Israeli Military Attacks Women, Children, Wedding During Beit Ommar Invasion

23 December 2010

Thursday, December 23, at 3:00 in the afternoon, Israeli soldiers entered Beit Ommar from the Karmei Tsur settlement. Without reason, they invaded the home of Ibrahim Abu Maria, member of the National Committee of Beit Ommar. His home is near the Karmei Tsur settlement and the area where non-violent demonstrations organized by the National Committee and the Palestine Solidarity Project begin every Saturday. Today, soldiers burst into the home, insisting on occupying the roof. When Ibrahim’s wife, Fadwa Arrar, refused access and attempted to shield her small children, aged 11 and 6, she was viciously attacked by soldiers, who beat her about the face and head. Her neighbor, Mona Abu Maria, heard the home invasion and came over to assist her and her family. An Israeli soldier threw a sound grenade which exploded on her arm.
Throughout the next half hour, members of the National Committee, along with over 150 residents of Beit Ommar, converged on the house, insisting that the soldiers leave. Both women were home only with their young children. Soldiers then fired live ammunition from inside Fadwa’s home at the converging crowds. Undeterred, the residents held their ground and the Israeli military forces retreated to the settlement.
An hour later, they came again, along with private settlement security guards who led 2 German Shepherd attack dogs, into the same area. They then fired copious amounts of tear gas and live ammunition into a wedding gathered. The soldiers, who again had no purpose other than intimidation and harassment, fired on the wedding party for more than one hour. Several residents were treated for gas inhalation.
During the entire operation, no one was arrested or interrogated. Though Fadwa’s house was torn apart, there was no objective to the invasion, indicating once again that the Israeli military, in collusion with illegal Israeli settlers, are attempting to harass and intimidate a community who has engaged in non-violent direct action against the occupation and the presence of illegal settlements on their land.