Israeli Army Escalates Presence in Beit Ommar
21st September: For the past two days, Israeli military forces have repeatedly entered the town of Beit Ommar, advancing along the main street and firing teargas and concussion grenades. Groups of soldiers ranging in number from six to twenty-five occupied the road close to the entrance to the town for hours at a time, occasionally closing the army-installed steel gate, which closes the town to Palestinians.
Last (Tuesday) night the military also fired flares over the village and the neighbouring Al Arub refugee camp. A group of soldiers then entered the village, although no arrests were made.
This escalation in Israeli army harassment comes during the run-up to Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN, and Palestine’s subsequent bid for statehood. Huge demonstrations have been planned across the West Bank on Wednesday and Friday.