On Tuesday January 26th, three Israeli military jeeps entered the village of Beit Ommar near Hebron. International observers reported Israeli forces drove to the center of the village and shot tear gas from their vehicles at residents gathered on the street.During the incursion, soldiers detained 16 year old Fathi Ahmed Mohammed Abu Maria outside his home. His grandmother approached the soldiers restraining Fathi and attempted to prevent the detention. In response to the grandmothers actions, a soldier behind the wheel of one jeep drove towards her in what was perceived as an attempt to run her over. Fathi’s grandmother was pulled out of the way just before she would of been injured by the vehicle.
According to workers from the Palestine Solidarity Project, present at the scene, a few local boys responded to the Israeli military presence by throwing rocks at the jeeps. After this provocation the Israeli soldiers are said to have left their vehicles to chase the boys. One of the witnesses also reported that a soldier fired live ammunition at a boy who threw rocks.
In the past few weeks seven teenagers and young men from Beit Ommar have been arrested. Some of them say they were taken to the infamous Mascobieh interrogation center in Jerusalem.
In this interrogation center, detainees can allegedly be held for days or weeks without charge while being questioned and tortured. Some of the interrogation techniques said to be used include sleep deprivation and being forced into “stress” positions. It has also been reported that interrogators threaten to injure the detainee or the detainees family if they do not divulge information that may implicate other villagers.