IDF arrests two Palestinian shepherds, four Israeli activists in Um al-Kheir, after declaring the site a closed military zone.
In the same West Bank village where the IDF recently demolished an outdoor toilet built for a disabled person, the army arrested four Israeli activists and two Palestinian residents Saturday in the south Hebron hills, for “entering a closed military zone.”
The younger of two brothers from Um al-Kheir was grazing his herd of sheep and goats near the village, east of Yatta, accompanied by Israeli activists from Ta’ayush before the six men were arrested around 12 p.m. on Saturday, according to activist Amitai Ben-Abba, one of the four arrested from Ta’ayush. They were all later released on restrictive conditions and one on bail.
“[The Palestinian herder] went way around this contested extension of the settlement Carmel because there has been lots of harassment recently from Israeli military and settlers,” said Ben-Abba. “When he came back [from grazing the herd] two soldiers came and grabbed him.”
In an emailed statement, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said IDF forces declared an area near Carmel a closed military zone in order to diffuse “an illegal gathering of 35 people.”
Ben-Abba said the location where the activists and herders were arrested was not within the closed military zone.
One Palestinian man, the older of the two brothers, was arrested for allegedly “attacking an IDF soldier and trying to climb an IDF military vehicle,” according to the IDF.