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Video: Protesters set Israeli checkpoint aflame following funeral in Beit Ummar

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An Israeli checkpoint sustained significant damage in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar near Hebron on Friday after clashes broke out following the funeral of 3 Palestinians killed earlier in the day.

Israeli forces incurred into the village of 20,000 on July 25th to quell protests following midday prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan around 2:30pm. Witnesses say two of the three were killed by snipers stationed atop occupied Palestinian homes; a tactic they say is common during clashes.

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

47-year-old Hashem Abu Maria, a local human rights activist and employee for Defense for Children International was shot, shortly after the protest began around 3:15pm.  Witnesses say the killing was unprovoked, as the father of three was simply standing in the vicinity of the demonstration.  It’s unclear if he participated in the initial march.

Also killed was Sultan Al Zaaqiq, 30 and Abed Breigheth, 35.

20-year-old Amir Alami, a young relative of Sultan, witnessed the incident.

“It was the first time I’ve watched someone get shot and killed,” said Alami.

“Sultan was standing between two houses and there was a soldier on rooftop with a sniper rifle.  Then the soldier shot him in his back.”

35-year-old Abed Breigheth was nearby and went to help before he was shot twice moments later, first in his leg and then his stomach.  Both died shortly after.

Funeral procession (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Funeral procession (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

After thousands gathered for the funeral procession of the three men later the same day, protesters unleashed a torrent of stones on the Israeli watchtower and checkpoint at the main entrance to Beit Ummar on the way to the cemetery.  Youth heaved scrap metal onto Road 60 barricading the thoroughfare and set tires ablaze inside the walled off open area of the checkpoint used for storage.

At one point, several protesters tossed a propane gas tank into the billowing flames and minutes later, it exploded sending flames soaring as high as the watchtower.

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Palestinian youth spent 20 uninterrupted minutes inflicting damage before Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and dispersed the crowds up the hillside, close to the main road.

While medics were treating youth for tear gas inhalation, several live shots snapped through the respite and sent the crowd to a sprint.  A jeep pulled up firing more just before protesters reached the main street. Live rounds were fired three additional times sending uninvolved families ducking for cover as youth and medics darted in all directions.

Beit Ummar, an agricultural mainstay in the West Bank has been enduring and resisting Israeli military incursions and settler violence for decades. Nightly clashes broke out following the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and intensified with the Israeli attack on Gaza.  It has one of the highest arrest rates for children and minors in West Bank and its often weekly demonstrations are suppressed unfailingly by Israeli soldiers as nearby settlement blocs continue to seize land.

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

52-year-old activist Ibrahim Breigheth, relative of deceased Abed Breigheth speculated on the nature of the killings.

“Shooting and killing this number within an hour in a normal demonstration protesting the occupation just reflects the reality that there is a decision to kill some people,” said Breigheth.

“All of the shots were on the upper part of the body with live bullets with no real face to face confrontation or clashes and as everyone is aware, Palestinians only have stones to throw.”

Six Palestinians in total were killed by Israeli forces within twenty-four hours across the West Bank on Friday with live ammunition increasingly becoming a normal means of crowd dispersal by the Israeli military.  Demonstrations in cities and villages alike only show signs of further escalation.

Electronic Intifada reports approximately thirty Palestinians killed by Israeli live fire in the West Bank in 2014, nearly three times more than were killed during the same period in 2013 according to data from UN’s OCHA.

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

(Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Kelly Lynn
About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn is a freelance photojournalist based in Bethlehem in Occupied Palestine.

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13 Responses

  1. just
    just on July 27, 2014, 10:10 am

    “All of the shots were on the upper part of the body with live bullets with no real face to face confrontation or clashes and as everyone is aware, Palestinians only have stones to throw.”

    Targeted murder by paid Israeli assassins.

    Can we condemn this now, Mr. Obama– are you finally ready?

    (All while I’m listening to more lies by Netanyahu right now on MTP.)

    Just a thought– remember how some folks thought that Dubya went after Saddam b/c of a threat to his Daddy? Is Netanyahu avenging his much- vaunted brother? Are these small men dangerous, opportunistic, angry, unevolved and psychopathic leaders?

    • just
      just on July 27, 2014, 10:24 am

      Schumer looks like he had a heavy drinking night at the AIPAC trough…

      UN rep had not much nice to say about the bombing of the huddled victims in Beit Hanoun. He said the UN has spent “hours” on the phone begging Israel to let the refugees evacuate and they never got a ‘green light’. Gregory tried like hades to blame the Palestinians without success………..

