Elderly Couple Shot During Night Invasion

1 February 2009

At 1 am Thursday, January 29, more than 40 jeeps with over 100 Israeli soldiers descended on the village of Beit Ommar in what was the third night in a row of harassment, home invasions, and arrests. Israeli soldiers first arrested ‘Ayed ‘Ali Ibrahim ‘Adee, 25, and Sa’id Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Alami, 21, from their homes. They were blindfolded and taken to a jail in a nearby settlement.
Soldiers then entered the home of Fathi Jamal Abu Sarra ‘Alami, 62, and his wife Fahima Khalil Abu Ayyesh, 55. The soldiers were reportedly looking for a friend of their son, Jamal. Dozens of soldiers surrounded the house and demanded to know where this friend was. When Fathi responded that the man did not live there and was not there, the Israeli soldiers then attempted to enter the house and drag out Jamal, as a “replacement” for the man they were looking for. When Fathi and his wife Fahima resisted the attack on their son, Israeli soldiers shot at them from nearly point-blank range with plastic-coated steel bullets. One bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit Fathi in the chest, penetrating the skin and causing deep bruising and internal injuries. Fahima was shot in the foot with a plastic-coated steel bullet, which also penetrated. Both were taken to the hospital in Hebron where they were treated for a day before being released to their homes. In the meantime, their son Jamal, 27, was taken from his home, blindfolded, driven to the edge of town and beaten before being released.
Beit Ommar has been enduring almost daily invasions by the Israeli military since the beginning of the war on Gaza. Though differing in intensity, from low-level harassment and checkpoints at the entrance to the village, to massive incursions and home invasions such as the one Thursday night, the aim is the same: the 15,000 residents of Beit Ommar are being reminded daily that they are not free, that Israel and its occupation of Palestinian land is absolute, and, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank, they will act with impunity.