Arrest Campaigns Continue in Beit Ommar

22 June 2010

This Saturday a group of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists were met in the vineyards of Beit Ommar by several Israeli soldiers as they attempted to make their way to the fence surrounding the illegal Israeli settlement Karmei Tsur, built on Beit Ommar land. The soldiers insisted on preventing the group from even approaching the outer fence, declaring the entire area a closed military zone and arresting two Israeli activists. Unlike the international and Palestinian activists who have been arrested in the same area in recent weeks (the Palestinian arrested last week is still in jail; the internationals were banned from the entire West Bank for the remainder of their visas, pending appeal), the Israeli activists were released a few hours later.

Beit Ommar has been conducting demonstrations at the various gates in the fence around Karmei Tsur for several months demanding their court-ordered access to privately-owned agricultural land on the settlement side of the fence. Additionally, this week’s demonstration also carried a special message of protesting the crackdown on protest around Karmei Tsur, particularly the arrest of 6 youth in the last 10 days living in the Karmei Tsur area in what appears to be a targeting of teen boys during the final exam period, causing maximum damage to their futures by prohibiting them from taking the exams needed to graduate high school and enter college.