3 Youth Arrested, 1 Injured in Day of Army Harrassment in Beit Ommar

10 February 2011

On Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, Israeli soldiers entered the village of Beit Ommar and arrested three Palestinian youth. The soldiers also shot 14-year-old Shadi Ahmed Ikhlyal, with rubber-coated steel bullets three times at a distance of about 20 meters. Shadi was taken to the Ahli Hospital in Hebron where his wounds were described as moderate.

Five military vehicles and one police car entered the Jodor area of Beit Ommar from the Gush Etzion Settlement at 10am. This is the same area where Yousef Ikhlyal was shot and killed by Israeli settlers from Bat Ayn on January 29th, 2011. The soldiers erected several concrete blocks on the roads near where Yousef was shot to keep village residents from approaching the area. The police then called the father of Murad Mohammad Abd Al-Qader Ikhlayl, a teenager who was injured by the settlers with live ammunition the same day Yousef was killed, and told him they wanted his son for questioning. Murad’s father protested that his son was still undergoing treatment for his injuries, but this did not matter to the police. Murad voluntarily met the police, who took him to Gush Etzion settlement and placed him under arrest. Two days latter, he has still not been released. Murad’s friends and family suspect that his arrest is an attempt to silence the calls to bring the settlers who murdered Yousef and injured Murad, to justice. Instead of prosecuting the settlers, Israeli Forces have instead repressed the victims of their harassment.

The Israeli Forces then moved through the village towards the military tower at Beit Ommar’s entrance. On the way, they shot tear gas and rubber bullets at youth who had gathered to confront the occupying army. Shadi Ahmed Ikhlyal was shot at this time with three rubber-coated steel bullets and his neighbors helped to evacuate him to the hospital in Hebron.

Another group of soldiers returned to the village later that day at 4pm from the Karmei Tsur settlement and entered the house of Ismail Al-Khatib. Ismail’s two sons, 19-year-old Razi and 17-year-old Bakhir, were placed under arrest and brought to Gush Etzion. No explanation for their detention was given to their families.