by ISM Hebron, January 24th
Today in Tel Rumeida, at around 1:45, two human rights workers (HRWs) were detained for supposedly attacking a soldier at the main Tel Rumeida checkpoint after the soldier became aggravated over a third HRW refusing to show her passport. The activists were all gathering to celebrate one of their birthdays.
Once put in the police vehicle, the supposed “victim” soldier was actually seated directly across from their “attackers” – clearly the IOF has no concern for the young soldier’s personal well-being. While seated across from the soldier he threatened to strike one activist with his helmet before reaching the police station. After being interrogated the activists learned that they were being accused not only of physically attacking a soldier but also insulting him and demeaning him. While being detained one activist interacted with the “victim” soldier as he hovered around. The soldier smiled and said, “this is fun”, in reference to the detention. The activist then asked, “you prefer being here rather than at your post?” and the soldier smiled and agreed, “yes.”
After being detained for four and a half hours the activists were released without charge. Under Israeli law after three hours the detainee has to be formally arrested or released. A month ago two HRWs were also illegally detained for over three hours at the police station in Hebron.