Tensions were high in the South Hebron Hills when Israeli soldiers blocked a group of Palestinians from cultivating their land. The confrontation led to fifteen arrests, of which a few can be seen in the footage above.
The South Hebron Hills have been a primary target for Israel’s expansionist campaign in the occupied West Bank. Last December, the Israeli military demolished a mosque in the village of Mfagraha for the second time. Soon after, Palestinians living in eight villages in the South Hebron Hills were threatened with another round of demolitions that would wipe the villages clean off the map in order to make use of the area for military training purposes.
But the village residents remain unfazed, or as unfazed as possible considering the circumstances. Today, Reem and her 18-month-old daughter were among a number of families who had arrived to tend to their lands. But the Israeli military declared it a closed military zone and immediately proceeded to make arrests without allowing time for the families or activists to clear the scenes themselves.
The footage above by Guy, an Israeli activist with the group Ta’ayush, shows one Palestinian man wrestled to the ground and put in handcuffs amid screaming, which can be heard regularly throughout the clip.
Twenty-six seconds into the clip, Reema, holding her infant daughter, is shown shouting at soldiers to move away from her. The soldiers continue to press forward, forcing Reema to stumble backwards down the rocky hill, putting herself and her child at risk of falling and possibly suffering grave injury.
In one instance, an Israeli soldier tries to pull the baby away from the mother.
Reema is eventually partially restrained and led away. According to the video’s description, Reema and her daughter were taken to a police station. It is unclear when her expected release is but she has reportedly been ordered to spend the night. Her daughter has been returned to the father who was also arrested but released.