One Palestinian and Two International Activists Arrested & Beaten in Beit Ommar Demonstration

26 June 2011


On Saturday June 25, about 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists gathered in Beit Ommar to demonstrate against the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement, which has annexed hundreds of dunams of Palestinian land. As demonstrators attempted to enter land belonging to Beit Ommar farmers, Israeli soldiers announced that the area was a closed military zone and said they would not allow anyone to pass. Several Palestinians and internationals then attempted to circumvent the military blockade. At this point, at least 6 soldiers assaulted Mohammed G., a 22 year old Palestinian man from Surif. During attempts to rescue him from the attacks, two international activists were also arrested. A sound grenade was thrown by the soldiers into the midst of the demonstrators attempting to rush to his aid. When the smoke and dust cleared from the scene, Mohammed laid motionless on his back surrounded by soldiers, his shirt torn to shreds. He was arrested and taken to a police station in Kiryat Arba. He remains in custody as of 5 pm the next day.

Karmei Tsur is an Israeli settlement built in the 1990s, primarily on land privately owned by residents of Beit Ommar. A secondary fence was recently constructed around the already existing primary fence of the settlement, confiscating an additional several hundred meter circumference of Palestinian farmland in Beit Ommar.