Regular Protests Begin in At-Twani, Three Injured

10 June 2011

On Friday, June 10, about 40 people gathered for the first of what will become regular, weekly demonstrations in At-Twani, a small Palestinian community south of Hebron. Protesters marched through town towards the nearby settlement of Ma’on, often a source of settler violence and harassment. Before they could get there, they were stopped by a group of about twenty Israeli soldiers. The army refused to let the demonstration pass. Protesters and soldiers argued for about ten minutes. Then the military grabbed a member of At-Twani’s Popular committee and an Israeli activist and pushing the rest of the activists back. One soldier threw a sound bomb into the crowd, which landed between the legs of the demonstrators. Three men were injured when it detonated: Rami Jabarin, Adham Ashwaheen and Fadl Abu Iram. They received medical attention from a Palestinian ambulance.

Palestinians and solidarity activists stayed at the scene, chanting slogans and demanding the release of the detained protesters. Finally, the military released the Popular Committee member. Protesters continued to demand the release of the Israeli activist, as well as their rights to continue the protest, but the soldiers ignored their demands. The demonstration lingered for another half hour, then dispersed peacefully. The Israeli activist was held for several hours before being released.

Settlers living in Ma’on, next to the At-Twani, often attack village children on their way to a newly-constructed school. The situation has gotten so bad that internationals and Israeli soldiers now escort the children so they can safely walk to school. Today’s protest sought to highlight this egregious situation.