younger sister called me and asked me how I am doing here. Then she said my mother wants to talk to you.

"Then she told me my house had been raided, and that they had scared my brother's children when they raided his house also.

"My brother was not allowed to go into his own house. When he told the soldiers that he wanted to get into his house to see his children they refused to let him in."

He added: "The soldiers gave no reason for raiding my family's houses, and took nothing away. They clearly just wanted to intimidate us all, as they often do to the people of Palestine."

Read more: Watch - Banned Palestinian journalist Hamde Abu Rahma finally sets foot on Scottish soil after two year battle

The journalist took up photography following the death of his cousin, Baseem (below) who was shot dead by what he describes as the Israeli Occupation Force during a peaceful demonstration in his home village of Bil’in, near Ramallah in 2009. Only two years later his other cousin, and Baseem's sister Jawaher, was also killed.


Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard, the SNP spokesperson on the Cabinet Office in the House of Commons who has been in the forefront of the fight to get Mr Abu Rahma into the country said he was "shocked" by events in the journalist's village.

"I think they would have known [he wasn't there]," he said. "I suspect they are just trying to show who is boss. He may have got his visa to get to the UK, but they are still able to cause grief when he is here."

The acclaimed journalist had hoped to be in Britain for a tour between June 1 and 21 to exhibit his work around Scotland and share his experiences in 'occupied Palestine'.


But it emerged that the UK Visas and Immigration decided to refuse his visa application saying there was no proof of funding and that therefore they were not satisfied he was a genuine visitor and that he would not leave at the end of the proposed visit.

It said they were not satisfied that he would not undertake "prohibited activities" which included taking employment in the UK, studying, accessing medical treatment, or marrying or forming a civil partnership.

Read more: Watch - Banned Palestinian journalist Hamde Abu Rahma finally sets foot on Scottish soil after two year battle

The Network of Photographers for Palestine raised over £2500 through two online crowdfunding appeals for the visit to pay for his travel, accommodation, living expenses and his visa application.


The first stop of his tour was at the Govanhill Baths, Glasgow on August 9 for a talk before, travelling up to Inverness to speak on Saturday before returning to Edinburgh to speak at the Tollcross Community Centre on Tuesday.

He is now to embark on a tour of England, visiting Newcastle, Coventry, Liverpool and London. Last year, the photographer was refused entry to take part in an Edinburgh Festival Fringe event saying he had no proof of income or bank statements, despite having proved the Fringe was financially sponsoring him and paying for his accommodation.

The Israel Embassy in London was contacted for comment.