Global Actions Remember Yousef Ikhlayl
Activists around the world responded to a call to action initiated by the Palestine Solidarity Project to organize actions in their community to mark the one year anniversary of the murder of Yousef Ikhlayl at the hands of Israeli settlers. Activists in Mexico City, London, New Mexico, Chicago, Beloit, and France put up posters of Yousef in public areas and organized vigils or demonstrations in front of Israeli embassies. In Chicago, activists posted six hundred posters remembering Yousef and decrying the occupation on light posts, bus stops, and newspaper stands and also leafleted outside the Israeli consulate. In France, Yousef’s picture was held up in front of the Israeli Embassy during a vigil to mourn his murder.
On Tuesday, January 31st, Yousef’s friends and family were attacked by the Israeli army as they marched towards the military watchtower at the entrance of Beit Ommar. Four people were injured after soldiers unleashed tear gas and sound bombs and began beating the demonstrators. One Palestinian activist had his nose broken and several others were roughly hit with the butts of the soldiers’ guns.
On January 28th, 2011, settlers from Bat Ayn, one of five Israeli settlements built on illegally taken from the Palestinian residents of Beit Ommar, rampaged through the village and shot 17-year-old Yousef while he was on his family’s farmland with his father. To date, no settler has been investigated, let alone arrested and charged, for his murder. The lack of justice in Yousef’s case is part of a wider pattern of impunity under which settlers are allowed to steal from, terrorize, and even kill, Palestinians in the West Bank.