Beit Ommar Demonstrators Protest Settlers, Vow Solidarity With Egypt
On February 12, 2011, Beit Ommar villagers, supported by Israeli and international solidarity activists, surprised the Israeli military by demonstrating in a different area near the settlement of Karmei Tsur. The area chosen is closest to where Israeli settlers are building new houses on land that legally belongs to Beit Ommar farmers. This week Beit Ommar residents were joined by representatives from popular committees throughout the West Bank, including the villages of An-Nabi Saleh, Hebron, Susiya and Towana.
Demonstrators declared their solidarity with the people of Egypt, and celebrated the fall of the Mubarak regime. Protesters gave speeches praising the nonviolent popular struggle that brought down the Egyptian dictator, and calling for a similar struggle in Palestine and throughout the Arab world. Protesters also condemned the continued expansion of Israeli settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.
40 soldiers and several settlers were present at the demonstration. Soldiers shoved and swore at the demonstrators, but did not fire any tear gas or sound bombs, probably due to the demonstration’s close proximity to the settlement. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.