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 included participants from other villages and regions, including Wad Rahal and the Jordan Valley, as well as international and Israeli solidarity activists.
Demonstrators went to the land of Ahmed Abu Hashem, a member of the National Committee whose land has been partially annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement. Demonstrators were forcefully prevented from working on Abu Hashem’s land, and several, including the landowner, were pushed from the 8-foot-high terraces that bisect the hillside. Ahmed Abu Hashem and Mousa Abu Marya both sustained leg injuries after being pushed from the terraces by Israeli soldiers.
About 15 minutes into the demonstration, soldiers charged the crowd and attempted to arrest Yousef Abu Marya, a cousin of the land owner who also owns land inside the Karmei Tsur settlement. Israeli soldiers twisted his arm and wrist until it was broken in two places, and released him only when it became clear that he was seriously injured. Abu Marya was taken to a hospital in Hebron, where he was treated for a broken wrist and sprained leg.
An Israeli supreme court ruling in 2006 declared that farmers whose land had been annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement, including Ahmed Abu Hashem, Yousef and Mousa Abu Marya, should be allowed to access their land with permits from the Israeli authorities. To date no permits have been issued.