Palestinians beaten after protesting at settlement supermarket
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated 6:48 pm: Nearly 100 Palestinian activists marched into an Israeli supermarket in the West Bank Wednesday to urge people to boycott settlement goods, receiving violent confrontation from Israeli police shortly after.
The incident took place at the Rami Levy supermarket located in the Shaar Binyamin commercial centre on a highway just north of Jerusalem.
The low-cost supermarket, which is very close to Geva Binyamin, is not technically located inside the fence of the settlement, and is therefore accessible by both settlers and Palestinians.
Activists report being badly beaten by soldiers, and that at least two activists were arrested, including popular resistance leader Bassem Tamimi.
— Maath Musleh (@MaathMusleh) October 24, 2012
Tamimi, 45, has led weekly protests against illegal settlers who expropriated a well in the Palestinian city of Nabi Saleh. He was arrested in March 2011, convicted of taking part in illegal gatherings, and was freed this May.
Activists said Tamimi felt his ribs were broken and that he had trouble breathing. Palestinian activist Abir Kopty said she urged his captors to provide him with medical treatment, and was then told by a police officer: “I remember your face very well and I will arrest you now if you don't go.”
“I was beaten by soldiers in face pushed to the ground, bruises in hands#BoycottRamilevi many others were also injured,” Kopty wrote in her Twitter timeline.
“We were practically dumped in Qalandiya. All of this because we dared to say no to occupation and we said yes to boycott,” said another activist Mariam Barghouti.
Barghouti reports that officers hoarded activists into a mini-bus, where they were violently beaten. They were taken to the Palestinian village of Qalandiya.
Israeli police were also reported to have used sound bombs against the protesters.
Wednesday's direct action is part of a nearly decade long civil society campaign to boycott companies that aid Israel's illegal occupation, garnering support from most sections of Palestinian society as well as a growing number of human rights activists in the West.
"Our msg at #boycottramilevi: boycott occupation & its products, as long as th'rs no justice 2 Palestine Israelis live won't go on the normal," said Kopty.