Army, Settler Violence Mars Beit Ommar Demonstration
On Saturday, March 5th, 2011, dozens of Palestinian residents from Beit Ommar, supported by international and Israeli solidarity activists, rallied against the nearby Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur. A sizable contingent of Palestinian activists from Hebron were also present to support the demonstrations in Beit Ommar. Though the weekly demonstration is almost always repressed, on this week, the army was even more violent than usual. Israeli soldiers pursued activists through the fields on the outskirts of the village, throwing tear gas, sound bombs, and beating at least one journalist.
Additionally, six Israeli settlers began throwing stones at the demonstrators from behind the fence surrounding Karmei Tsur, in plain sight of the soldiers. Yousef Abu Maria, a member of the Palestine Solidarity Project and the National Committee in Beit Ommar, was hit in the leg with a stone thrown by settlers. Azmi Shoyorhi, an activist from the Hebron district who came to support the demonstration, was also injured when a sound bomb exploded on him and a ambulance had to evacuate him as the demonstration was ending. After about an hour, the demonstrators returned to Beit Ommar but vow to rally every week until the occupation of Palestine is ended.