Tiny Izbeit at-Tabib village attacked by Israeli occupation army
When the villagers of Izbeit at-Tabib (population 300), accompanied by colleagues from neighboring towns and villages, took off to reach the main Qalqiliya-Nablus road, they didn’t know that minutes later they would be attacked by dozens of heavily armed Israeli occupation soldiers and Border police – for waving a flag, dancing improvised dabkeh, and demanding freedom.
Around 50 unarmed Palestinians faced at least 10 Israeli military vehicles and several gangs of Israeli soldiers who shot numerous tear gas and sound grenades directly at the crowd. Many people, including children, suffered from tear gas inhalation, their eyes red with the poisonous gas, their lungs struggling to breathe.
Israeli occupation army gangs stationed themselves on both sides of the main road, shooting at Palestinians from two directions and forcing them to retreat to the village. Several tear gas canisters were thrown directly at the clearly-marked Palestine TV minivan, with journalists standing next to it.
Soldiers briefly detained a young Palestinian for standing near the road with a flag. They handcuffed him and only let him be taken by a Palestinian ambulance after he collapsed on the ground from tear gas inhalation. An Israeli soldier claiming to be a medic was holding the young man and refused a Palestinian medic to treat him before the ambulance arrived.
Izbeit at-Tabib is a village of some 40 houses; many of them, including the primary/secondary school building, have demolition orders. Located near the road that illegal Israeli settler colonists use to get to pre-1948 areas of Palestine (currently Israel), Izbeit at-Tabib is thus frequently attacked by the Israeli army, as is neighboring Azzun.
Earlier in the day, before the attack on Izbeit at-Tabib, Israeli occupation army injured two young men with steel rubber-coated bullets and suffocated many with tear gas during a protest against road closure in Azzun. The village’s main road has been closed since February 1990, making it difficult to exercise one’s right to freedom of movement. Additionally, recently the Israeli army installed a new gate at the entrance to Azzun, on the road to Jayyus, and has been routinely closing it since. The other entrance to Azzun, from the Qalqiliya-Nablus road, has become something of an army base; soldiers are stationed there almost 24/7 and close the road as they wish. Azzun has a particularly high number of children incarcerated in Israeli dungeons and suffers numerous violent raids.
Collective punishment is illegal under international law. As is the Israeli occupation of Palestine.