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Israeli Military Continues to Provoke Residents

Israeli Military Continues to Provoke the Unrecognized Village Residents of Izbat Tabib after Today's Peaceful Protest

[Izbat Tabib, Qalqilia] Israeli border police and soldiers continue to enter the village of Izbat Tabib and threaten the residents with arrest and home demolitions after a nonviolent demonstration confronted the roadblock on the western side of the village. The Israeli military has said it will arrest and harass the residents late at night and remove and arrest all international activists from the area that has now been deemed a "closed military zone."

At approximately 11:30 AM, 175 Palestinians were joined by 70 international and Israeli peace activists from groups such as Ta'ayush and ISM for a peaceful action calling for recognition of Izbat Tabib and its 300 residents and basic human rights for the local Palestinian population. After many speeches, including those given by MKs Jamal Zahalka and Mohammed Baraki, the demonstrators marched towards the roadblock cutting off Izbat Tabib from vehicles entering from the western side of the village.

The demonstration was met by approximately six jeeps and one hummer of Israeli soldiers and border police officers. The villagers attempted to negotiate for the removal of the roadblock, but the soldiers and police prevented such an action from occurring.

After the failed negotiations, five to ten young boys began throwing stones towards the military. After everyone was back in the village, the military announced the closed military zone and threatened to enter homes and arrest Palestinians, demolish homes and remove all international activists. The villagers believe eight Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 16 have already been detained.

Izbat Tabib has never been recognized by the Israeli government, and as a result, 16 of the 40 homes in the village are scheduled to be demolished. The Apartheid Wall, which runs close by the village, took 50% of the lands of Izbat Tabib.

Today's demonstration was a peaceful means to protest the strangulation of this small, 300-person village and the attempts of the Israeli government to transfer the local population. However, the Israeli military would not allow for such a protest and it continues to suppress the voices of Izbat Tabib that demand recognition and human rights.

Israeli soldiers and border police are currently in the village, and over a dozen international activists are still there documenting the situation.

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