Beit Ommar invaded by Israeli military, 5 arrested

7 August 2011

Late in the night of August 6th, Israeli soldiers launched a pre-dawn raid into the village of Beit Ommar.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., the Israeli military closed off Beit Ommar. Firing bullets and launching stun grenades and tear gas, 45 soldiers approached the town park near the entrance of the village. They were targeting a party celebrating the release of a prisoner that was held there. The gate to the park was closed in response to the military incursion, so the soldiers fired stun grenades and tear gas.

Though there was damage to the park and the party was disrupted, they did not succeed in gaining access to the park.

During the raid, soldiers entered the main street of the village and invaded the homes of a number of residents, searching them and stationing soldiers on top of some. In response to the incursion, residents blockaded part of the street and set a fire to the blockade.

The raid continued for an hour and forty-five minutes, with soldiers searching houses and shooting flares, tear gas, smoke and stun grenades. Many people, including women and children, were treated by ambulances for smoke and gas inhalation. Ambulances arrived on the scene but it was unknown as of the time of this writing how many Palestinians were injured. Five Palestinians, all under the age of 18, were reported arrested are are being held in Gush Etzion.

A number of fires broke out in the village as a result of flares shot by the military. Two homes were damaged, as well as a greenhouse.

This is the second incursion into Beit Ommar since the beginning of Ramadan. On the second of August, the military invaded two homes in Beit Ommar and the nearby town of Saffa, scaring residents and arresting two young men. Raids this morning have also been reported in Jenin and Ni’lin.