Israeli Settlers Enter Beit Ommar, Harass Palestinian Residents

4 February 2012

On Friday, February 3, 2012, a large group of around 150 Israeli settlers entered the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar in the southern West Bank. The presence of settlers on Palestinian land is prohibited under International Law. The group was escorted by Israeli soldiers and border police, and moved through several neighborhoods of the village during the middle of the day.

The settlers wandered through Beit Za’tah and Alkarn neighborhoods before moving onto Wadi Esheikh area close to the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur to the south of the village. During this provocative tour, the settlers blocked Route 60, the main road connecting Hebron with Jerusalem and the main avenue of transportation for Beit Ommar residents. Palestinian vehicles were prevented from moving in the area. Additionally, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs at Palestinian villagers as the settlers passed through their town. This recent provocation is a continuation of settlement harassment of Palestinians in the area. Another large group of settlers entered Beit Ommar less than one month ago and settlers routinely destroy farmland, stone vehicles, and attack an even kill Palestinians in the village. On January 28th, 2011, Yousef IKhlayl, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Beit Ommar, was killed by Israeli settlers as he was working his family’s farmland.