One Palestinian Arrested and Beaten at Beit Ommar Demonstration

13 August 2011

13th August: Around 40 demonstrators – comprising residents of the village of Beit Ommar, and Israeli and international activists – gathered for a demonstration against the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement.

The demonstrators, carrying flags and banners commemorating the anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were met by a large and heavily armed military presence. As the protestors marched through Beit Ommar fields, the soldiers reacted violently, pushing several protestors to the ground, and others down steep rocky drops.

After a short speech, the protestors decided to end their demonstration. At this point, local resident Sakhar Abu Maria was arrested by the military, for no apparent reason. He was then blindfolded for 20 minutes, placed in the back of a jeep, and driven to the Karmei Tsur settlement. Once there, he was beaten by soldiers, who threatened to raid his family home, and taunted him by repeatedly offering him food and drink after learning he was fasting for Ramadan, pouring glasses of coca cola and pushing them towards him. He was released after 90 minutes.