Israeli soldiers assault unarmed Palestinian boy in Hebron
Yesterday at 5:28pm
By Maureen Jack
At 4.30 pm on Monday 13 July 2009 two Israeli soldiers attacked a 16-year-old Palestinian boy 150 yards from his home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron.
The attack happened as the boy was walking to his home carrying heavy electrical cables necessary for repair work on his family’s house. Two workers who were with him left to raise the alarm.
The boy reported that one particular soldier has often held him for ID checks lasting at least one hour. This soldier and another took his ID and told him to sit on the ground. Initially they made inappropriate sexual comments about the boy and his mother. They then assaulted the boy, kicking his leg, and hitting him on the neck and back both with their hands and with their rifle butts. The boy tried to telephone his father but a soldier grabbed the phone from him and hit him with it after removing the battery and SIM card.
The boy’s mother and cousin arrived and he tried to explain to them what had happened. Soldiers said to the boy, ‘Shut up or I will f*** you,’ and threatened to rape the women.
The soldiers took the boy behind the family’s house, where there were some settlers. The soldiers cuffed the boy’s hands behind his back, blindfolded him and again forced him to sit. One or more people kicked and hit him again, but because of the blindfold he could not see whether his attackers were soldiers or settlers.
At this point his father and friends arrived with videocameras and filmed what was happening. Hearing raised voices, an Israeli army officer arrived. The officer observed that Palestinians were filming the incident and removed the blindfold and handcuffs and released the boy. He gripped the boy by the jaw and warned him, ‘If you say anything to internationals or the police, I will kill you.’
That evening the boy received hospital treatment for his injuries. The next day his father spent four and a half hours at the police station making a complaint, in support of which he passed over video of the incident. Two days later the boy was still limping, clearly in continuing discomfort.
The boy is an able high school pupil who hopes to attend university in the United States. He volunteers for the Israeli human rights group Btselem as a cameraman and has undertaken nonviolence training. Of the incident he remarked, ‘The soldiers tried to make me angry and violent. But I was so quiet. I was so strong.’ The encounter has not affected his commitment to nonviolence. 'If we stay in the way of peace I think we will soon have our freedom,' he said.
Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT's peacemaking work, visit our website http://www.cpt.org/
Photos of our projects are at http://www.cpt.org/gallery
A map of the center of Hebron is at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Sa.nsf/0/5618737E38C0B3DE8525708C004BA584/$File/ocha_OTS_hebron_oPt010805.pdf?OpenElement
The same map is the last page of this report on closures in Hebron: http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/opt/docs/UN/OCHA/ochaHU0705_En.pdf
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