On Friday activists from SFP joined Qaryut villagers as they went to pray on their land, denied access to them by Apartheid Israel. As the demonstrators left after the Friday prayers, and without any provocation, female Army soldiers open fire with volleys of tear gas. Several villagers suffered severe tear gas inhalation with two people requiring medical treatment.
After the prayers the Council of Qaryut had stated to the soldiers, which had been proceeding to surround the demonstrators as they prayed, that they would be leaving the area and that the soldiers should not attack. Despite this, and as villagers started to walk up the mountain back towards the village, two female soldiers opened fire directly at them. This caused many people to suffer from tear gas inhalation as well as tripping up on the dangerous rocky terrain.
This is common terror behaviour from the Army, who claim in the media they are just responding to rock throwing – no rock was thrown. Last week SFP activists, medical volunteer and Council member Bashar Qaryouti was hospitalised after tear gas was fired towards him. Bashar was clearly wearing his Palestinian Red Crescent uniform at the time.
Qaryut is surrounded by several illegal settlements, forever seeking to steal more village land. Less than one month ago the Council was handed a letter from the Army saying they were confiscating thousands of dunums of land to create a tourist area. The land is rich in archeological finds. As a result, and combined with their continuing inability to access their main road, the villagers agreed to launch demonstrations to take back the land and open up their road.
We encourage all those of good conscience to join Qaryut and all Palestinians in their resistance by abiding by the request for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel. To find out how to boycott and more about the campaign please click here.