Weekly Demonstration in Beit Ommar Joined By Khader Adnan; Member of Popular Committee Arrested

12 May 2012

Today, May 12, 2012, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists joined together for the weekly demonstration in Beit Ommar. Today’s demonstration was in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Nakba. Khader Adnan, who was released from administrative detention on April 17th, 2012 and was on hunger strike for 66 days, also took part in the demonstration.

The demonstration began with a march from the center of Beit Ommar to Karmei Tsur settlement, which was built on stolen Palestinian land. As soon as the demonstrators arrived near the settlement, about 30 heavily armed Israeli soldiers came to meet them. The soldiers beat the participants with their shields, batons and rifle butts. Many of the peaceful protestors were injured. Ahmad Abu Hashem, 46 years old, was arrested after being beaten and hit in the face by the soldiers. An international activist was injured after being caught in a headlock and dragged by her throat by Israeli soldiers while she was trying to protect Ahmad. Ahmad is the secretary of the Popular Committee in Beit Ommar. Two of his sons, ages 22 and 15, have been arrested in the past month. Arresting him and his family members is part of Israeli forces targeting the Popular Committee in Beit Ommar.

Yousef Abu Maria (age 38), the spokesperson for the Beit Ommar Popular Committee, was also injured, along with two other members of the Popular Committee: Mousa Abu Maria (age 34), who was hit in the forehead with a rifle butt, and Younes Arar (age 40), who was beaten on his legs with a baton. One of Ahmad’s sons, age 14, was severely beaten and kicked by the soldiers while on the ground. The demonstration ended with teargas being shot at demonstrators as they were leaving.