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Christian Peacemaker Teams sent out these releases yesterday about events in Beit Ummar, a town located between Bethlehem and Hebron with Christian and Muslim inhabitants.  CPT has a long history with Beit Ummar and has housed some of its volunteers there in the past.  Beit Ummar has been among the leaders of Palestinian Muslim non-violent resistance, pioneering the practice of conducting Friday prayers in the village's fields which Israeli settlers have tried to confiscate.

RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Israeli military arrests approximately 40 Palestinians in Beit Ummar and places village under curfew

By  Jessica Frederick

13 February 2008

HEBRON  Since 1 am on 13 February, the Israeli military placed the village of Beit Ummar under curfew and arrested approximately forty men between the ages of 18 and 25.  Since early morning, Israeli soldiers have been entering homes.  The military has closed four different areas inside the village.  Soldiers are stationed around the local mosque area and throughout the village, along with two bulldozers and DCO jeeps.  The military are denying travel to people in cars or on foot, restricting the freedom of movement for goods and medicine.  The military denied entry to an ambulance attempting to enter the village.  

Israeli police showed members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the area an order and a map for Beit Ummar as a closed military zone.  Israeli authorities stopped CPTers and informed them they needed to leave immediately.  

The Israeli military denied entry to the press and has detained them for an hour and a half.  

RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Israeli Military Conducts Major Operation in Beit Ummar

13 February 2008

BEIT UMMAR: The village of Beit Ummar in the South Hebron region continues under curfew and the army has declared it a Closed Military Zone. It will remain thus until tomorrow night, and papers are being distributed stating that a week-long curfew will be enforced.

So far, Israeli military have arrested 55 Palestinians and house to house searches are ongoing, along with sporadic clashes between military and local youth.  The stone throwers are met with barrages of tear gas and `rubber' bullets.  

Seven streets inside the village have been closed off, and a store at the entrance of the village, adjacent to the military watchtower was demolished by the Israeli military.

For photos of the Israeli military activity in Beit Ummar, visit:  http://www.cpt.org/...

Reprinted with Permission

Originally posted to Rusty Pipes on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:08 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  For those unfamiliar with CPT, (6+ / 0-)

    witnessing for peace in Palestine, it:

           * Monitors treatment of Palestinians at Israeli military checkpoints and roadblocks.
           * Intervenes during Israeli military invasions of Palestinian homes.
           * Continues regular visits, along with Israeli peace activists, to Palestinian families facing harassment from Israeli settlers
           * Provides daily accompaniment for Palestinian children walking to and from school
           * Accompanies Palestinian shepherds and farmers to fields where they are exposed to assault by extremist settlers
           * Joins Israeli peace groups to replant olive groves destroyed by settlers
           * Joins Palestinians and Israeli peace activists in acts of public nonviolent resistance to Israel's construction of a "security wall" which cuts through Palestinian territory.

    Reel Bad Arabs: a crash course on Orientalism

    by Rusty Pipes on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:09:30 PM PST

  •  Israel certainly... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes

    has faired well under its continuous string of right-winged conservative leaders...

  •  Any idea what the immediate motive was? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes

    Has the Israeli government given any reason for the action? I don't suppose it will be covered in any international press other than Arab newspapers?

    Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. -Barack Obama

    by klizard on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:19:28 PM PST

    •  Over at the Frog Pond, (0+ / 0-)

      heathlander linked a Jordan Times article that mentioned the event in passing.  However, CPT's updates in the past few weeks have given a lot more background about recent events in Beit Ummar.  I hope to write more about it tomorrow.

      Reel Bad Arabs: a crash course on Orientalism

      by Rusty Pipes on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:38:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary.  I've tried a couple of times in the past just to get a snap-shot of the situation, e.g. just a single day tally of the number and location of all qassam rocket attacks from Gaza; Israeli bombings and "incursions" into Gaza, along with the casualties; closures, arrests, killings, and seizures inside the West Bank, etc.  I found that I was never able to get enough information to conclude that I had a good sense of everything that happened in even a single day.

    This story is a great example.  If not for you and the hard work of the CPT, I would never have heard about it.  So thanks for your reporting.    

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