Youths shot and injured as Israeli Forces Shutdown Beit Ommar

10 January 2009

beast_2On January 9th at approximately 10.30am, Israeli forces entered the village of Beit Ommar and closed the main road with a razor wire barricade. Over the course of the day, up to five jeeps and two APCs of soldiers and border police were deployed throughout the village, resulting in several stand-offs with shabab (young Palestinians) and considerable disruption for the whole village population. Around 4.30pm, Israeli forces’ gunfire injured two teenage boys. One was hit by a plastic-coated steel bullet in the back of the neck, and another was hit by a live round in the leg. The latter was evacuated in a Red Crescent ambulance. Neither is seriously hurt.

No announcement was made of the closure, and when asked, soldiers did not give any formal details, such as closure times. Around ten homes were invaded and their rooftops commandeered by Israeli forces. From rooftop and street positions, the Israelis engaged in regular firing of rubber-coated steel bullets (spray and single), sound grenades and tear gas at protestors, and there is some evidence of live fire. The forces stayed the whole day, and ventured deeper into the village on various occasions, usually retreating eventually to their barricaded position on the main road.
beast_1Four PSP representatives maintained a constant visible presence and photographed and filmed much of the Israeli activity. One soldier fired a spray of rubber bullets from around 20 meter range at PSP representatives and civilians watching from an adjacent balcony. Soldiers were also seen deliberately targeting, with live ammunition, the light bulb at the top of a neighbouring minaret, and various rooftop water tanks to create maximum disruption for local residents.