IMEMC correspondent said that about two hundred resident of Beit Awwa and Sikka and lead by the youths of the villages, were joined by international peace activists on Sunday. All peacefully gathered to protest the construction of the Separation Wall on the Palestinian lands in the area.
The Correspondent added that the peaceful procession was met with military violence when soldiers standing on a top of a hill fired tear gas and concussion grenades at the protestors. Despite the military violence, the protestors continued the procession and marched toward the site were military bulldozers were preparing for the construction of the Wall.
A number of Palestinian and International activists managed to reach a military bulldozer and attempted to lie down in front of the blades of the bulldozers while soldiers attacked them and kicked them and threw tear gas canisters and concussion grenades at them.
As the protestors backed away from the bulldozers, the bulldozers starting digging the ground. Israeli and International Peace activists jumped into a hole the bulldozers was digging and managed to stop it.
Soldiers, after failing to remove the protestors from the hole, hurled several tear gas and percussion grenades into the hole.
A tear gas canister hurled by the army into the hole rebounded at the cab of the bulldozer filling it with nauseating gas; the digging was paused for two and a half hours.
A medical source at Beit Awwa Emergency Center said that eight Palestinians and an Israeli Peace activist sustained wounds and fractures to several parts of their bodies. One resident was seriously wounded.
The source identified the wounded residents as; Osama Mohammad Al-Sweity, 19, who sustained a serious injury after gas bomb exploded near his face, Ashraf Yousef Al-Sweity, 22, Abdul-Majeed Mohammad Al-Sweity, 22, Basem Hashem Al-Sweity, 22, Talal Naji Al-Sweity, 18, Saed Hilmy Al-Sweity, 22, Mohammad Ahmad Al-Sweity, 18, Morad Hilmy Al-Sweity, 20, in addition to an Israeli peace activist who suffocated after inhaling gas fired by the army.
Around 2:00 pm, soldiers intensified military presence and deployed more forces in the area. The protestors decided to end the protest at this point in order to avoid further confrontation and clashes with the army.
Soldiers on the other hand, surrounded the crowd — which exceeded 200 men, women and children– continued back to the village despite the military presence.
Contrary to some media reports and military claims, IMEMC correspondent said the protestors did not hurl stones at the army, and that the residents of the villages Beit Awwa and Al-Sikka, made it clear that this is a non-violent protest against the Wall.
Residents of the village said they will continue their protests against the construction of the wall because The protestors, a wide area of their land in the two villages is to be confiscated.
Palestinian youth trying to stop a military Personel carrier in Beit Awwa, on Sunday Sep. 10
Army attempts to arrest nonviolent International Peace activists protesting against the construction of the separation wall near Hebron, on Sunday Sep. 19