Israel’s repression and dehumanization
The relentless protests of Palestinians have been met with inhumane Israeli brutality. On Friday, August 6th the Israeli army killed 37-year-old Imad Dweikat. Dweikat was among hundreds of people who took part in the weekly Friday protest against Israeli settlement expansion on the lands of Beita.
Dweikat is a father of five children and the youngest is only two months old. He was shot in the chest and died shortly after he was wounded.
Dweikat is the sixth protester lost to Israeli violence since the protests broke out in May. Before him, Palestinians mourned the brutal murder of Ahmad Zahi Banishamsah (16), Mohammed Said Hamayel (15), Zakariya Hamayel (28), Issa Burhm (42) and Tareq Snoubar (27). Read more here.
The Israeli occupation also injured more than 400 protesters with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. More than fifty other protesters are enduring torture in Israeli colonial dungeons.
Also, Beit Dajan has been mourning the assassination by the Israeli military of their activists. Last March, 48-year-old Atef Hanaysha was shot dead by Israeli soldiers while peacefully protesting against the construction of the settler outpost.
The Israeli occupation has also injured hundreds of other protesters with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition.
Military checkpoints: A site of dehumanization
Since the start of the protests in Bieta, the main entrance to the village is closed by a military checkpoint made out of large cement blocks and constant presence of the Israeli occupation forces. This allows the occupation forces to ban any other protesters from the surrounding villages to join the protesters in Beita. It is also a form of collective punishment against the entire village of Beita for rising up against oppression and apartheid.
The checkpoint is also a place where Palestinian lives are devalued. A perfect example of this is the murder of 41-year-old Shadi Omar Lotfi Salim on July 27th. Salim, who used to be employed as a plumber at Nablus Municipality, was on his way back home when an Israeli soldier gunned him down.
Immediately after murdering Salim, the Israeli military apparatus and media called Ahmad a ‘terrorist’ who allegedly tried to attack the soldiers who killed him in an act of self-defense; a claim the Israeli occupation authorities use to justify and legitimize the illegitimate crimes against Palestinians who are killed at their military checkpoints.
Up until now, the Israeli occupation authorities continue to withhold Salim’s body despite protests in Beita and demands by his family to release his body for a proper burial.
In yet another act of malicious dehumanization of Palestinians, Salim’s body is being withheld along with the roughly 72 other bodies of slain Palestinians.
Despite this, Palestinians in Beita continue rallying to reclaim Mount Sabih.
After the murder of Salim and Israel’s continuous refusal to release his body, Palestinians in Beita have recently escalated their protesting measures. They have banned any Israeli products from entering the village. They are keeping up the boycott despite the Israeli occupation having total control over the village, including what can enter into it.