Beit Ommar Demonstrators Attempt to Reclaim Road Near Settlement

16 January 2011

On Saturday, January 15th, 2011, about fifty villagers from Beit Ommar, supported by many international and Israeli solidarity activists, attempted to clean a road near the Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur as part of the weekly demonstration organized by the National Committee and the Palestine Solidarity Project. Israeli Forces shot tear gas at the demonstrators, and forced the group to return to the village after a short time.

The road the demonstrators were attempting to clean historically connected Beit Ommar to Halhoul and to other areas to the south in the Hebron district. However, after Karmei Tsur was built, the Israeli military does not let anyone maintain this road, let alone use it for travel to other areas. The road is now littered with trash and is in bad repair.

Israeli Forces stopped the demonstrators from cleaning the road after declaring an area a closed military zone. As the demonstrators returned to the village after a short time, soldiers followed them shooting tear gas at people and homes alike and taking up position in a residence being constructed at the edge of the village. The soldiers stayed for two hours, but fortunately no one was arrested or seriously injured. Many people, including a group of small children inside a village residence, were badly tear gassed by the army.