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Palestinian man still under arrest after demonstration in Beit Ommar on Saturday

29 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

Two international activists are released following their arrest and court hearing in Jerusalem, while a Palestinian man is still under custody following a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ommar that occurred on June 25th.

The two international activists and a 22 year old Palestinian were brutally arrested during a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ommar, in the southern region of the West Bank. The non-violent demonstration took place  there  and was nearing its end when approximately ten Israeli soldiers and border police arrested the 22 year old Palestinian man with force. The man’s t-shirt was ripped into pieces as he was being arrested. He was restrained to the ground and kneed in the chest. A soldier later twisted his handcuffs aggressively, contorting the man’s wrists, cutting the man on both wrists.  When trying to reach the Palestinian man and assist him, an international activist was violently thrown to the ground by a border police.  The activist, from Sweden, landed on her back and a soldier pinned her to the ground, laying heavily on top of her and making it hard for her to breathe. Another activist, also from Sweden, identified him as the captain in charge of the soldiers that day.  A sound bomb was thrown next to the activist, after which she was handcuffed and arrested. In the tumult occurring after the sound bomb, another international activist was grabbed and arrested while trying to help the other from the ground

Both activists were blindfolded for three hours at a military base, and then taken to a police station. One of the activists was released after 12 hours, and the other was released after 24 hours, after being taken to jail and court in Jerusalem. They were both released without charges. The Palestinian man, however, is still under custody awaiting his  trial in court, which has been postponed until Thursday, June 30th.

Beit Ommar is located to the south of Hebron, with a significant amount of village land usurped by the “security fence” of the neighboring illegal settlement Karmei Tzur, built about five years ago.