In the latest in a series of raids targeting Palestinian villages engaged in non-violent weekly protests against the Wall, Israeli forces invaded the village of Beit Ummar, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, at 2:30 am on Monday and seized 14 residents, including 7 children, from their beds.Mohammad Awad, Media spokesman for the Palestinian Solidarity Project, reported that the Israeli soldiers invaded the town and kidnapped Jamil al-Za’akik,25; Mohammd al-Za’akik,14; Ahmad al-Za’akik,18; Ahmad Khalil,20; Montaser Khalil;16; Mohamad ‘Azzam,16; Malik Slaibi,16; Sharif Breghth,17 and Hassan al-Slaibi,16, among others.
Awad stated that heavily armed troops, along with sniffer dogs, raided houses in different parts of the village searching for Palestinian boys who they claim threw stones at invading Israeli settlers last week. They took the boys and young men to an unknown detention center for interrogation.
Awad added that the main entrance of Beit Ummar is still closed for sixth day in a row. An increased military presence began last week when construction began on a length of electric fencing that severs the southern part of the village and annexes the land for an Israeli settlement.
Last week two Palestinians were injured, one critically, when an Israeli settler opened fire on a funeral procession on its way to the cemetery.
Many residents of the village fear that they are now being targeted by Israeli troops for their involvement in non-violent weekly protests against the Israeli Annexation Wall, which is being constructed on village land, annexing a large part of the village for Israeli settlements.
In other towns involved in non-violent protests, including Bil’in and Nil’in, children have been abducted by Israeli troops, subjected to lengthy interrogations until they make accusations against protest organizers. These accusations are then used to charge organizers with crimes and subject them to long prison sentences.