Dozens Gather to Recognize World’s Support for for Palestinian State, Two Arrested

11 June 2011

On Saturday, June 11th, roughly 30 activists gathered for a demonstration against Karmei Tsur. The group, comprised of Palestinians, as well as Israeli and international solidarity activists, marched towards the settlement chanting against the occupation. The protesters held posters saying, “Awakening of Consciousness,” and, “No Sound Louder than People’s Sound,” as well as flags from countries around the world that have recognized Palestine’s right to statehood.

As the protest climbed up the hill, a line of soldiers blocked off the road. Instead of going towards them, the demonstration took another way towards the settlement, cutting through farmers’ lands. The soldiers ran in pursuit up the hill side, and managed to get in front of us. When the activists attempted to move past, the soldiers pushed them back. An Israeli activist was shoved back with such force that he fell through into the brush of the field.

Members of the Beit Ommar Popular Committee, as well as an Israeli solidarity activist, gave speeches about the injustice of the occupation and the majority of the world’s recognition of the right of and necessity for a Palestinian state. One member of the Popular Committee attempted to climb the hill back to the main road, but soldiers attempted to keep him down. After a long argument, the soldiers gave up.

At last, the demonstration was allowed to pass, and began to work on land belonging to farmers of Beit Ommar. When the military attempted to stop the work, they were talked down by a Popular Committee member. After the soldiers gave in, work continued for a short while before the activists disbanded peacefully. As they were leaving, one international activist lost her flag to the wind. The soldiers refused to allow her to retrieve it.

Earlier that day, two international activists were stopped by Israeli military forces at the entrance to Beit Ommar. The soldiers claimed the area was a closed military zone, and refused to allow the activists to continue into the village. When the activists attempted to leave the area, the soldiers forcibly detained them, ultimately shoving them into a jeep in an illegal arrest. The military held the activists for a short time, then turned them over to the Israeli police. When the police discovered the circumstances of the arrest, the activists were quickly released without charges.