Dozens of Palestinians suffocated by teargas inhalation during confrontations with the Israeli army, which broke into the village of al-Khader, near Bethlehem, according to local sources. Meanwhile, forces abducted shepherds and activists in the Hebron area.Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the village, said an Israeli army force broke into al-Khader in the afternoon hours, provoking confrontations with local residents.
He said that Israeli soldiers opened live fire towards the protesters, yet there were no reports of casualties, according to WAFA. Multiple cases of suffocation by teargas inhalation, as soldiers fired teargas canisters, however.
In the meantime, army broke into a medical clinic in the nearby village of Wadi Fukin, checking the identity cards of medical staff and searching the clinic. No arrests were reported in either village.
It was further reported that Israeli police arrested two Palestinian shepherds as they grazed their flock in the valley of Umm Zeitouna, near the Israeli settlement of Ma’on in Hebron, late Sunday.
According to Operation Dove, in late morning, the security chief of Ma’on settlement and Israeli soldiers arrived in Umm Zeitouna valley where the shepherds, accompanied by international volunteers, were grazing their flock on land which Israeli settlers from Ma’on are attempting to annex.
Minutes later, Israeli police arrived and immediately detained two shepherds and two international volunteers.
At around 12pm, police abductted the two shepherds and took them to Kyriat Arba police station. The volunteers were released, but the shepherds were kept until about 3pm, after being fined 500 NIS each.
Residents of the South Hebron Hills experience continual harassment from settlers in nearby settlements and outposts, but remain steadfast in their commitment to nonviolent resistance.
Each day that they graze their sheep in contested areas, the shepherds continue to resist settler attempts to drive them from their lands. International volunteers have witnessed shepherds chased from Umm Zeitouna six times since the start of the year (in five of these occasions the Israeli army came after a settler’s call).
The arrest followed a nonviolent action that morning, during which residents successfully repaired the road which links At-Tuwani village to Yatta, and the attendance on February 27 of the South Hebron Hills Popular Resistance Committee, at the 10th anniversary of nonviolent action in Bil’in.
In related news, Israeli Ofer military court approved the administrative detention order against eight Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) stated Sunday.
PPS said that the court approved the administrative detention against four prisoners for a period of six months.
The prisoners who received a six month imprisonment sentence without charge or trial were identified as Rami Abu Shalaf, Sliman Battat, mohammed Samaneh, and Mohammed Mimi.
Meanwhile, two prisoners from Jenin received a detention period of three and two months. They were identified as Oday Istiti, and Abd al-Rahman Hindyeh, respectively.
The remaining two prisoners, who were also from Jenin and identified as Mohammed Salatneh and Ali Kamil, received a detention period of four months.
B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, stated that ‘administrative detention is implemented solely on the basis of an administrative order, without either indictment or trial. Under certain circumstances, this type of detention may be lawful. However, due to the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure, international law stipulates that it may be exercised only in very exceptional cases – and then only as a last possible resort, when there are no other means available to prevent the danger.’
Nevertheless, Israeli authorities routinely employ administrative detention. Over the years, thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody as administrative detainees for extended periods of time, the center said.