UPDATE 3PM – all the activists have been released after being made to sign conditions saying they wouldn’t return to the site of their arrest for 15 days
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Six activists have just been arrested for trying to stop work on the annexation barrier in the South Bethlehem area. The four Israelis, American and Japanese activist were attempting to stop bulldozers razing the agricultural land of Umm Salamuna village, south of Bethlehem, which is being confiscated for the route of the annexation barrier around Efrat settlement.
The activists blocked the bulldozers for two hours this morning before a special unit of the riot police arrived to remove them. The activists have been taken to Gush Etzion police station.
Yesterday three Palestinians from Umm Salamuna were arrested for protesting the annexation of their agricultural land, including the Village Council Head Mahmoud Zaqatka. His son, Rashid remains in detention.
Israel plans to annex 700 dunums and confiscate 270 dunums of agricultural land for the route of the Wall in Umm Salamuna. Although the villagers are challenging the route of the Wall in the Israeli Supreme Court, a Court order freezing work was lifted last week and the bulldozers have recommenced razing the village’s agricultural land.