Several Palestinians were injured, Saturday, while dozens of others suffocated from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces dispersed a peaceful march to the north of Surif town, north of Hebron, according to local activists and WAFA correspondence.Israeli forces attacked and attempted to crush a peaceful march that was organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in the southern West Bank, brutally assaulting participants with the butts of their rifles, spraying them with pepper spray, and firing tear gas canisters and stun grenades at them.
Several Palestinians were injured, while dozens others suffocated as a result of excessive tear gas inhalation.
The march was organized in protest of the ongoing closure of the road linking Surif with al-Jab‘a village to the southwest of Bethlehem.
Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement in Hebron, Rateb al-Jabour, said that the march was intended to protest the ongoing closure and siege imposed on Palestinian communities in these areas, especially in communities located adjacent to illegal settlements, as well as the seizure of 2,000 dunums of land belonging to Surif for the benefit of settlement expansion.
Several activists were briefly detained by soldiers, including Ahmad al-Hih and Loai Ghnaimat.
Marchers demanded the removal of the metal gate that has been installed for the last fourteen years by Israeli forces between Surif and al-Jab‘a.
In related news, Israeli settlers uprooted olive trees from Palestinian-owned land located between the Ramallah villages of al- Mughayyir and Turmus-Ayya, on Saturday.
Local sources told WAFA that settlers uprooted around 20 fruitful olive trees belonging to Rakid al-Nasaan.
OCHA Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 16– 22 December 2014, reported an average of six incidents of Israeli attacks against Palestinians, resulting in Palestinian casualties or damage to property since the beginning of 2014.
“In 2013, the report of the United Nations International Fact-Finding Mission on Settlements highlighted the failure of the Israeli authorities to enforce the law by investigating such incidents and taking measures against their perpetrators. The Fact-Finding Mission came to the ‘clear conclusion that there is institutionalized discrimination against the Palestinian people when it comes to addressing violence,” stated al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization.
B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, stressed that “As the occupying force, Israel must protect the Palestinians in the West Bank. However, the Israeli authorities neglect to fulfill this responsibility and do not do enough to prevent Israeli civilians from attacking Palestinians, their property and their lands. The undeclared policy of the Israeli authorities in response to these attacks is lenient and conciliatory. Perpetrators are rarely tried, and many cases are not investigated at all or are closed with no operative conclusions.”
See video: 01/14/15 Olive Trees Destroyed in Yasuf