Four Palestinians, Four Solidarity Activists Arrested in Beit Ommar Demonstration

9 October 2010

For immediate release:

Beit Ommar, Southern West Bank, 1:30pm: four Palestinians, three internationals and one Israeli solidarity activist were arrested by Israeli Forces during a Palestinian demonstration against Karmei Tsur, an illegal Israeli settlement built on Beit Ommar land.

The arrested Israeli solidarity activist was injured after Israeli Forces held her down and deployed pepper spray directly to her eyes.

Several Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinians came behind the demonstrators and arrested three Palestinian youth. An additional Palestinian activist with mental disabilities was arrested during the protest. Sound bombs and tear gas were used by the Israeli military against the demonstrators, and one member of the press had their camera broken by a soldier.

The demonstration, which takes place in Beit Ommar every Saturday, started at around 1pm as 70 Palestinians, supported by International and Israeli solidarity activists, marched towards the Karmei Tsur settlement. The demonstration is organized by the National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ommar, and the Palestine Solidarity Project.

Around two dozen Israeli soldiers and border police blocked the path of the demonstrators, who began to chant against the occupation. Israeli soldiers then began making arrests and firing sound bombs and tear gas directly at protesters. Members of the press were also beaten by soldiers. Some of the youth in the demonstration responded by throwing stones.

Karmei Tsur is one of five Israeli settlements, deemed illegal by international law, that are built on land belonging to Beit Ommar villagers.