Military Roadblocks on Way to Stop Demonstration in Occupied West Bank

The Israeli occupation forces issued an order on Friday preventing buses and cars with Hadash and Communist Party of Israel (CPI) activists from going into the West Bank through a crossing that leads to the Palestinian hamlets of Masafer Yatta, blocking them from joining a demonstration against their eviction.

Hadash and Communists demonstrators after being taken off the bus near Masafer Yatta area, on Friday (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Four buses and several cars with hundreds of Hadash and CPI activists, including Joint List lawmakers Ayman Odeh and Aida Touma-Sliman, were blocked on the way to the demonstration. The activists got off the bus and started protesting in place and they were attacked by settlers. 

Also, MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash – Joint List) was attempting to reach the protest at Masafer Yatta but was stopped by police officer after being prevented from reaching the South Hebron Hills. MKs have immunity, which allows them to travel almost everywhere in the country. It was not clear why Cassif was barred entry from the area.

In addition, settlers attacked Palestinian journalists’ vehicles while covering the solidarity event organized to protest the Israeli authorities’ decision to demolish 12 villages in Masafer Yatta area, south of Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank. According to WAFA cameraman, Mashhoor al-Wahwah, a group of settlers attacked and destroyed the journalists’ vehicles while carrying out their duty in covering the protest.

Last week, the Israeli Hight Court of Justice ruled that the occupation army could expel residents of villages in the area so that the military can hold training exercises there, capping a decades-long legal battle.