  2. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 27, 2014, 10:14 am

    Well, Israel has pushed it’s luck for too long. Now it has brought these long suffering people to the brink, and they are all retaliating and protesting. Israel has stirred a hornets nest and will not like the results. The more Israel uses violence and deadly violence on civilians, the more the world is going to blame it. Israel has lost the PR war for these reasons. No people including Americans and Israelis would have put up with this crap for so long. A brutal occupation, blockades, collective punishment, lies to start the collective punishment, water stolen, lands stolen disgustedly to build illegal settlements, and constant overreaction to situations not proved to be true.
    The world gets it now, and know how devious Israel is, the lies are unravelling, the war crimes and disregard for international law, now part of Israel’s MO, and the stupid justification for this massacre by blaming rockets. 1000 Palestinians dead, at least 800 civilians, children and babies. If you believe these babies are a threat to Israel, you must have been living in a cave.
    This is resistance to all the above crimes by Israel. We know how Israel deals with resistance, the numbers prove it.

    This is going to be another massacre that the world will ignore.

    • Pixel
      Pixel on July 28, 2014, 1:58 am

      @Kay24 “…that the world will ignore.”

      Governments, politicians, corporate interests, et al – perhaps.

      But the “people of the world” – not THIS time around.

      Something is different, something visceral has changed. The genie is out of its bottle, there’s no going back (in).

  3. American
    American on July 27, 2014, 10:18 am

    Dead and wounded animals everywhere—no one to help them or put them out of their suffering

    We must destroy all monsters who kill innocent creatures…..including hamas operatives who use donkeys as suicide bombers.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 27, 2014, 10:49 am

    If the Israeli bombs do not kill them, they would slowly die of thirst or hunger.
    Part of the nazios collective punishment:

    “After two and a half weeks of bombardments from the air and ground, roughly two-thirds of the Gaza Strip’s inhabitants — 1.2 million people — are suffering from severe disruptions to the water and sewage systems, according to Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene, a coalition of around 40 humanitarian groups operating in the occupied territories.” Haaretz

    God’s chosen doing the work of the devil.

  5. bilal a
    bilal a on July 27, 2014, 11:11 am

    Don’t share this with Pastor Hagee:

    “I was praying at church when my father called me and told me to go home quickly,” said Antonio Ayad, a Christian whose elderly mother was killed when a missile struck their home in western Gaza City.

    “They are targeting Christians in Gaza,” he said.

    “I’m not Hamas, I’m not Fatah – I don’t belong to any Palestinian faction. Where is the world? Where is the pope?” he asked.

    From the pulpit in Rome, Pope Francis issued his own call, pleading for an end to the bloodshed which has killed over a thousand victims, around a quarter of them children.

    “Stop, please stop! I beg you with all my heart,” he said in the weekly Angelus prayer.

    Fleeing Israeli Troops, Gaza Muslims Find Refuge in a Christian Church

    Despite its thick walls dating back to the Crusades, the Church of Saint Porphyrius was still not a very safe haven. Shortly after they arrived, Israeli aircraft bombed a nearby field, spraying shrapnel on the church and damaging graves.

  6. a blah chick
    a blah chick on July 27, 2014, 12:07 pm

    The slaughter will continue because the US and Israel think that if enough people die the Gazans will rise up and send Hamas packing. What they are prepared to do if this doesn’t happen is beyond me. I really think they believe that Gaza will surrender at some point.

    • John O
      John O on July 27, 2014, 2:22 pm

      It’s extraordinary how these people don’t learn from history. Bombing in WW2 didn’t make the Germans turn against their government any more than it made the British turn against theirs. The reason is simple – you stick with the people who supply the air-raid shelters, ambulances and hospitals. (And, yes, Hamas’s rockets are counterproductive for the very same reason.)

  7. Les
    Les on July 27, 2014, 5:10 pm

    If this keeps up, Israel may look for someone to replace Abbas as head of its approved variation of the Nazi Judenrat.

  8. abuzein
    abuzein on July 28, 2014, 12:44 am

    Peace be upon the martyrs of Beit Ummar. May that watchtower be leveled and the belligerent entity be driven from your land!

  9. peeesss
    peeesss on July 28, 2014, 1:03 am

    American. Hamas uses ” donkeys as suicide bombers”. Where does one get that information. ? I will not accept anything from Mark Regev, or any other Hasbarists. Please some admission or evidence of this.

  10. gamal
    gamal on July 28, 2014, 6:15 am

    The MENA is coming to resemble the South America of the 70’s and 80’s, the USA and its war against people would seem to be the link, charnel house states and everywhere war and rumours of war.

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