Women Demand Release of Teen Prisoner in Beit Ommar

10 March 2008

Friday, March 7th, the day before International Women’s Day, PSP committee member Iman along with leading members of the Women’s Association of Beit Ommar demanded the release of a 14 year old boy who was taken from his home by the Israeli Occupation Forces earlier that day. Early Friday one jeep of Israeli soldiers entered Beit Ommar and invaded one home. During the invasion, they abducted a teenage boy, no reason was given as to why this particular child was being taken. He was taken by jeep through the village and into the Karmi Tsur settlement, which has become a de facto military base for the IOF who seem intent on tightening the encirclement of Beit Ommar. Women from PSP and the Women’s Association gathered and decided they would approach the settlement and demand the immediate release of the boy. The group of women marched towards the fence surrounding Karmi Tsur, cameras in hand, and began shouting at the soldiers nearby. They demanded an explanation for the abduction and wanted to know where the child was being taken and for how long. When the soldiers refused to answer questions and returned to their jeep, the women pelted the jeep with stones. The soldiers responded with overwhelming force, shooting tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at the women, who were forced to move away from the fence. The youth was not released and remains in an unknown location. The women of Beit Ommar have been increasing their visibility in demonstrations and interactions with the Israeli military. Not content with a demonstration one day a year on International Women’s Day, women throughout Occupied Palestine are continuing in the long tradition of women’s participation in popular resistance.