Popular Committee Member Mousa Abu Maria Arrested

12 June 2012

On Monday 11th June 2012, farmers from Beit Ommar, alongside Popular Committee Members and two international activists, were cultivating land adjacent to the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement. After approximately half an hour of working their land, Israeli settlers began to harass the farmers, shouting abuse in English, calling those farming ‘dogs’ and ‘Nazis’, and throwing stones. The farmers continued to peacefully cultivate their land as Israeli Occupation Forces arrived at the scene. One soldier immediately grabbed Popular Committee Member Mousa Abu Maria (aged 35) by the arm. Mousa asked him to let go of his arm and to stop shouting, but the solider continued to forcefully hold him before dragging him to the ground. Four soldiers then surrounded Mousa and hit him in the face with their rifle butts, causing him to bleed from the head.

International activists who attempted to protect Mousa from this assault were beaten, violently dragged from the scene, and stamped upon repeatedly. Mousa Abu Maria was then handcuffed and taken to the Karmei Tsur settlement, where he was blindfolded. He was left bleeding for more than one hour, without any medical assistance.

Upon hearing of Mousa’s arrest, Beit Ommar residents, activists, and press arrived, and were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and sound bombs as they attempted to continue the peaceful cultivation of Beit Ommar land.