Protesters Burn Mock Settlements in Beit Ommar Demonstration

2 October 2010

Protesters gathered in Beit Ommar today for the weekly demonstration against the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement. A crowd of about seventy demonstrators marched from the village towards the fence that surrounds the settlement, chanting against the occupation and carrying cardboard “settlements” labeled Efrat, Karmei Tsur, Migdal Oz, Bat Ayn and Karmei Tsur, all settlements built on Beit Ommar land. The protesters took a new route this week, surprising the soldiers by arriving at a new part of the fence.

Protesters got nearly all the way to the fence before the soldiers blocked their path. The protesters then proceeded to set fire to the cardboard settlements in an act of symbolic protest. The soldiers pushed the protesters back about 100 meters and then proceeded to fire tear gas at the crowd, shooting canisters straight at the protesters rather than in the air. The soldiers then began firing tear gas into the village. Two demonstrators were injured and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation, including several families inside their homes. A small crowd of settlers gathered behind the fence to watch the soldiers attack the demonstration, and one waved a large Israeli flag from behind a military jeep.