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Israeli Soldier in Hebron: “I Hate Arabs!”

Palestinians threatened and abused by soldiers while waiting in their yard for Israeli Police to come and investigate damage caused by settler vandalism.

This is where the water pump used to be before Israeli settlers from the Tel Rumeida Settlement stole it.

by Jonas

Sunday, June 25th: Two Human Rights Workers (HRWs) received a phone call around 8:45pm, asking them to proceed to the Abu Haikal house because there were settlers from the Tel Rumeida Settlement causing problems on the family’s land. The HRWs went to the land directly, arriving 5 minutes or so after the phone call.

The HRWs were greeted by the family, who then led the HRWs to the backyard. The Abu Haikal family explained that the settlers had ascended the stairs from the Tel Rumeida settlement, which is located at the base of the Abu Haikal house. The settlers, at this point, had already left in the getaway car, which was waiting at the foot of the stairs. Two soldiers were present at the scene, also at the foot of the stairs.

The family explained to the HRWs what had happened. The settlers stole the water pump from the backyard. In doing so, they cut the electrical cord and the water pipe, both of which were connected to the pump. One of the HRWs called the police, who said they would be en route to the Abu Haikal house shortly, while the other HRW photographed the scene.

Settlers cut through the electrical wire that was hooked to the pump before stealing it and placing it into their getaway car.

While the family was relaying the information, including the make, model and license plate of the settler car (White Ford Van #39-538-51), the two Israeli soldiers came up the stairs onto the Abu Haikal property. They started screaming at the family, saying that they and the HRWs could not be there because they were posing a threat to the settlement. The HRWs assured the soldier that they were merely assessing the situation and would wait until the police arrived. The soldier again raised his voice, shouting for everyone to retreat back into the house. One HRW recorded the soldier’s words.

The soldier was screaming in Hebrew at one of the Abu Haikal family members. He was threatening to shoot the man if he did not retreat, later stating to a settler woman, “I hate Arabs!” This went on for a couple minutes. The police were called again and they assured the HRWs that they would be there shortly and to wait in the front of the house for the vehicle.

The HRWs and the family members went to the front of the house, where the police never came. Eventually, the police would arrive at the foot of the stairs in the backyard, where the soldiers and only one other Abu Haikal family member were waiting. He told the HRWs that the police came and the soldier that was present told the police that he didn’t see anything, i.e. the settlers or their getaway car. The police also found the White Ford Van and the driver who came to the scene at the request of the police. The settler denied any involvement and no water pump was found in the car. The police and the settler left before speaking with the HRWs who initially called them or any other family members involved.

TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron) was called, who assured the HRWs and the Abu Haikal family that they would come tomorrow morning to record their story. The audio that was recorded of the soldier’s threats and the photographs of the scene’s stolen water pump and damaged pipes and wires were transferred to the Abu Haikal family’s computer and audio devices. They will use the evidence with their police report, to be filed at the Kiryat Arba police station at 9AM the following morning. The family said they would call the HRWs if any further problems arise.