Farmers Harassed, Two Detained Near Settlement

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 Abu Marya arrived with an international volunteer to investigate the situation. The soldiers claimed that they were there to protect the farmers from other villagers, showed papers declaring the fields surrounding Beit Ommar a closed military zone, and forced Abu Marya to leave. The international was detained for an additional twenty minutes. During this time, Ali Ayad Awad and his family moved to work a field further from the fence.

Ahmed Abu Hashem and Mohamed Ayad Awad were held for another hour before being released.