Dozens of residents and members of the Popular Committees, accompanied with Israeli and international peace activists, members of the Palestinian Solidarity Project (PSP) and several other peace groups, reopened a road leading to Al Thahiriyya town, near Hebron.The road, which links between Al Thahiriyya and Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, was opened by the activists last week, after they removed the concrete blocks placed by the army, and the sand-hills, but the army closed the road three days ago and placed concrete blocks.
As the activists were opening the blocked road three days ago, soldiers attacked them injuring several activists and kidnapped one Israeli peace activist after severely kicking and punching him. The army then replaced the concrete blocks and sealed the road.
On Wednesday, the activists and the residents reopened the road, as were attacked by the soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades injuring several protesters, and barred the ambulances from reaching the area.
Among the injured were several reporters who were attacked by soldiers carrying batons; one of the reporters, identified as Azmi Al Shioky fainted after he was hit and kicked by the soldiers.
Reporters Rami Islaimiyya and Sameeh Shaheen were also injured. Dozens of residents received medical treatment by field medical teams, and some of them required hospitalization.
The road was blocked by the army since the beginning of the Intifada late September 2000, blocking the movement of at least 80.000 residents and forcing them to take alternative longer roads through other areas.
Closing the road also affected the education process, health services and the daily lives of the residents who became unable to use this road and even when they take alternative longer roads they get stopped and harassed by the soldiers who are manning dozens of temporary and permanent roadblocks in the area.