Protest at Beit Ommar
Photo: Elior Levy

Beit Ommar: IDF imposing collective punishment

Army blocks entrance to Palestinian village due to Molotov cocktail attacks on Israeli vehicles; 'this only increases hostility,' says council head

A week has passed since the IDF blocked the entrance from Highway 60 to the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar.


Residents of the village, which is located between Hebron and Jerusalem, are able to exit it only from the west. They claim this extends their journey to Jerusalem and makes their daily lives more difficult in general.


"This is a policy of an army that imposes collective punishment on all the residents," Biet Ommar council head Nasri Sabarna told Ynet Thursday.


'Why do we all have to suffer?' Beit Omar residents (Photo: Elior Levy)


The IDF blocked the entrance to the village due to the frequent throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails on Israeli vehicles travelling along Highway 60. Village representatives were expected to meet with officials from the Hebron Coordination and Liaison Office on Thursday.


"It is true that there is a small group of youngsters who throw stones, and we are vehemently against this," Sabarna said, "But why do all of Beit Ommar's residents have to suffer because of it? Also, blocking the entrance only increases the hostility."


The council head said that during last Friday's prayers the local imams condemned the stone-throwing. "We do not have total control over every resident. We are trying to lower the level of violence, but when a settler throws stones at Palestinians does the army block the entrance to his settlement?"


Sabarna said blocking the entrance to the village also makes it more difficult for residents who are in need of constant medical attention to reach hospitals in Bethlehem and Hebron.


The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the army is "responding to threats from the Beit Ommar area by taking defensive measures to ensure safe travel along Highway 60."



פרסום ראשון: 03.31.11, 19:25
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