Saturday, February 16, 2008

Israeli invasion of Beit Ummar Feb 13

Palestine News Network reports on an incursion at Beit Ummar in the West Bank (below). I see very little coverage in the western press. Search the name "Beit Ummar" to find additional reports from Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement and others.

Palestine News Network report on the web:

Israeli forces arrest 43 Palestinians in 10 hour invasion of Beit Ummar
Feb 13, 2008

Hebron / Najeeb Farraj - In an ongoing attack on the town of Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank’s Hebron, Israeli forces have arrested at least 43 Palestinians between the ages of 18 and 25.

Beginning during Wednesday’s early morning hours, 1 am, some 100 Israeli soldiers stormed the town and announced via loudspeakers that if anyone left their homes, they would be shot.
After the curfew was imposed Israeli forces closed all entrances to the town and overtook several homes, using the highest rooftops as sniper posts.

Dozens of soldiers then began breaking into homes and demanded that hundreds of people gather in the town square. Beit Ummar has not seen an attack of such magnitude in years. Eyewitnesses from the Christian Peacemaker Teams reported that Israeli forces were denying ambluances access.

For 10 hours Israeli forces remained in the town, holding it hostage. An Israeli military spokesperson said that this was in response to last months attempted attack on the Etzion Settlement bloc in which two Palestinians, allegedly carrying knives, were killed. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

Due to the Israeli invasion, schools were unable to open on Wednesday, nor were municipal offices and other businesses.

The 43 people who were arrested were taken away in buses, bound and blindfolded, to unknown locations.

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