1 Arrested, 3 Injured in Beit Ommar International Court of Justice Demonstration
On Saturday, July 10, approximately 50 Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched towards the fence of the Karmei Tsur settlement for their weekly demonstration against the illegal settlements and the continued confiscation of Palestinian land through settlement expansion and the Annexation Barrier. This week, the participants planned to hold their own session of the International Court of Justice, in honor of the 6 year anniversary of the ICJ court decision that declared the Annexation Wall illegal. The group approached the settlement and began reading statements as witnesses and the prosecution, condemning the confiscation of land, demanding reparations for land and lives lost, as well as injuries to internationals during peaceful protest, and an end to the construction of illegal structures of the Occupation. Almost immediately, however, the Israeli soldiers present, who were waiting for the group outside the fence, announced that the area was a closed military zone and the demonstration had two minutes to disperse. Local residents insisted on their right to remain on their privately-owned land undisturbed. When one Israeli activist attempted to argue with the soldiers, he was arrested. He was then blindfolded and held in a jeep on location before being taken to Kiryat Arba settlement and police station; he was released later in the day.
The military then violently attacked the crowd, pushing them back towards the Palestinian homes of Beit Ommar and throwing sound grenades and tear gas canisters. Sound grenades were thrown deliberately so that they would explode very close to participants, resulting in the head injuries of a twelve year-old boy and a journalist as well as another teenage boy. An ambulance and medic team treated all three on the spot.