Israeli Forces Invade PSP Home, Center, Taking Computer and Pictures

8 March 2010

Just before 1 am Monday, March 8, 6 Israeli military jeeps with over 2 dozen soldiers surrounded the homes of Mousa Abu Maria (and his wife, Bekah Wolf) and Mousa’s father, Abdelhamid Abu Maria, 78, who lives with his wife, adult daughter, and two small children, Sarah, 2, and Hamze, 1 month.

The soldiers broke down the doors of Mousa and Abdelhamid’s houses and ordered the adults, along with the small children, outside. Mousa, Palestine Solidarity Project co-founder and well-known activist in Beit Ommar, was forcefully searched. The soldiers then made a cursory search of Abdelhamid’s home and demanded to see the ID’s of the adults present. The two small children, particularly Sarah who was awakened by the invading soldiers and well aware of their guns and shouting, were terrified. The soldiers left after about 20 minutes, with no questioning or any notice of why they had come.

Sarah Abu Maria, 2, whose home was raided Monday morning

Soldiers then raided two other homes in Beit Ommar, causing significant damage in one and giving two men orders to appear for the intelligence services (Shabak) for questioning.

At approximately 3am the soldiers returned to the area of Mousa and his family’s homes, this time breaking down the door of PSP’s office space and community center, the Center for Peace and Justice. They then took a computer, scanner and laser printer, as well as photographs and maps off the walls. While no one was arrested, it was a clear act of intimidation aimed at PSP, which is one of the organizing forces in Beit Ommar. This invasion comes 1 day after a demonstration was held on Route 60, the main thoroughfare in the Southern West Bank. The commander of the unit that attacked the peaceful demonstration Saturday was directing the raids last night.