Bulldozer Replaces Roadblock in Beit Ommar

17 June 2007

For the fourth time, the IOF reinstituted a roadblock to prevent traffic from the large vegetable market in Beit Ommar to Route 60, the main highway linking Beit Ommar and other villages to both Hebron to the south and Bethlehem to the north. The Palestine Solidarity Project along with other groups have already removed this roadblock four times. This particular roadblock directly affects and damages the economy of Beit Ommar and the farmers’ ability to make a living, which is why the PSP is so adamant about removing this roadblock. Several times it was removed at night for the activists’ security.

In the process of completing roadblock replacement, the bulldozer and two jeeps accompanying it collided into a water pipe and split it open. Water immediately began to gush out of the pipe, into the main road 60. A Beit Ommar community member noticed this problem and immediately informed a City Council Member who arrived at the scene soon after. When the City Council Member began to assess the situation and attempted to fix the pipe, the soldiers told him to leave. He refused, saying he was a part of the City Council and it was his duty to fix problems that affect families of Beit Ommar having access to their water. Then the soldiers required documentation from the man stating that he was a legitimate member of the City Council. After presenting proof to the soldiers, the soldiers still did not allow the man to continue working. The water flowed for one day before it was fixed, leaving several families without water for that period of time.