16 Arrested Including Sons of PSP Volunteer and Mayor of Beit Ommar

18 December 2008

At 1 am Tuesday morning, massive numbers of Israeli Occupation soldiers, carrying notebooks with names and photographs of youth, raided several homes in Beit Ommar, arresting 16. Residents reported that the soldiers appeared to be trying to “strike terror in the hearts” of men, women and children as they ransacked homes and forced residents, old and young alike, to stand outside in the bitter cold for hours. Included in the raids were the arrests of the son of Ahmed Abu Hashem Abu Maria, a long-time volunteer with PSP, and the son of the mayor of Beit Ommar, Nasri Sabarneh. Mohammed Musleh Awwad and Ali Ayyad Awwad were brutally attacked before their sons were taken.

Of the 16, 3 were soon released because of their extreme young age (under the age of 14). 13 were taken to the nearby jail in Etzion settlement where they were interrogated. Fathers of some of the youth were told that their sons were being charged with throwing stones, though no formal charges have been pressed yet. While being held in jail, Thaer Ahmed Khalil Abu Hashem Abu Maria, son of Ahmed, aged 20, was savagely beaten and rushed to a hospital. For several hours his family had no knowledge of his whereabouts but we have found out that he is now back at Etzion prison, waiting for court.

The 13 still incarcerated are:
Thaer Ahmed Khalil Abu Hashem Abu Maria, 20.
Mohammed Azzam Hosni Za’aqiq, 18.
Omar Mohammed Musleh Awwad, 17.
Azmi Mohammed Azmi ikhlayl, 16.
Murad Amer Ahmed Abu Juda, 18.
Saddam Ali Ayyad Awwad, 19.
Ala’a Issa Ali Al-Soleiby, 18.
Ahmed Nasri Rashid Sabarneh, 16.
Sharif Fathi Ismail Breghieth, 18.
Mahmoud Abdel-Salaam Ahmed Alami, 18.
Omar No’man Ahmed Alami, 20.
Mohammed Nasser Abdel-Hamid Alami, 18.
Ibrahim Ezzat Khalil Sabarneh, 20.

Beit Ommar is the site of nearly nightly attacks and invasions by Israeli military, often using it as a location for training for the nearby military outpost in Etzion. The home to over 15,000 Palestinians, it is known for its resistance to occupation and is therefore a favorite target of the Israeli Occupation Forces. PSP has been based in Beit Ommar since its founding in 2006.