Hadash urges Barak to release arrested Palestinian mothers

Hadash MK Dov Khenin urged Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday to release two Palestinian women that were arrested in south Mount Hebron because they are mothers to young children. The women were arrested with 13 other Palestinian and Israeli peace activists while trying to work their land, which the IDF said was a “closed military area.” One of the women was arrested with her infant daughter and the other, Khenin said, is a breastfeeding mother. “We must not stay indifferent to this unnecessary cruelty,” Khenin added.

Israeli forces blocked a demonstration in the south Hebron hills on Saturday, detaining at least 15 protesters in the area. Local farmers and Israeli peace activists had gathered at al-Qawawis village to protest Israel’s plan to confiscate an agricultural area called Um Al-Arayes, according to popular committee spokesman Rateb Jabour. He said the demonstration was blocked by Israeli forces and 15 activists and farmers were detained.

An Israeli peace activist from the Ta’ayush organization stands next to an Israeli soldier in an area near the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yair in the south Hebron hills, October 13, 2012. The Israeli soldiers routinely deny Palestinians’ from their legal right to graze on adjacent land to Mitzpe Yair settlement (Photo: Activestills)

Nine of them were identified as Ismail Awad, 32, his wife and brother Saed, sisters Bushra, 22, and Shurouq Jabareen, 25, as well as Jameel Awad, 54, Bassam Jabareen 45, Khalil Awad Zein 65, Yousef Awad, in his 50s. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the “area remained a closed military zone after a demonstration on Friday, and several were being held at the scene for entering the area.” On Friday, Palestinians and Israeli peace activists protested against land confiscation in the south Hebron hills in nearby Susiya.