Articles Archive for May 2011

Beit Ommar »

31 May 2011

During the day of Wednesday, May 25, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance of Beit Ommar played music and audio from pornographic media over speakers at high volumes. The audio assault was intended to disturb and repulse Palestinian villagers.

It is not uncommon for the Israeli army to blast loud music and porn, making village residents uncomfortable in their own homes.

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

29 May 2011

In the evening hours of Saturday, May 28, Israeli soldiers stopped a group of farmers in the Safa region of Beit Ommar from proceeding to their lands to harvest grape leaves. Four members of the Israeli army detained about twenty Beit Ommar farmers for half an hour, claiming the area was a closed military zone. They showed no paperwork, and finally the farmers moved past them to complete their work. The farmers gathered leaves until their containers were full, and then moved to leave.

The soldiers allowed the women of the group to continue home, but detained the men. Eight men had their identification cards taken, and were made to sit and wait for another group of soldiers to arrive. The … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Child Arrests »

21 May 2011
Soldiers Threaten Mass Arrests of Beit Ommar Students

In the early morning of Saturday, May 21st, Israeli soldiers approached Beit Ommar residences near the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur, delivering a message that village university students would be arrested en masse unless demonstrations against Karmei Tsur were halted. University students are now entering a week of final exams, and cannot afford to miss school. At the behest of the students, the Popular Committee agreed to temporarily suspend demonstrations until the end of exams next week.

During the final exams period of 2010, Israeli soldiers conducted unprompted, mass arrests of village university students. Hundreds of students were held without charge through … Continue reading

Beit Ommar »

16 May 2011
Army Fired Tear Gas into Elementary School, Now Closed

During the May 15th incursion into Beit Ommar, Israeli military forces fired at least four canisters of tear gas into an elementary school, smashing windows and filling the building with noxious fumes. The school was not in session at the time. When teachers and students arrived for class this morning, they found that the gas had not yet fully dissipated. Class has been canceled to allow further time for the building to air out.

The Israeli military reaction to “Nakba Day” demonstrations throughout the West Bank, Gaza … Continue reading

Beit Ommar »

15 May 2011
Fire and soldiers in Aroub Camp, Nakba Day, May 15 2011

At least 11 people were killed and hundreds injured following demonstrations throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan commemorating the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, or “Nakba.” In Beit Ommar, one resident was shot in the leg by Israeli soldiers, and another hospitalized due to tear gas inhalation.

On the morning of May 15th, Israeli soldiers gathered near the checkpoint leading out of Beit Ommar, locking the main gate. One group of Israeli soldiers also moved into the terraces south of the main road. At 11:00 am, around forty school girls between the ages of 9 and 15 … Continue reading

Beit Ommar »

14 May 2011
Demonstration before Karmei Tsur, May 14, 2011

Thirty demonstrators gathered in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar this week to commemorate the “Nakba,” a word which literally translates to “catastrophe” and which is used to refer to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. Demonstrators marched toward the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement waving flags which read “No Change Without Return” and chanting against the occupation and settlements. Several members of the Beit Ommar National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements gave speeches commemorating the Nakba, calling on onlookers to remember the massacres at Deir Yassin and throughout historical Palestine. Demonstrators also called for the right of all Palestinian refugees … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Settler Violence »

14 May 2011

Soldiers from the settlement of Karmei Tsur detained two members of the Popular Committee on Friday, May 13. Ali Ayad Awad and his family had been on their land, some of which lies very close to the Karmei Tsur fence. A group of settlers arrived, yelling at them and throwing stones from within the settlement.

Popular Committee members Mohamed Ayad Awad and Ahmed Abu Hashem were informed of the harassment, and came out to the land where the farmers were trying to work. By the time they arrived, the settlers had gone, and instead, a group of soldiers from Karmei Tsur was waiting.

The soldiers detained both Ahmed Abu Hashem and Mohamed Ayad Awad. A half hour later, Popular Committee member Mousa … Continue reading

Beit Ommar »

7 May 2011
Three Injured in Beit Ommar Demonstration

Three members of the Beit Ommar National Committee against the Wall and Settlements were injured this afternoon in a demonstration near the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement. Yousef Abu Marya, age 36, had his wrist broken in two places by Israeli soldiers, while Ahmed Abu Hashem, age 42, and Mousa Abu Marya, 33, sustained leg injuries.

The demonstration was organized by the National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements to celebrate the unity agreement made between Hamas and Fatah this past week in Cairo. Demonstrators held signs proclaiming “Unity is Our Strength” and “Unity = Liberty.” This weeks demonstration … Continue reading

Betlehem District »

6 May 2011
Al Ma'asara Protest March, May 6, 2011

On Friday, May 6th, Al Ma’asara Popular Committee member Mahmoud Zwahre was arrested during a peaceful demonstration organized by the village’s popular committee. Around twenty international and Israeli solidarity activists joined with about thirty Al Ma’asara residents in a march towards the proposed site of the Annexation Barrier. Many carried signs decrying Israel’s recent withholding of almost 90 million dollars of Palestinian tax revenue and promising that the nonviolent struggle for a unified Palestinian state could not be bought. Four carried a prop coffin draped in Palestinian flags as a reminder of the true costs of occupation.

As the demonstration approached the … Continue reading

Direct Action »

4 May 2011
Palestinian Women Smuggled into Israel for 6th Time

Earlier this week, a group of 12 Israeli women smuggled 8 Palestinian women and 4 children into Israel, in defiance of Israeli law. The trip was an act of civil disobedience intended to spark debate about Israel’s system of segregation that denies Palestinians access to most of historic Palestine. This was the 6th trip the group has organized in the past year.

The group assembled in the West Bank, split into several cars, and drove to Jaffa. All vehicles passed through the Israeli checkpoints unhindered. The group enjoyed a pleasant afternoon along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and in a nearby park … Continue reading