Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reports of abuse of Palestinians at hands of Israeli soldiers rise in Hebron’s Dura Village

05.05.09 - 13:08

Hebron / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – Reports are flooding in about a rise in the persecution of young Palestinians at the hands of Israeli soldiers in southern Hebron’s Dura Village with the youngest being just six years old.

The Israeli organization focusing on Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, B'Tselem, has noted that in recent days an increase in the number of reports of attacks and harassment by Israeli soldiers against the youth of Dura is on the rise. Reports of stone throwing at Road 60 are also on the rise.

As documented by B’Tselem, on 24 April at about 4:00 pm a number of military jeeps flooded a small town now resting 300 meters from the site where the settler road was built. Some Palestinians are allowed to drive on this highway that runs from the outskirts of Jerusalem, through the Bethlehem District, and on to Hebron.

The soldiers arrested six men between the ages of 17 and 31 that day, binding their hands and blindfolding their eyes.

Is clear from the testimony of three of the detainees gathered by B'Tselem that soldiers took them to a military camp called Adoraim. After shoving the Palestinians into a small room soldiers would periodically enter and attack them. The political prisoners were kicked and hit on all parts of their body, especially the face with slapping and beatings with rifle butts and fists.

Soldiers prevented the detainees from praying or sleeping and did not provide them with food. Just after midnight, the Israeli soldiers allowed the political prisoners to go to the toilet and also to drink water. The Palestinians were put through humiliating steps including waiting in a queue for nothing. One person refused to stand in such a way so soldiers forced them all to remain standing as a form of punishment.

At 4:30 before dawn the soldiers began to take the detainees in two rooms together. The soldiers drove them to two different locations in the area. After beating the men the soldiers threw them out of the jeeps. Soldiers stole money from the detainees, including 600 and 140 NIS from two.

Four of the detained are now hospitalized in Hebron.

The Israeli organization focusing on Israeli abuses of Palestinian human rights, B'Tselem, refers to these matters as urgent and is taking to task the occupying military and police in the southern West Bank’s Hebron District. The soldiers are expected to be immediately investigated, according to the human rights source.

A week ago in the same town at least ten jeeps burst in during the afternoon, 29 April. They detained some 20 boys for investigation. Most were taken from their homes. The youngest was six years old.
Israeli soldiers forced the children to walk to a school on the outskirts of town. Some were barefoot as they were not allowed to properly dress when soldiers stormed their homes.

Musa Abu Hashhash, a B'Tselem field researcher, was present. He was filming with a video camera. One of the soldiers (No. 655537) took the camera. Another tried to prevent him from registering vehicle numbers. The investigation lasted about two hours until soldiers arrested a 13 year old boy. He was released the next day.

B'Tselem has gone to the competent authorities and demanded an investigation and lodged a protest due to obstruction of the work of a field researcher.