Following a weekly demonstration against Israeli settlements by local village residents and international solidarity activists in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar, Palestinian popular committee member and local resident Yousef Abu Maria was brutally beaten, detained and later dumped on the side of the road by Israeli soldiers today.
The Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP), a Beit Ommar-based activist organization, reported that abu Maria “was one of 60 Palestinian, Israeli and international protesters who marched peacefully towards the fence of the illegal settlement [Karmei Tsur]. Dozens of [Israeli] soldiers were waiting for the marchers and soon detained Abu Maria with no reason or due cause apparent.”
Once detained, the [Israeli military], including a high-ranking officer [and] a lieutenant colonel, transferred Abu Maria over to the Israeli Border Police who proceeded to brutally beat him. Abu Maria was then dumped at the entrance to Beit Ommar village, semi-conscious and suffering from suspected broken ribs and internal injuries.
He was quickly rushed to Aliya hospital in Hebron by family where he is undergoing tests and x-rays to assess the extent of his injuries.
On May 7th, Yousef suffered a broken arm at a similar demonstration at Karmei Tsur during an attempted arrest by the [Israeli military].
Beit Ommar is a flashpoint in the occupied West Bank for brutal Israeli military and settler attacks, but the community has been steadfast in their continued resistance. Last week, protesters were arrested and beaten by Israeli soldiers during the weekly demonstration against the settlements. The village is sandwiched between several illegal settlement colonies in the southern West Bank, and Palestinians have been routinely denied access to their farmland as the settlements expand. Several months ago, the village was sealed and people, goods and supplies (including ambulances) were prevented from entering or leaving — much like the ongoing Israeli siege in the Gaza strip.