On Tuesday, 26 September, Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, 37, from Beit Surik carried out an attack in the settlement of Har Adar, killing a Border Police officer and two settlement security guards: Sgt. Solomon Gavryia, 20, Yusef Othman, 25 and Or Arish, 25. Border Police officers and the settlement security coordinator – who himself had been moderately to seriously hurt during the incident according to the police – shot and killed Jamal. Immediately following the attack, the military implemented punitive measures against the residents of nine villages in the area of Beit Surik, northwest of Jerusalem, totaling about 40,000 people. The military’s actions included raids on villages and homes, damaging property in some cases, scores of arrests, as well as movement restrictions.
In Beit Surik itself, the military sealed off all entries and exits. Soldiers took over seven rooftops in the village, having turned the residents out, and raided many other homes, conducting searches, leaving havoc behind in some cases. Soldiers also carried out patrols in the village, which attracted stone throwing on the part of local residents. The soldiers responded with live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and gas grenades. These incidents led to the schools shutting down. In addition, five demolition orders and 15 stop-work orders were issued, all under the pretext of “illegal construction”, and soldiers confiscated some thirty cars.
Soldiers also raided the village of Bidu, and there too, clashes including stone-throwing erupted, with the soldiers responding with rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. School was canceled in Bidu as well as a result of these incidents. Soldiers took over eight rooftops in the village, having turned out the residents, and confiscated 25 vehicles. Yesterday in the early afternoon, the military set up a manned roadblock near the village, with soldiers denying passage to anyone under forty, and anyone who is not a resident of the village.
A similar roadblock was set up near the entrance to Beit ‘Anan, and other side roads, used by the residents when the main entrances are blocked, were also blocked with dirt mounds.
On the day of the attack, and the day after (yesterday), forces arrived at Jamal’s home, interrogated family members, and arrested his two brothers. They also surveyed the house in preparation for demolition, and revoked all family members’ permits to enter Israel for work.
Disrupting the lives of tens of thousands of people, who have done nothing wrong and are not suspected of any wronging in such a severe manner is completely unjustifiable. This violence against the population is an exploitation of the military’s power and authority in aid of wanton abuse of civilians without any accountability.