Demonstrator Seriously Injured in Anti-Barrier Demonstration in Beit Jala

2 May 2010

Over 150 people participated in the weekly anti-Wall demonstration organized by the local Popular Committee in Beit Jala today. The protest march, which set out towards the Wall’s construction site, was attacked with tear-gas and concussion grenades as soon as it reached a razor-wire barricade erected by soldiers on the road leading to village’s lands.

As demonstrators were forced to retreat, soldiers continued to shoot tear-gas projectiles directly towards them. Local youth responded to the attack by throwing stones and clashes ensued. Two protesters were hit by rubber-coated bullets and Muammar Awad, an freelance cameraman, was hit in the head by an aluminum tear-gas projectile shot directly at him. According to eye witnesses, Awad was evacuated unconscious to the Sheari Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, with blood gushing out of the back of his head.

Beit Jala is a predominantly Christian town located 10 km south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Hebron road, opposite Bethlehem. Once completed, the Wall will Isolate 3,200 dunums of the town’s lands, including almost 3,000 dunums of olive groves and the only recreational forest in the area, the Cremisan monastery and the Cremisan Cellars winery.

According to a military confiscation order handed to the villagers, the path of the Wall will stretch over 4890 meters between Beit Jala and al Wallajeh, affecting 35 families, whose homes may be slated for demolition.